The AFC Championship is underway from Arrowhead Stadium. This is the second time in as many seasons that the Chiefs and Bengals have gone toe-to-toe for the right to advance to the Super Bowl, and Cincinnati is looking to continue its dominance over Kansas City. So far, this rivalry between Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes has been one-sided with the Bengals QB owning a 3-0 mark, which includes a victory in last year’s conference title game. Cincinnati has been particularly resilient against K.C. in these head-to-heads as they’ve either tied or been trailing heading into the fourth quarter, but have outscored them 26-6 in that final quarter of play (including OT). So, the Chiefs will need to correct that as this game continues to unfold.
Who will be the club representing the AFC during Super Bowl LVII in Arizona? We’re about to find out. As this epic matchup continues, be sure to check out our live blog for Sunday’s conference title game. Below, you’ll find expert analysis and real-time highlights of all the best plays.
Live updates (58)
Mahomes just straight-up missed that throw. Skyy Moore was open. MVS was open on the deep over, too.And Burrow gets picked by Jaylen Watson. Looked like he was shaken up by the pressure bearing down on him in the pocket and just forced a throw that wasn’t there. Bad, bad play.
Bengals tried to use some misdirection with Chase in the backfield to create some space for that Mixon run, but Nick Bolton read in the whole way.
Of note: The Chiefs did not “take the points” on fourth-and-1. They aggressively went after MORE points, and it paid off.
Travis Kelce was questionable coming into today due to a back injury, and he scores the game’s first touchdown. And it’s on a Mahomes improvisation, which was also under question throughout this week. Great play by two great players.
Second jet sweep carry of the game for Hardman. With Kadarius Toney in the locker room, Hardman will be the gadget guy the rest of the way.
Mahomes hit a very similar pass to MVS in the first game these two teams played this year. It was just to the right side of the field instead of the left.
Mahomes was looking for a quick-hitter underneath but Sam Hubbard dropped off his pass rush to take the lane away. So he scrambled to the outside and found MVS for a first down.
Burrow was looking for Hayden Hurst on a wheel route working against Justin Reid. Basically a perfect ball but Reid had good coverage so it fell incomplete. McPherson comes on for the field goal to make it 6-3 Chiefs.
Boyd beats McDuffie again, this time just running right up the seam. McDuffie fell down on the route.
Tyler Boyd working against rookie CB McDuffie in the slot and wins on the out-breaker. Juan Thornhill wasn’t able to break on the ball in time force an incompletion. Bengals on the move in KC territory.
Burrow had a second to scan the field at the top of his drop, but nobody was open. Once he felt pressure and stepped up in the pocket, Karlaftis was right there to take him down.
That is Cincinnati’s first first down since the second play of the game. Now let’s see if the Bengals can keep moving the ball.
Bengals started the game with a quick screen to Chase. Went back to it on their first play of the second quarter.
KC averaged 6.4 yards per play in the first quarter and CIN averaged 0 per play, but the Chiefs are only up 6-0 a few seconds into the second quarter. If the Bengals can feel good about anything, it’s that.
Kelce looked like he was getting ready to throw another pitch, this time to backup TE Noah Gray. Instead he just gets as many yards as he can and the Chiefs will trot out Butker for another field goal try on the first play of the second quarter. 3-0 with a short kick to make it 6-0 after the break.
ALMOST an incredible play by slot CB Mike Hilton, who makes a ton of plays around the line of scrimmage. If he wasn’t blocked by a teammate, that might have been an interception. And then Kansas City finds the end zone on the next play, but it gets called back due to a holding penalty on Andrew Wylie.
Wow, that would have been a HUGE play if Kelce had gotten a better pitch to McKinnon. Chiefs come back on the next play and find McKinnon for a nice gain to pick up a first-and-goal opportunity anyway.
Chiefs already have four different plays with a rush and five with a catch. Spreading the ball around as the Bengals try to make them inch their way down the field.
Pacheco’s career-high is 3 catches. He has 2 in the first 10 minutes tonight.
And now another sack. First career playoff sack for Chris Jones, who is a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year along with Nick Bosa and Micah Parsons.
Another early sack for the Chiefs defense. Burrow was only sacked once last week.
Harrison Butker uncharacteristically struggled this year (career-low 75% on field goals), but he knocks the first kick of the game through the uprights to give KC an early 3-0 lead.
I do not think the Chiefs will win this challenge.
Wow. I thought Kadarius Toney came down with that ball upon first viewing but it appears the ball was moving around underneath his stomach as he hit the ground? Andy Reid is going to challenge it.
Typically Isaiah Pacheco is not a big receiving threat; that’s usually Jerick McKinnon’s role. Nice work in the passing game from the rookie right there.
All last week there was a lot of talk about how the Bengals’ backup offensive linemen would hold up against the Bills. Then Cincinnati’s OL dominated the game. Early this week, the Chiefs pick up a sack on the opening drive after one of the two remaining starters (Cordell Volson) gets driven back into Burrow’s lap.
For as long as Sneed is out, the Chiefs will be playing three rookie corners: Jaylen Watson, Trent McDuffie, and Joshua Williams. Less than ideal against these Bengals receivers.
Oh, no. Now Sneed is down after what looked like a blow to the head while trying to tackle Samaje Perine. That would be a huge loss for the Chiefs, who have already struggled to deal with Chase and Tee Higgins in recent meetings.