Cincinnati Bengals

Bengals playing Chiefs in AFC Championship game at Kansas City for 2nd straight year

KANSAS CITY, MO — The Cincinnati Bengals will play the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night in the AFC Championship game for the second straight season at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

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The Bengals have announced the inactives for Sunday’s game.

Offensive linemen Alex Cappa and Jonah Williams are out. These will also not play: quarterback Jake Browning, running Chris Evans, cornerback Jalen Davis, defensive end Jeff Gunter and defensive tackle Jay Tufele.

The Chiefs announced the inactives and tight end Travis Kelce is not the list. He will play for the Chiefs.

Those on the inactive list include quarterback Shane Buechele, defensive end Joshua Kaindoh, tackle Darian Kinnard, tight end Blake Bell, wide receivers Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Justin Watson. Defensive end Malik Herring will also not play.

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How did the teams get here?

The Bengals clinched the AFC North for the second straight year for the first time in franchise in history. They defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 24-17, on January 15 in the AFC Wildcard round at Paycor Stadium.

Cincinnati defeated the Buffalo Bills, 27-10, in Orchard Park, New York in the AFC Divisional round.

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The Chiefs clinched the AFC West for the seventh straight season.

They had a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Kansas City beat Jacksonville, 27-20, on January 21 at Arrowhead Stadium.

This marks the fifth straight season the Chiefs have hosted the AFC Championship game. They lost in 2018 to New England, beat Tennessee in 2019, Buffalo in 2020 and lost to Cincinnati in 2021.

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The Bengals have won the last three meetings against the Chiefs, including the postseason, by a combined total of nine points.

Cincinnati beat Kansas City, 34-31, on January 2, 2022 in Cincinnati. The Bengals came back after trailing, 28-17, at halftime. Quarterback Joe Burrow threw a pair of second half of touchdowns, one to Ja’Marr Chase and another Tyler Boyd. Evan McPherson’s 20-yard field goal as time expired won the game for the Stripes.

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The two teams met four weeks later on January 30 in the AFC Championship game in Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs led, 21-10, at halftime. But the Bengals got a McPherson field and a touchdown catch by Chase to tie the game at 21-21 after three quarters.

McPherson’s 52-yard field goal gave Cincinnati a 24-21 lead with 6:04 left but Harrison Butker’s field goal as time expired tied the game at 24-24. Vonn Bell intercepted Patrick Mahomes in overtime and the Bengals drove to the Chiefs’ 13-yard line. McPherson’s 31-yard field goal won the game for Cincinnati, 27-24. It sent them to the NFL’s big game for the first time in 33 years.

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The Bengals and Chiefs met for the third time in less than a year on December 4 at Paycor Stadium with the Stripes winning, 27-24. Burrow threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns, including one to Chris Evans to give Cincinnati the lead with 8:54 remaining. Butker’s 55-yard field goal attempt to tie the game went wide right and the Bengals ran out the clock for the win.

Cincinnati leads the overall series, 18-14.

The Chiefs last won, 45-10, on October 21, 2018. Patrick Mahomes passed for 358 yards and four touchdowns in the game. The Bengals started Andy Dalton at quarterback as well as A.J. Green as wide receiver. 2018 was Marvin Lewis’ last year as head coach for the team as he was fired after 16 seasons with a 6-10 record.

Current Browns running back Kareem Hunt scored three touchdowns for the Chiefs while former Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill caught seven passes for 68 yards.

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News Center 7 will have coverage of the Bengals and Chiefs leading up to kickoff.

This includes the Orange Zone on Sunday morning, Jan. 29, at 11:30 a.m. with John Bedell and Larry Hansgen.

News Center 7′s Brandon Lewis will also provide live coverage from Kansas City.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

The winner advances to Super Bowl XLVII to play either San Francisco or Philadelphia on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona.

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