Why reaching Super Bowl is realistic possibility for Cincinnati Bengals

Evan McPherson, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Evan McPherson, Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the hottest team in football on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs 34-31, after driving down the field and ending it with a 20-yard field goal. The Bengals executed a 14 point comeback and went on to hold the Chiefs to only three second-half points and held Patrick Mahomes to only 50 passing yards through the air in the second half as well.

Bengals are a darkhorse Super Bowl contender

This team in the Queen City is exceptionally young with little to no playoff experience, but that shouldn’t set the standard any lower than the Super Bowl trophy. Cincinnati has proven multiple times this year that they can compete and beat the best.

They beat the Chiefs and swept the Baltimore Ravens, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. They also got gritty road wins against the Denver Broncos and the Las Vegas Raiders and forced the Green Bay Packers into overtime with multiple chances to win the game.

With a potential home-field advantage through the first two weeks in the postseason, the Bengals have a legit shot at making a run against the other AFC opponents.

The Bengals’ defense has been pretty consistent for the most part, but that once staggering offense is now firing on all cylinders.

Tee Higgins has had his best four-game stretch of the season, going over 100 yards every game, Tyler Boyd is becoming a critical factor in the offense, and Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have only gotten better in their duo. Chase went for 266 yards and three touchdowns vs. the Chiefs setting a team record. Burrow has thrown for 971 passing yards, 8 scores, and zero interceptions in his last two games.

Burrow has moved to 34 touchdown passes on the season and 14 interceptions. He not only has put his name into the MVP conversation, even if it’s a long shot that he wins but has also become a front runner for Comeback Player of the Year.

In just his second season, Burrow has set the franchise record in passing yards in a season and touchdown passes in a single season. His killer instinct and ability to lead an offense and lead a team show each week he plays, which is the key reason this Bengals team can be so deadly come postseason time.

Clinching the AFC North this past Sunday makes this week’s game a lot less critical against the Browns but still has some implications on seeding.

If the Chiefs lose, Titans lose, and Cincinnati wins, they would clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a first-round bye. The unfortunate thing is the Titans play the Texans, who are one of the worst teams in the league this year. As a result, resting some of the starters, including Burrow, will more than likely occur. Burrow has already been ruled out for Sunday’s season finale.

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If the Chiefs win (and we’ll know that result on Saturday evening), that rules the Bengals out of any first-round bye possibility, making it more viable that they rest a lot of their starters. It was all be dependent on how important Zac Taylor feels about the No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 seed.