The Cincinnati Bengals are AFC North champions after shocking the NFL world with a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, who were riding an eight-game win streak heading into this game.
It was one hell of a win for the Bengals, who are now 10-6 on the year and guaranteed to host a playoff game. No one expected this team to be here but they got the job done and now they can breathe easy in the final week of the season.
Here are three quick takeaways from the 34-31 victory over KC.
Chase with a performance for the record books
Ja’Marr Chase “faded” into the background a bit after going for over 200 yards in Week 7 against the Ravens but he came back with a vengeance in a division-clinching game.
The No. 5 overall pick finished the game with 11 catches for 266 yards and three touchdowns, proving once and for all that he deserves to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year. If he’s not crowned OROTY at the end of the regular season, the NFL should be ashamed of themselves.
Chase made a very good Chiefs defense look downright terrible and was responsible for 18 of the team’s 34 points. How can he not win the award after that performance and after the season he’s had?
Defense settled in and was dominant
After the Chiefs took a 28-17 lead into the locker room at the half, Cincinnati’s defense looked gassed. They’d have to get a few stops if they wanted to win this game and boy did they turn things around in the second half or what?
After scoring 28 points in the first two quarters, Kansas City’s offense added just a field goal in the second half and that’s a huge credit to the Bengals’ defense. Stopping Patrick Mahomes and company isn’t an easy feat but Cincy did it and proved they’re a legitimate defense.
Burrow makes history
Joe Burrow had yet another electric game and made history with his division-clinching performance against the Chiefs. Burrow now holds the record for most passing yards in a single season with 4,611 in just his second year as the Bengals’ signal-caller.
The former No. 1 overall pick finished the game with just nine incompletions while completing 30 passes for 446 yards and four touchdowns while not turning the ball over at all. Burrow was sacked four times and was pressured throughout but he made plays when needed to and it got his team a division title.
Unfortunately, Burrow was dinged up at the end of the game, forcing Brandon Allen to come into the game for the final few snaps. He said during his press conference that he’s feeling “good enough”, which is a good sign.
No one predicted the Cincinnati Bengals would be AFC North champs when the 2021 season began but here we are. This team proved on Sunday that they can beat anyone in the league and that should terrify the rest of the league.
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Next up is a date with a very sad Browns team in Cleveland.