Bengals comeback from 18-point deficit beating Chiefs in AFC Championship game


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The Cincinnati Bengals defense came up big in the second half holding the Chiefs to three points. The 18-point deficit tied the biggest comeback in AFC Championship game history. Joe Burrow is the first number one overall pick to make the Super Bowl in his second year.

Jackson Crispin, Editor in Chief

In the first half, the Chiefs scored on their first three drives, Mahomes passed right to Mecole Hardman for a 3-yard touchdown giving them a 3-21 lead, with 5:09 in the second quarter. 

With the Bengals being down 18, they were on the edge, so Burrow and his offense went to work. Burrow completed his first two passes to Tee Higgins for 26 yards. Burrow completed a screen pass to Samaje Perine, which he scored a 41-yard touchdown. The lead was cut to 10-21, with 1:15 in the second quarter.

The Chiefs got the ball back and quickly drove down the field, Bengals cornerback Eli Apple was given a pass interference call in the endzone putting the ball on the one yard line. With five second remaining, the Chiefs ran another play to Tyreek Hill on a screen pass to the left and being tackled inbounds, running out the clock. The decision to run another play instead of kicking the field goal, might have cost them the game.

Starting the first half the Bengals kicked off to the Chiefs. The chiefs were forced to punt on fourth down for the first time in the game. 

With 2:58 in the third quarter, McPherson kicked a 31-yarder cutting the lead to 13-21.

Mahomes was intercepted on his second play of the Chiefs next drive, giving the Bengals the ball at the Chiefs 27-yard line.

Burrow tossed the ball up to Ja’Marr Chase to catch the ball over Rashad Fenton for a 5-yard touchdown. Trent Taylor was found wide open in the endzone for the two-point conversion tying the game 21-21.

In the fourth quarter, Burrow drove his offense down the field, the drive ended in a McPherson 52-yard field goal taking the lead 24-21 with 6:07 on the clock.

The Chiefs received the ball with 6:04 left being down three. The Chiefs drove the ball down to the Bengals 4-yard line, the next two plays Mahomes was sacked by the Bengals defense for a total of 22 yards. On fourth and goal at the Bengals 26-yard line, Chiefs kicker Harrsion Butker hit a 44-yard field goal tying the game 24-24 sending it to overtime.

Last week in the AFC Divisional round, the Chiefs beat the Bills in overtime after winning the coin toss receiving the ball first.

The Bengals called heads for the coin toss, but as the coin hit the ground the referee announced it was tails erupting ArrowHead stadium. The Chiefs were set to receive the ball first, but the offensive struggles in the second half continued in overtime. Mahomes threw two incomplete passes both to Demarcus Robinson, on the next play Mahomes was intercepted by Vonn Bells on a throw to Tyreek Hill down the field. 

The Bengals got the ball at the Chiefs 45-yard line with 14:46 on the clock. As the Bengals drove down the field, they got to the Chiefs 10-yard line. McPherson hit a 31-yard field goal with 9:26 on the clock in overtime, winning the game 27-24, sending the Cincinnati Bengals to Super Bowl 56 for the first time since 1989.