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Last week, the Cincinnati Bengals won a road playoff game for the first time in franchise history. Can they pull off the surprise at Arrowhead Stadium?
The Cincinnati Bengals have already knocked off the Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans this postseason. The latter came in Nashville courtesy of a 19-16 victory over the top seed in the AFC. All told, it was the first road playoff win for the franchise after seven losses.
Now the stakes are even higher as the Bengals have reached the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1988. All Zac Taylor’s team has to do is defeat the conference’s Super Bowl representative the past two years. And keep in mind that the Kansas City Chiefs have scored exactly 42 points in each of their first two playoff games in 2021.
3 reasons the Bengals upset the Chiefs
3. RB Joe Mixon has 25-plus rushing attempts: There’s one way to keep that Chiefs’ attack at bay and that is to keep quarterback Patrick Mahomes on the sidelines as long as possible. Mixon has totaled at least 10 carries in each of his 18 total outings and ran over 25 times in three contests this season. And that Kansas City defense is ranked 21st in the NFL in rushing defense.
2. WR Ja’Marr Chase runs wild through the Kansas City secondary again: Back in Week 17 at Cincinnati, there were 11 receptions for a mind-numbing 266 yards and three touchdowns. Chase was the only player in the league this season to total at least 200 yards receiving in two games. And despite beating the Bills last week, the Chiefs gave up 201 yards and four TDs to Buffalo wideout Gabriel Davis.
1. Bengals’ pass rush forces Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes into 3 turnovers: He’s been incredible in the postseason. In 10 playoff outings, including a pair of Super Bowls, Mahomes has thrown 25 touchdown passes and just five interceptions. But this was a Chiefs’ team that has been sloppy at times this year. Can Bengals’ defensive end Trey Hendrickson force the Chiefs’ signal-caller into multiple mistakes?