3 reasons why the Bengals lost the AFC Championship Game (officiating not included)

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs
AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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1. Offensive Line

Well, the easiest unit to point to for the Bengals' loss was the offensive line. A week before, we were all praising the Bengals' patchwork offensive line, who was down three starters and somehow dominated against the Bills in snowy Buffalo.

This week, however, the level of competition on the other side of the trenches was a lot tougher and it showed. No one could stop Chris Jones, who recorded the first and second playoff sack of his career. The guy was unstoppable, tallying five QB hits and two sacks while also notching three tackles for loss. Again, he could not be stopped.

The offensive line as a whole allowed five sacks on Burrow and it's hard to make plays when pressure is on you every single snap. There were several instances when someone went unblocked and Burrow had to just dirt the ball because he knew he had no shot at getting the pass off.

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We expected more from this o-line after what they did in Buffalo and they not only didn't deliver but they were incredibly disappointing. It's only fair that they shoulder a lot of the blame (but not all of it).