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4 takeaways from Kansas City Chiefs dramatic win over Cincinnati Bengals

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in dramatic fashion in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

This game was close throughout with things tied up at 20 late in the fourth quarter. After Kansas City forced a Bengals punt, the team took over near mid-field. A penalty on young Bengals defender Joseph Ossai for hitting Patrick Mahomes late set up the game-winning field goal as Kansas City advanced to the Super Bowl via a 23-20 home win.

There’s so much to look at as the Chiefs exacted revenge against Cincinnati from last season’s AFC Championship Game.

The Bengals saw two of their five starting offensive linemen sidelined to injury. Speaking of injuries, Mahomes (high-ankle sprain) and Travis Kelce (back injury) were playing through their own issues.

In heroic fashion, Mahomes put up an absolutely brilliant performance as his Kansas City Chiefs came out on top. Mistakes, injuries and some bad officiating impacted the Cincinnati Bengals. These are among the top takeaways from Kansas City’s three-point win.

Related: Super Bowl LVII matchup set between Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles

Cincinnati Bengals offensive line injuries had an impact

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Cincinnati invested heavily on the offensive line last offseason after Burrow was sacked a league-high 51 times during the 2021 season. Unfortunately, injuries to this unit had an impact in the AFC Championship Game. Starting guard Alex Cappa (ankle) and left tackle Jonah Williams (knee) were ruled out for a second consecutive game ahead of Sunday’s matchup.

Almost immediately, Burrow felt these injuries in a big way. He was sacked four times within the first 20 minutes of the game. Frank Clark and Chris Jones joined others in having their way against Cincinnati’s makeshift offensive line. Before all was said and done, Burrow was hit 12 times and sacked a total of five times. It certainly played a role in him throwing two interceptions in defeat.

Related: Kansas City Chiefs standing in Sportsnaut’s NFL power rankings

Patrick Mahomes shows off more than just pure talent

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Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

We already know that Mahomes is among the most-talented players in modern NFL history. We can add gutsy and tough to the list of words describing what the quarterback continues to do on the field.

Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain in last week’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Typically, these types of injuries cost players multiples of weeks. A clear sign that he’s as tough as they come, Mahomes was able to return to the game and lead Kansas City to a win.

Throughout Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, it was clear that Mahomes was nowhere near 100%. The dude was hobbled throughout. Despite this, he was able to put up an electric all-around performance. That included a scramble late in the fourth quarter, leading to Kansas City’s game-winning field goal.

We have absolutely no idea how Mahomes is going to look in Super Bowl LVII against an elite-level Eagles defensive front. But for one night, the quarterback showed what he was made of.

Related: Highlights from Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs game

Officials impacted Cincinnati Bengals

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From mutliple questionable penalties against Cincinnati’s secondary to actually blowing a play dead that would have resulted in a fourth down and a Chiefs punt, officials did not do the Bengals any favors.

Unlike the questionable officiating in the NFC Championship Game, these calls had a major impact in a close affair between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals. In fact, head coach Zac Taylor was incredibly frustrated on the sideline as things were playing out inside Arrowhead Stadium.

Cincinnati Bengals aren’t going anywhere

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Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Despite all of the issues Cincinnati faced in Kansas City Sunday night, the team still had a chance to come out on top here. It had multiple opportunities to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Pressure on Joe Burrow coupled with some penalties doomed Cincinnati.

With all of that said, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that Cincinnati won’t be contending for conference championships over the next several years. The team has building blocks in place. It had won 10 consecutive heading in. Taylor has built a juggernaut. This is not the end of their run.

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