The Chiefs are headed to the Super Bowl after 23-20 win over Bengals
The Chiefs are heading to the Super Bowl after a 45-yard field goal by Harrison Butker with three seconds left to play at Arrowhead Stadium.
Butker’s field goal came after a penalty that will live in infamy in Cincinnati. Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai was flagged for hitting Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes out of bounds at the end of a scramble. The 15-yard penalty came with eight seconds left on the clock and Butker’s kick made the Chiefs 23-20 winners
It’s the third Super Bowl trip in the last four seasons for the Chiefs and they’ll be facing head coach Andy Reid’s former team after the Eagles beat the 49ers earlier on Sunday. The game also sets up a matchup of brothers between Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Eagles center Jason Kelce.
The Chiefs’ game-winning drive was set up by an excellent punt return by Skyy Moore. Chris Jones’ second sack of the game forced a Bengals punt and Moore returned the ball 29 yards to give the Chiefs the ball near midfield. A short pass to Isiah Pacheco got them into Bengals territory and Mahomes’ scramble would have bought them at least one more play even without Ossai’s penalty.
Mahomes’ run came after a week spent wondering how he’d fare after suffering a high ankle sprain in the Chiefs’ win over the Jaguars. He finished 29-of-43 for 326 yards and two touchdowns, so it is safe to say that there wasn’t much of a negative impact even before his crucial run.
The Chiefs were also down a number of receivers. Justin Watson was inactive and Kadarius Toney, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Mecole Hardman all left the game with injuries. Kansas City persevered without them and the Jones-led defense made plays when they had to in order to get their team back into the Super Bowl.
Joe Burrow took a little time to get going, but ended the game 26-of-41 for 270 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. The Chiefs weren’t able to turn those turnovers into points, but the lack of points came back to haunt the Bengals on a night when they needed to be just a little bit cleaner across the board.
That will be something for them to work on this offseason while the Chiefs will get their chance at the third Super Bowl title in franchise history.