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On three fourth-down plays, quarterbacks aired it out

Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss how the Bengals were in it and almost won it against the Chiefs, and why Joe Burrow’s connection with Ja’Marr Chase isn’t tainted by this AFC Championship loss.

Two weeks ago, the football-following world was trying to understand why/how Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw the ball five yards short of the sticks on fourth and eight, with the season on the line in the wild-card round. On Sunday, three quarterbacks showed a willingness and ability to throw past the sticks on a high-stakes fourth-down play.

In the NFC Championship, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts threw 29 yards downfield on fourth and three from the San Francisco 45.

In the AFC Championship, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw a touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce on fourth and one from the 14. More significantly, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow casually fired a 35-yard pass to a double-covered Ja’Marr Chase on fourth and six on the first play of the fourth quarter, while his team was trailing by seven.

Some would say that it helps to have Chase. Well, Cousins has Justin Jefferson. And Cousins didn’t throw the ball to Jefferson with the season on the line.

This is a prime example of the difference between those who get it done in the postseason, and those who don’t. On Sunday, Hurts, Mahomes, and Burrow weren’t simply trying to extend the drive by getting to the line to gain. They were using it as an opportunity to make something happen -- and they have not only the will but the ability to get it done.