By Stephen Ur III –
The Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2022 AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO on Sunday evening. This was the second time the two teams would meet for a chance to advance to the Super Bowl.
This year’s winner was to face the Philadelphia Eagles, who defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game earlier in the day.
The Chiefs got on the board first when kicker Harrison Butker kicked a field goal from 43 yards out to give them a 3-0 lead with 8:46 left in the quarter. They would have a chance to score a touchdown at the end of the quarter, but a holding penalty on second goal led to a fourth and goal as time expired in the quarter, keeping it 3-0.
Butker would add a second field goal, this one from 24 yards out, to make the score 6-0. With 3:53 left in the half, with the score now at 6-3, Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce for a touchdown on 4th and 1, and the Butker extra point made the score 13-3. Bengals kicker Evan McPherson would add a 23-yard field goal at the end of the half, and the Chiefs led 13-6 at halftime.
Cincinnati tied the game five minutes into the third quarter as Joe Burrow found Tee Higgins for a 27 yard touchdown down the right sideline. Higgins lept over two defenders in the end zone for the score. Kansas City would re-take lead after Mahomes found JuJu Smith-Schuester for a 19-yard touchdown with 4:15 remaining in the quarter.
The Bengals would tie it up again a minute and a half into the fourth as ran in for a touchdown following a Patrick Mahomes fumble in the final minute of the third quarter.
Joe Burrow threw a crucial interception with 7:02 left in the fourth, but the Chiefs couldn’t get anything and punted it down the Cincinnati six yard line with 2:36 left. Burrow was sacked by Chris Jones with 39 seconds left, forcing the Bengals to punt.
The ensuing punt was returned 29 yards to the Chiefs 47, and on a 3rd and 4, Mahomes scrambled for five yards and a first down. A 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on the Bengals put the ball at the 27 yard line. Butker would kick a 45-yard field goal with three seconds left, sending the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl with a 23-20 victory.
The Super Bowl is the third appearance for Kansas City in five years. They will face the Philadelphia Eagles in Glendale, AZ on Feb. 12.