When the schedule was announced for the 2023 NFL regular season, there was one game that all NFL fans had marked on their calendar. That game was the Week 17 showdown between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs.
Since late in the 2021 season when these two met up for the first time during the Joe Burrow era, this has become the rivalry in the NFL. The Bengals won the 2021 regular season match-up in Cincinnati, and then shocked the world by taking down the Chiefs in their home to advance to the Super Bowl just a few weeks later.
In 2022, the two teams met again late in the year and the Bengals won that game too. Unfortunately, their streak ended when the two sides met up in Arrowhead for the 2023 AFC Championship Game and the Chiefs won on a walk-off field goal.
The pettiness between these two ranges from Ja'Marr Chase asking "Pat who?" to Patrick Mahomes showing exactly who he is to the Bengals announcing the Joe Burrow deal seconds into the Chiefs' first game of the season. It's been back-and-forth shots between these sides in what we all hoped would lead up to an epic Week 17 match-up and eventual AFC Championship rematch.
Unfortunately, this game no longer has the same appeal since Joe Burrow's injury. This is why this match-up isn't exciting anymore and why it could be flexed out of its original 4:25 EST time slot.
Don't be shocked if Bengals/Chiefs gets flexed out of its time slot
With no Burrow quarterbacking the Bengals, this game does not have nearly the same interest level anymore. We all want to see Burrow and Mahomes duke it out against each other. Mahomes vs. Jake Browning doesn't have anywhere near the same level of intrigue surrounding it.
If the Bengals continue to lose and find themselves further out of playoff contention, this game will become rather meaningless for the casual NFL fan. Also, Jay Morrison makes a good point in the tweet above, stating that the Dolphins and Ravens play earlier that day. Why not swap those two games since both the Ravens and 'Fins are playoff teams and that match-up is more appealing?
We were all looking forward to this game the entire season but when Joe Burrow went down, so did the Bengals' Super Bowl hopes. Their previous key games remaining on the schedule are no longer must-see TV and this game against Kansas City falls into that category.