Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Bengals tie largest comeback in AFC title game history, Chiefs blow first 18-point lead with Patrick Mahomes

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The Cincinnati Bengals are going to the Super Bowl, a phrase that seemed impossible all season, as well as in the first half of the AFC Championship Game. Cincinnati rallied to erase a 21-3 first-half deficit and beat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime, winning the Bengals’ first AFC Championship since 1989. It tied for the largest comeback in AFC Championship Game history. 

The 2006 Indianapolis Colts trailed the New England Patriots by 18 points in the AFC Championship Game before Peyton Manning rallied the Colts from a 21-3 deficit to a 38-34 victory. The Bengals are just the second team under the current overtime rules to win a playoff game after not winning the coin toss, joining the 2018 Los Angeles Rams, who won the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints.

Evan McPherson’s 31-yard field goal in overtime sealed the Bengals’ trip to the Super Bowl and capped a comeback that appeared near impossible against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. The Chiefs had never lost a game when they had led by 18-plus points under Patrick Mahomes (regular season and postseason). They entered Sunday’s game with a 28-0 record in such instances.

Per NFL Research, no team in NFL history has overcome a halftime deficit of 10-plus points to win multiple games against the same opponent in a single season (including playoffs) until the Bengals this season (Cincinnati trailed by double digits in its Week 17 win over Kansas City and in the AFC Championship Game). 

This was a Super Bowl trip Joe Burrow and Cincinnati earned. 

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