By: Jack Kobus
This Sunday, the two most explosive teams in the NFL square off. Both are led by gifted young quarterbacks; Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs and Bengals squeezed by in their second playoff games, needing late game heroics to do so. The Bengals won on a last second field goal and the Chiefs put together a 44-yard drive in 10 seconds to send the game to overtime.
Chiefs vs Bills was an absolute stunner that featured a combined 700+ offensive yards and 7 touchdowns. Mahomes has now led the Chiefs to their 4th straight AFC Championship appearance in 4 years as a starter. The prolific Bengals have 2nd year QB Joe Burrow, off reconstructive leg surgery, under center. He's led the red-hot Bengals to their first AFC Championship since 1989, along with his partner in crime and Rookie of The Year Candidate Ja’Marr Chase. The game will be held at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, where the Chiefs are 9-2 this season.
The two teams faced off in Week 17 with the game coming down to the final play. It was one of the best games of the year with Cinci shocking KC 34-31. Joe Burrow had one of his best games as a pro (30/39, 446 yds, 4 TDs, 0 INT) and Ja’Marr Chase happened to have the greatest rookie WR performance of all time. He caught 11 balls for 266 yards and 3 TD’s, averaging 24.2 yards a catch. This game is a rematch of one of the best games of the year and the Bengals were able to get the best of the Chiefs due to career days from both Burrow and Chase.
The Bengals got the best of the Chiefs in their Week 17 matchup, but here’s why I think Kansas City tops Cincinnati on Sunday. First and foremost, Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce. The Kansas City offense ranks 1st overall (tied with Tampa Bay), is 4th in total passing yards, 2nd in total pass completions, and 4th in total touchdowns. The Bengals lack of talent in the secondary means they cannot contain both Kelce and Hill. Add under-rated receivers Mecole Hardman and the slippery Byron Pringle, and KC will obviously be tough to stop. Secondly, the Bengals are 17th overall in defensive ranking and came in 26th in allowance of pass yards per game. Whereas on the offensive side, the Chiefs rank 4th. The Bengals are also the second-to-last team in sacks allowed. Joe Burrow was sacked 9 times in his playoff game against the Tennessee Titans! The Bengals offensive line will now go against Chris Jones and a defensive line who in the last 9 weeks have only allowed 11.2 PPG and a QBR of 31%. Joe Burrow has had a story book 2nd season, but I see this Sunday being that moment where his weak offensive line and lack of experience catches up with him. If that winds up being the case, the Bengals take a flight back to Cincinnati and the Chiefs head off to LA to avenge last year's Super Bowl blowout.
I think KC comes out on top with a score of 31-24.