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Patrick Mahomes: The Bengals executed at a higher level in critical situations

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons both believe the Kansas City Chiefs can clinch the top seed in the AFC despite losing to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13.

The Chiefs suffered another close loss to the Bengals on Sunday, marking the third time in the calendar year 2022 that Kansas City has fallen to Cincinnati.

After the game, quarterback Patrick Mahomes said the Bengals “executed at a higher level in critical situations.”

“We started off slow,” Mahomes said, via “We got back in the game, in the flow of things. Then we had a turnover late — and then the missed kick. If you’re playing good teams and you make that turnover on downs basically in the fourth quarter, those are the things that kind of bite you in the end.”

Tight end Travis Kelce fumbled when Kansas City was up 24-20 in the fourth quarter with an opportunity to extend the lead. Then Harrison Butker sent a 55-yard field goal wide right that would have tied the game at 27 with 3:24 left in the contest.

Those are errors by players who don’t usually make them, particularly Kelce’s fumble.

“I just tell him to continue to be himself,” Mahomes said of Kelce. “We’ve seen Travis do that many times and get all those extra yards — those are hard-fought yards in this league. Obviously, they made a good play, they stripped the ball out right at the very end there.

“But I’m taking Travis fighting for extra yards every single time because that’s the type of competitor he is.”

The Chiefs are 9-3 with a fairly soft schedule the rest of the way, though they do have the Seahawks at home in Week 16. If Kansas City plays at its usual level, the conference’s No. 1 seed could still be in the cards.