Bengals Stun Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

Nothing lasts long in the NFL. Rarely does a team stay on a winning streak for a lengthy period. The NFL season is 17 games of a grueling grind. Injuries occur. Parity is everywhere. Matchups are unfavorable. Mother nature often has a say. Sometimes it’s just a bad day at the office. The Chiefs had all their key personnel, though they did lose an offensive lineman in the first half of the game. Sunday’s result was born out of the simple fact that the Bengals were a bad match up for them this week. When Joe Burrow is on, he and Ja’Marr Chase are a bad match up for anyone and everyone.

Sunday’s game was a tale of two halves. The Chiefs first half appeared to be the culmination of everything that Patrick Mahomes has learned this season, whereas in the second half the Bengals figured out how to stunt the Chief’s explosive offense while continuing to show off their own dynamite offense. The scary part is that the Bengals have not even scratched the surface of their true potential yet. The Chiefs defense allowed 17 points in each half to the young tigers. They didn’t really have any excuses for such a performance. They had all of their starters. They have a great defensive coordinator. Simply put, the Chiefs defense was out played, and the Chiefs offense didn’t score enough points to secure the win.

After punting in the first possession, the Chiefs scored four possessions in a row, driving the length of the field every single time. They operated like a well-oiled and carefully maintained machine. They appeared unstoppable. They ran the ball effectively and Mahomes distributed the ball well. By the end of the game, he connected with 10 different receivers and the rushing attack ground out 155 yards. These are the hallmarks of a very balanced offensive attack. Yet, the Bengals offense was nipping at their heels by the end of the first half, a mere eleven points behind. The half time score was 28-17 at half in favor of the Chiefs.

The second half revealed that the Bengals figured out the formula to stop Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs only possessed the ball three times in the second half netting a mere field goal after an 11 play 52-yard drive. However, the Bengals made no adjustments to their offense. Their key to victory was throw the ball to Ja’Marr Chase. He collected eleven passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns, breaking numerous records in route to a career day! Joe Mixon caught seven passes for 40 yards and the four remaining receivers caught 12 passes for 160 yards collectively. Burrow launched the ball down the field multiple times. When he wasn’t connecting with a receiver, he was collecting defensive pass interference (DPI) calls against Rashad Fenton who was flagged three times for DPIs. Despite 446 yards thru the air, Joe Burrow paid a heavy price. He was sacked four times and hit another ten times. He was on the ground so much his name tape on the back of his uniform was ripped off. He left the game in the waning seconds, limping.

The other Bengal key to victory was to play keep the ball away from Mahomes. During their last possession of the game, the Bengals masterfully drove the ball 74 yards on 15 plays using up the last 6 minutes on the clock to kick the go-ahead field goal. With roughly 90 seconds to go, on a 3rd and 27, Burrow connected with Chase for a 30-yard play creating a first and goal. The Chiefs could not cover the kid even in an obvious passing situation where the Bengals needed 27 yards to convert from a third down to a first down. The Bengals subsequently drained the clock before kicking the winning field goal.

The Chiefs are in the playoffs but no longer have the #1 seed. It appears the Bengals showed the rest of the league a great blueprint on how to beat them. The trouble is the rest of the NFL does not have a Ja’Marr Chase to run up and down the field caching passes for them. The Chiefs were stunned on Sunday, but they are by no means out of the Championship conversation. They will lick their wounds and get ready for the Broncos.

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