5 keys to victory for Bengals in AFC Championship game vs. Chiefs

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Let Joe Burrow cook

The Bengals’ first win over the Chiefs featured many things that cannot be replicated, such as winning without recording a single sack or turnover. However, one thing that must stay consistent in this rematch is that Joe Burrow and his weapons need to cook.

In their Week 17 win over the Chiefs, Burrow completed 30 of his 39 attempts for 446 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. The second-year quarterback played one of the best games of his career against the Chiefs and he will have to play just as well, if not even better, to keep up with Mahomes in his home stadium.

Not only did Burrow show out in their first meeting, but so did his weapons.

Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase put up an all-time great performance with 11 catches, 266 yards, and three touchdowns. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd contributed as well, combining for seven receptions, 98 yards and a touchdown.

While Chase did the majority of the work last time, it will likely need to be a more balanced effort this time around as the Chiefs will put more defensive focus on the rookie in their second meeting.

If the Bengals know what they’re doing, they won’t go into the AFC Championship expecting a repeat of their game against the Tennessee Titans. If the Bengals only score 19 points this week, they will not beat the Chiefs, and it probably won’t be close.

Other than a couple of chances at turnovers, this defense will not be able to stop Mahomes, which means Joey Franchise will have to go blow-for-blow with him. If Burrow can get back to the form he was in during the last couple of weeks of the regular season, the Bengals can absolutely hang with the Chiefs.