An unbelievable ride has reached its final stop for the season.
The Cincinnati Bengals marched into Arrowhead Stadium, and upset Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime, 27-24.
The first half was nearly perfect for Mahomes and the Chiefs, who took a 21-10 lead to the final seconds of the half. Mahomes went 18-21 for 220 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. A bad play call to Tyreek Hill led to the Bengals stopping Kansas City at the two-yard line as time expired, preventing them from even trying for a field goal. Other than that, it was all Kansas City in the first two quarters.
Bengals running back Joe Mixon was the only Bengal to truly go off in the first half, accounting for over half of the total yards by Cincinnati.
But in the second half, it was completely reversed.
Joe Burrow led the Bengals on a massive comeback, the defense kicked it into high gear, and by the end of the third quarter, it went from 21-10, to 21-21. Mahomes was getting bombarded with pressure, threw an interception for just the second time this postseason, and the Chiefs’ defense played sluggish. Corner Rashad Fenton showcased cockiness on the field mere seconds before Bengals’ receiver Ja’Maar Chase scored a touchdown to put the Bengals within two.
A two-point conversion tied it.
Despite getting chance after chance, the Chiefs’ offense couldn’t capitalize.
As for Cincinnati, rookie kicker Evan McPherson kicked a 52-yarder to give the Bengals a 24-21 lead with less than eight minutes left to play.
And then… an old saying from the week before popped into everyone’s heads:
“When it’s grim, be the Grim Reaper and go get it.”
And that’s exactly what Mahomes and the Chiefs’ did.
He drove the team down the field, Harrison Butker tied the game, and once again, overtime loomed. But this time, it had a much different ending. Mahomes threw his second interception of the game, and McPherson eventually kicked the game-winning field goal.
Cincinnati will face off against either the 49ers or Rams in Super LVI. It will be the Bengals’ first Super Bowl appearance since 1988.