When looking at the Cincinnati Bengals‘ 2021 schedule, many wouldn’t assume that their Week 17 matchup against the Super Bowl LIV champion Chiefs would be a game to have circled on the calendar. The Athletic says otherwise in their list of every team’s must-watch game this season (you must be a subscriber in order to access the entire article).
Most people assume for the Bengals that their must-watch game of the 2021 season would be when they host the Jaguars in Week 4. For one, it’s their only primetime game of the year. Secondly, it’s pitting Joe Burrow against Trevor Lawrence in a quarterback rematch from the 2019 National Championship Game. Oh, they’re the last two No. 1 overall picks as well, throwing fuel to the fire.
The Athletic picked the Week 17 matchup against Kansas City as the Bengals’ must-watch game because of the quarterbacks going head-to-head. Jay Morrison, who covers the Bengals for The Athletic), noted that if Burrow can stay healthy and the Bengals can remain in the playoff hunt, this could be a pretty spicy game.
The Bengals vs Chiefs in Week 17 is a can’t-miss game in the 2021 season.
It’s no secret that the Chiefs are much further along than the Bengals are but it wasn’t long ago that these two franchises were in a similar boat. Prior to their playoff win in the 2015 season, the Chiefs hadn’t won a playoff game since the 1993 season when Joe Montana was their quarterback. As we all know, the Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since Jan. 1991.
Of course, the main storyline of this game, assuming no major injuries occur, is the quarterback matchup. Burrow vs Patrick Mahomes is a juicy matchup, as both guys were gunslingers in college and are the face of their franchises. Mahomes was the first quarterback the Chiefs had drafted in the first round since 1983 and it was well worth the wait for Chiefs fans.
Burrow, meanwhile, replaced Andy Dalton after he had been the Bengals’ starter for nine years. Cincinnati hopes to see Burrow follow a similar path to that of Mahomes, though it’s doubtful the Bengals will win a Super Bowl in Burrow’s third year in the league, as they’re a lot further behind than the Chiefs were when they got Mahomes.
The matchup might not look great on paper but if both quarterbacks spend the game slinging the ball down the field, this could shape up to be a pretty fun game.