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Bengals’ Joe Burrow talks AFC Championship rematch: Chiefs ‘still the team to beat, and we’re coming for them’

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While they may be the betting favorite, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow feels that the Chiefs are still the measuring stick as far as AFC teams are concerned. 

Cincinnati, the defending AFC champion, is one win away from successfully defending its title. To do that, it’ll have to beat a Kansas City team trying to reclaim its position as the AFC’s unquestioned king of the hill, a title Burrow does not think the Chiefs have relinquished just yet. 

“They’re still the team to beat, and we’re coming for them,” Burrow told the media Wednesday.

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There are tangible reasons behind the Bengals being favored this time around. For one, they’ve defeated the Chiefs three times over the past two years, including last year’s thrilling AFC title game. Cincinnati overcame a 21-3 deficit and won the game in overtime after Bengals safety Vonn Bell picked off Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to set up Evan McPherson’s game-winning field goal in Kansas City. 

Cincinnati then recorded a 27-24 victory over Kansas City in Week 13 after scoring the game’s final 10 points. Linebacker Germaine Pratt’s forced fumble of Travis Kelce early in the fourth quarter set up Burrow’s game-winning touchdown pass to Chris Evans

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Like Burrow, Mahomes has offered public praise of his team’s new rival. Following their latest matchup, Mahomes was asked about his team’s struggles against Cincinnati. 

“First off, they have a great quarterback, and a guy who’s won a lot of football games, even if that was in college, and now he’s won a lot of football games in the NFL,” Mahomes said. “He’s someone that competes to the very end, too. They’ve got playmakers all over there, they’re well-coached, have a good defense. At the end of the day, they’ve executed at a higher level in the critical situations.”

Featured Game | Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals

As Mahomes mentioned, Burrow has been at his best in games against the Chiefs. In his first three games against them, Burrow completed 72% of his passes with eight touchdowns against just one interception. 

Speaking of quarterbacks, the high ankle sprain Mahomes suffered during Saturday’s divisional round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars is surely another reason why the Bengals are favored. Mahomes, who got hurt during the first half, briefly left the game before finishing with 195 passing yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-30 passing. 

Given their past three matchups, Sunday’s game will likely be another close game between the AFC’s top-two teams. Each of their past three matchups were three-point outcomes, with the Bengals coming out on the winning end in each matchup. Burrow expects the Chiefs to throw in new wrinkles in an attempt to disrupt his timing. He is confident, however, that his coaching staff will prepare him for whatever Kansas City throws at him. 

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“They do an unbelievable job throughout the week and then on game day of making adjustments on the best way to attack,” Burrow said of his coaches. “We have really great football minds up there that know football, know game plans and know defenses.” 


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