AFC Championship Goes Down to The Wire


Justin Landgrebe, Staff Writer

In the NFL, championship Sunday was capped off with the AFC title game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs. The two teams squared off in last season’s title game, resulting in a Bengals overtime victory and a trip to the Super Bowl, which they looked to repeat this year. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, on the other hand, were looking to flip the script and change the narrative.

On a cold winter’s night under the lights at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, the game got off to a slow start with only a Chiefs field goal in the opening quarter. With less than four minutes left in the first half, we saw the first touchdown of the game, coming from a fourteen-yard pass to tight end Travis Kelce. Kelce was listed as a game-time decision that afternoon but ended up catching seven passes for seventy-eight yards and the score. The Bengals were able to finish off the half by kicking a field goal, making the score 13-6.

Just over five minutes into the second half, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow found receiver Tee Higgins on a twenty-seven-yard touchdown pass to even up the score and make it a brand-new ball game. Higgins led the Bengals with six receptions for eighty-three yards and the score. The Chiefs came back with a touchdown drive of their own, resulting in a nineteen-yard score from wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Scantling finished as the Chief’s top receiver with six catches for 116 yards along with the score.

The fourth and final quarter began with a two-yard rushing touchdown from Bengals second-string running back Samaje Perine to even up the score once again. The game remained tied until the final seconds when an unnecessary roughness penalty by Bengals linebacker Joseph Ossai put the Chiefs in field goal range. Kicker Harrison Butker drilled a forty-five-yard field goal to win the game 23-20 and send the Chiefs back to the super bowl and the Bengals back home. This will be the Chief’s third appearance in the big game over the last five seasons and will feature a brother-on-brother matchup between Travis and Jason Kelce.

Kansas City will take on the Philadelphia Eagles, who cruised to a 31-7 victory in the NFC title game against the San Francisco 49ers, in Super Bowl fifty-seven on Sunday, February 12th in Arizona. Kick-off is set for 6:30 p.m.