The Cincinnati Bengals are going to the Super Bowl after Joe Burrow and company walked into Arrowhead Stadium and left Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs stunned after another game-winning kick by Evan McPherson.
The Burrow-Mahomes matchup was highlighted all week long and it lived up to expectations — with Burrow coming out on top. After the game ended, Cincinnati cornerback Eli Apple threw some shade at Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill — igniting a fiery Twitter beef between the two.
Eli Apple calls out Tyreek Hill after the Bengals advance to the Super Bowl
After the Bengals punched their tickets to the Super Bowl, Apple took to Twitter to rub some salt in the wound of the Chiefs.
After a poor start to the game by the Bengals defense — specifically Apple — he came up with a huge stop right before halftime to prevent Hill from scoring a touchdown and proceeded to call Hill a “baby.”
With the Chiefs up 21-10, Mahomes threw a short dump-off pass to Hill, who was tackled short of the goal line by Apple to end the half.
As it turns out, that would be the turning point in the game. Instead of the Chiefs going up 28-10 or 24-10, the Bengals stormed back and took the lead, 24-21, before Harrison Butker tied the game to send it into overtime.
However, the stop came after Apple got beat by Mecole Hardman, who walked right into the endzone for a touchdown.
Still, Apple wasn’t afraid to throw shade at the Chiefs after the game, and Hill saw it and responded.
Tyreek Hill claps back at Eli Apple
Hill has never been a man to hide his emotions. After Apple’s comments surfaced, the Chiefs wide receiver made his true feelings known with a stern message toward Apple.
Hill wasn’t the only Chiefs player to get in on the action, either. Hardman was quick to back his teammate and sent a message to Apple.
Let the beef begin — and Apple did this earlier in the season with Lamar Jackson.
Apple was getting mixed all game long until that final play of the first half where he stopped Hill. Nonetheless, he wound up getting the last laugh with one more shot toward Hill and Hardman.
The Bengals CB gets the final laugh after punching his ticket to the Super Bowl
For now, Apple got the final laugh with a nice jab toward the Chiefs wide receivers. Kansas City is headed home for the year while Cincinnati prepares for a trip to Los Angeles for the Super Bowl.
Burrow led the Bengals to an improbable comeback and the defense came up with an interception on the first drive of overtime.
Then, McPherson — the Bengals’ surprising hero — knocked through the game-winner for the second straight week as he continues to prove he has ice water in his veins.
It will be interesting to see if this beef between Hill, Hardman, and Apple continues, but the Bengals have bigger fish to fry — Matthew Stafford and the Rams in Super Bowl LVI.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference