Cincinnati Bengals aren’t getting enough credit for AFC Championship win

Joe Burrow, Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Cincinnati Bengals fans are still overcome with emotions after the team defied the odds and punched their ticket to Super Bowl LVI. It’ll be the stripes’ first trip to the big game since the 1988 season when Boomer Esiason was their quarterback.

In the days following the Bengals’ win, however, all people can focus on is that the Kansas City Chiefs choked the game away. No one is giving Cincinnati any credit for going into Arrowhead Stadium — a place that is always said to be an incredibly tough place to play — and knocking off the two-time defending conference champions.

People seem to believe that the Chiefs lost the game, more than the Bengals won it. Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports backed up this narrative with his latest article.

Dodd writes:

"But the Lamar Hunt Trophy signifying the AFC champions on Sunday might as well have been spit-shined for them by the Chiefs.In other words, a lot of this result was handed to the Bengals. Or something close to it. In these parts — heck, across the country — Cincinnati’s 27-24 overtime win will be remembered for what the Chiefs didn’t do as much as what the Bengals did."

Cincinnati Bengals not getting enough credit for win vs. Chiefs

After trailing 21-3 at one point, the Bengals scored a touchdown and started to put the pressure on Kansas City. The Chiefs were incredibly close to burying the underdogs at the end of the first half but decided to get cute and came away with no points as the clock hit triple zeros. That right there was the turning point of the game.

While the Chiefs most definitely botched an opportunity to go up 28-10 at the half, people should be crediting the Bengals’ defense for forcing that situation. The Chiefs went with a silly trick play and Cincy sniffed it out and prevented it from going anywhere.

In the second half, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense scored just three points, which came in the final seconds to send the game to overtime.

Mahomes couldn’t get anything going and while some can point to the Chiefs coaching staff, once again, the Bengals defense deserves major props here! They made Mahomes uncomfortable in that second half and it showed on both of those picks he threw and the sacks he took late in the game.

Even in the days following the game, Chiefs fans still don’t believe they were beaten by a better team (just check Chiefs Reddit). The Bengals have been better than the Chiefs on two separate occasions now and they’ve proven it in both matchups.

At this point, however, why should Bengals fans care what Chiefs fans are saying? They’re in the Super Bowl while the fan base who has gotten to watch their team in the big game the past two years is now forced to watch another team represent the AFC.

The narrative is annoying, sure, but the Cincinnati Bengals got to the Super Bowl fair and square and I hope they continue to prove people wrong against the Rams.

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