Kansas City, Missouri — On the surface, this looks like a dangerous game for the Chiefs.
Sure, they’re the No. 1 seed in the AFC, have home field advantage at Arrowhead Stadium (one of the hardest places for opponents to play), and have the best quarterback in the game in Patrick Mahomes. increase.
Here comes the “but”.
But…the Bengals, the Chiefs’ opponents in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, have won 21-3 in their last three games, including last year’s conference title game, where Kansas City was leading.
But… Mahomes, who had 45 touchdowns in the regular season, 41 in the air and 4 in rushing, was physically compromised after spraining the top of his right ankle in last week’s divisional playoff win over the Jaguars. may have become Mahomes has been practicing all week, and head coach Andy Reed said Friday his quarterback will play Sunday. However, it’s also possible that Mahomes isn’t his usual nimble self.
But… oh yeah, the Bengals come into the game with their last 10 wins.
The Chiefs have held the AFC Championship for five consecutive seasons and currently have one Super Bowl title. Sunday’s loss is devastating.
And while the defending Super Bowl runners-up Bengals have perked up over what they believe has been neglected this postseason, they believe they’re a team only to deliver yet another debilitating blow to the Chiefs. .
The Bengals’ leader and root of their bragging rights is quarterback Joe Burrow, who has warned that each of the last three meetings between the teams has been decided by three points.
“We know who we’re playing against. They’ve been in this game the last five seasons, and they’re all in that stadium,” Burrow said. “So for me they are still a team to beat and we are here for them, but I know it will be difficult. I know you’re playing against players like that.”
In last year’s conference title game, Mahomes threw three TD passes in the first half before Burrow led a dramatic comeback for the Bengals.
“Preparation breeds confidence,” Bengals head coach Zach Taylor said this week. “That’s what Joe and all the players see. So they’re relaxed when they walk the field on Sunday.”
For all these reasons, the pressure in this game is on the Chiefs.
Chiefs receiver Juju Smith-Schuster said of Cincinnati, “I’m sure a lot of people are noticing their comments. The Bengals have always been Lara’s team and back it up. And they’re doing it again in the postseason.”
The Bengals outright bullied the Bills last Sunday to advance to this game despite an offensive line missing three of their five starters.
“Listen, they should probably be confident,” Reed said. [in a row against Kansas City]. that’s ok. we’re still going to play games. they know us we know them And we’re all looking for that little extra that you can throw at them. . “