Super Bowl-bound Bengals stun Chiefs 27-24 in thrilling AFC Championship OT nail-biter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Cincinnati Bengals punched their ticket Sunday for Super Bowl LVI after a thrilling 27-24 overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

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The Bengals struggled early on offense, trailing the Chiefs 21-3 at the close of the first quarter but stormed back to tie the game at 21 on a two-point conversion in the last seconds of the third quarter.

The Chiefs then fell behind by three in the fourth quarter, requiring a last-second field goal to send the game to overtime.

According to WHIO, Sunday’s win marks the third time that the Bengals have advanced to pro football’s biggest game, but only the first time they’ve done so since 1989. The Bengals had two Super Bowl runs in the 1980s, advancing to Super Bowl XVI in 1982 and Super Bowl XXIII in 1989.

The AFC Championship has only gone into overtime once since 1970, Sports Illustrated reported. In that 1986 matchup, the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns were tied at 20–20 in regulation. Denver scored on a field goal to take the win, advancing to Super Bowl XXI where they fell to the New York Giants, 39–20.

The Bengals await the winner of the NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams. Pending the outcome, the Bengals either get a Super Bowl rematch, or will play the Rams on their home field, WHIO reported.

According to The Associated Press, only a couple special teams players were alive and head coach Zac Taylor was in elementary school when the Bengals beat the Buffalo Bills in January 1989 in their last trip to a conference championship game.

Super Bowl LVI will be played Sunday, Feb. 13 at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium.

See WHIO for complete AFC Championship game coverage.