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Bengals vs. Chiefs AFC Championship preview - Why Bengals can get back to Super Bowl: Strictly Stripes Podcast

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 1/28/2023 Mohammad Ahmad,
Strictly Stripes podcast logo © Mohammad Ahmad/ Strictly Stripes podcast logo

CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Kansas City Chiefs have few flaws.

One of them is the fact that they can’t seem to find a way to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

For as much praise as the Andy Reid-led Chiefs have received for their play style that earned them their fifth-straight AFC Championship appearance - all at home - the Bengals have somehow found a way to play spoiler. One of Kansas City’s three losses this year came in Cincinnati back in Week 13.

The Chiefs didn’t play poorly. They were just outplayed.

In all three of their head-to-head meetings, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has helped give his team a fourth-quarter lead. But whether Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow went off at the right time or the Chiefs just went south at the wrong time, Mahomes and the Chiefs just haven’t been able to find the Bengals’ kryptonite.

That doesn’t take away the challenge the Bengals face heading into an always-challenging Arrowhead Stadium environment. It took an 18-point comeback for the Bengals to come into Arrowhead last year to pull out an overtime victory to head to their first Super Bowl in over three decades.

Neither team is in this game by coincidence. Round four of this classic AFC rumble is quickly turning into one of the NFL’s hottest rivalries with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Cincinnati seeks back-to-back AFC titles for the first time in franchise history. Kansas City wants to get back to the big game for the third time in four seasons after winning it all three years ago.

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Burrow vs. Mahomes has all the makings of one of the league’s best quarterback duels. An MVP finalist, Burrow goes against a one-time MVP winner and current frontrunner in Mahomes. Reid will look to get his first win against Bengals head coach Zac Taylor who continues leading the Bengals’ ascension in the AFC.

A more youthful, robust Chiefs defense, led by defense coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, will try and do what Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo has done: stop Burrow in his tracks. That includes his receiving corps, led by Ja’Marr Chase, which has also been a force to be reckoned with in these games.

Who takes round four of this hot, fiery rivalry that’s featured no shortage of bulletin board material? Kansas City is a 1.5-point favorite but that hasn’t meant anything to a confident Bengals squad. Will Burrow or Mahomes possess the hot hand?

The Strictly Stripes crew gives a comprehensive, full-on preview filled with game predictions, including scores and the top playmakers to look for in Sunday’s championship game. They also assess the significance of injury updates for both teams, such as the Bengals’ offensive line and Mahomes’ ankle injury.

This podcast features Mohammad Ahmad, Andrew Gillis and Michael Niziolek. You can listen by using the player below.

Strictly Stripes is also available on Apple, Spotify and IHeartRadio.

Mohammad Ahmad covers the Bengals for You can follow him on Twitter @MohammadAhmadTV and read all his coverage at

Michael Niziolek covers the Bengals for Follow him on Twitter @michaelniziolek and read all his coverage at

Andrew Gillis covers the Bengals for Follow him on Twitter @Andrew_Gillis70 for the latest updates and see all his coverage at

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