AFC Championship Game 2022: Bengals Beat Chiefs in Overtime to Earn First Super Bowl Bid Since 1989

The Cincinnati Bengals are heading to the Super Bowl. In the AFC Championship Game, the Bengals took down the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime. They battled back after being down 21-3 late in the second quarter and will now play in their third Super Bowl all-time and first Super Bowl since 1989 (1988 season). 

The Chiefs hosted the AFC title game for the fourth consecutive year, which is an NFL record. They got off to a slow start to the 2021 season as they were 3-4 after seven games and in last place in the AFC West. But after the 27-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7, the Chiefs won nine of their next 10 games to close out the season 12-5, the Chiefs then scored 42 points in both playoff games to play in their conference championship. 

"They made big plays on us on both sides of the ball," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said when talking about his team facing the Bengals earlier this month, per Pro Football Talk. "They were able to slow us down and then pick it up on the offensive side," Reid said in his Monday press conference. "So, we've got to do a better job all the way around, special teams included. Every phase can be better."

The Bengals are having a 2021 season to remember. They reached the AFC Championship Game for the first time since the 1988 season when they played in the Super Bowl. The Bengals won the NFC North with a 10-7 record, and the last time the team won the division was in 2015, which was also the last time they reached the playoffs. One big key to their success is quarterback Joe Burrow who threw for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns. 

"I think anything new takes time," Bengal's coach Zac Taylor said about coming to the team in 2019, per the team's official website. "That doesn't mean what was there was broken or wrong or anything like that. It just takes time to do it the way you want it done. I'm proud of the players for buying in and the coaches for staying the course and staying connected and it has served us well three years later."