The Kansas City Chiefs advance to Super Bowl LVII after a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
After suffering a sprained ankle last week in the Division Chief’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Patrick Mahomes led the team to a home-and-away victory.
Kansas City took a 6-0 lead after two field goals and before halftime Mahomes found his favorite target – tight end Travis Kelsey to take a 13-3 lead. Kelsey was listed as a doubt to play coming from the match due to a back injury.
Just before halftime, the Bengals drove down the field and kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 13-6.
On the Bengals’ first offensive possession of the second half, quarterback Joe Burrow found wide receiver Ty Higgins for 27 yards to tie the game at 13. Marquis Valdes-Scantling took the lead at right wingback.
The Chiefs defensive unit shut down the Bengals’ high-powered offense until the first play of the fourth quarter.
On fourth down, Burrow punted the ball downfield and found Ja’Marr Chase for a 35-yard strike to move Cincinnati deeper into Kansas City territory. Two plays later, the Bengals scored on a 2-yard run by running back Samaji Perrin to tie the game again.
The Chiefs sacked Burrow on third down to give them the ball again with less than a minute left and tie the score at 20. Chiefs returner Skyy Moore returned a Bengals punt 29 yards to set the offense up with good field position. On third down, Mahomes hurried out and out of bounds, was pushed by Bengals defensive end Joseph Usai and called for an unnecessary 15-yard roughness kick that put the Chiefs within goal range.
Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker kicked the 45-yard field goal to put the Chiefs back in the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons.
earlier in the day, The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the San Francisco 49ers31-7, at Lincoln Financial Stadium in Philadelphia, to advance to the Championship Game for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
The Eagles scored on their first possession and never looked back in defeating the 49ers.
The 49ers were momentarily left without a starter starting quarterback Brock Purdy after suffering a right elbow injury in the first quarter, after Eagles linebacker Hasson Reddick forced a fumble. Josh Johnson, San Francisco’s fourth quarterback, filled in for Purdy until the third quarter before being ruled out of the game with a concussion.
Playing on the injured elbow, Purdy returned to the game but the 49ers offense struggled to pick up any points.
Meanwhile, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and Philadelphia running back ran on all 49ers, racking up 148 rushing yards and scoring all four touchdowns on the ground. With his rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter, Hurts (15) passed Cameron Newton (14) for most rushing touchdowns in a single season by a QB in NFL history, including playoffs, According to NFL Research.