The Kansas City Chiefs are advancing to Super Bowl LVI following a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Patrick Mahomes led the team to victory in a back-and-forth game last week after suffering a sprained ankle against the Chiefs in the divisional round of the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.
Kansas City jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two field goals and before halftime, Mahomes found his favorite target — tight end Travis Kelce — to take a 13-3 lead. Kelce is listed as questionable for the game due to a back injury.
Before halftime, the Bengals drove down the field and kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 13-6.
On the Bengals’ first offensive possession of the second half, quarterback Joe Burrow hit wide receiver Ty Higgins for a 27-yard touchdown to tie the game at 13. However, a clearly overwhelmed Mahomes and his Chiefs responded with a laser touch. Marquez Valdes-Scantling regained the lead on the right.
The Chiefs’ defense shut down the high-powered Bengals offense until the first play of the fourth quarter.
On fourth down, Burroughs ran the ball up the field and Cincinnati found Ja Marr Chase on a 35-yard strike to drive into Kansas City territory. Two plays later, the Bengals scored on a 2-yard touchdown run by running back Samaje Perry to tie the game again.
The Chiefs sacked Burrow on third down with less than a minute left to tie the game at 20. Chiefs returner Sky Moore returned the Bengals 29 yards to make up for the offense on a nice field goal. On third down, Mahomes fumbled and went out of bounds when Bengals linebacker Joseph Osai pushed him and was called for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty that put the Chiefs in field goal range.
Kansas City quarterback Harrison Butker knocked in a 45-yard field goal to send the Chiefs to their third Super Bowl in four seasons.
The Feb. 12 finals will mark the first time in Super Bowl history that both teams will start black quarterbacks.
Mahomes, the third black quarterback to win a Super Bowl in 2020, has a goal of becoming the first black quarterback in history to win multiple Super Bowls, while Eagles quarterback Jalen Harts could become the fourth black quarterback to win the Lombardi Trophy.
Earlier in the day. The Philadelphia Eagles beat the San Francisco 49ers31-7 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia to advance to the championship game for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
The Eagles scored on their first possession and never looked back for a 49th loss.
After injuring his right elbow in the first quarter, 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy was temporarily sidelined, forcing a hit by Eagles linebacker Hassan Reddick. Josh Johnson, the fourth-string quarterback for San Francisco, filled in for Purdy until the third quarter before being taken out of the game with a concussion.
Playing on an injured arm, Purdy re-entered the game but the 49ers offense struggled to muster any points.
Meanwhile, Eagles quarterback Hurts and Philadelphia’s running game, running at the 49ers defense, racked up 148 rushing yards and scored all four touchdowns on the ground. With a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown, Hurts (15) passed Cameron Newton (14) for the most rushing touchdowns in a single season by a QB in NFL history, including playoffs. According to NFL research.