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The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t win graciously in the Divisional Round against the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round, which was absolutely their right to do after beating up the Super Bowl favorite 27-10. But then the cocky Bengals made a fatal mistake, turning their loud mouths on their AFC Championship Game opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs. The visiting team went so far as to rename the Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium “Burrowhead” after Joe Burrow and his 3-0 record vs. Patrick Mahomes. And like true champs, the Chiefs just let them talk, then answered on the field in an instant classic playoff game.

The Chiefs let their play do the talking in the AFC Championship Game vs. the Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Burrowhead, Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, AFC Championship Game
Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes | David Eulitt/Getty Images

The Bengals danced and talked trash after beating the Bills in the Divisional Round. Bengals cornerback Eli Apple even kept going at the Bills in the days after the game on social media.

Then they made the fatal mistake of going at the Chiefs with their mouths.

And why shouldn’t they? The Bengals beat the Chiefs the last three times they played, including in last year’s AFC Championship Game. Joe Burrow never lost to Patrick Mahomes, and now the Chiefs QB was injured. Plus, the Bengals were one of the hottest teams in the NFL, winning their last 10 in a row.

Cincinnati — the entire city, not just the team – was so cocky heading into “Burrowhead” that the Queen City’s mayor even got into the action, trash-talking the Chiefs in a Twitter proclamation saying, “Joseph Lee Burrow, who is 3-0 against Mahomes has been asked by officials to take a paternity test to confirming whether or not he’s [Mahomes’] father.”

While Cincinnati talked, the Chiefs simply kept quiet and (likely) quietly seethed.

The team that has actually won a championship said all the right things. Chiefs superstar defensive lineman Chris Jones even told the media it wasn’t a rivalry because the Chiefs haven’t beaten Burrow yet, and signed off from his pregame press conference by saying, “see ya’ll at Burrowhead.”

When the talking ended and the game kicked off, it was a barnburner. The back-and-forth affair saw the Chiefs go up 13-6 at the half before the Bengals tied the AFC Championship Game up at 20 in the fourth quarter.

Then, with the game on the line, the champs stepped up. Jones made huge plays, drawing holding calls and sacking Burrow on 3rd-down. Then Mahomes made the crucial play with his limping legs when the team needed it most.

And what did the cocky, trash-talking, arrogant Bengals do?

They lost concentration. Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai — who was excellent for 59:50 of this game — clearly hit Mahomes out of bounds to put the Chiefs in a makeable field goal range. Harrison Butker put it through the uprights, and the Chiefs are headed to the Super Bowl.

And when the game went final, and Mahomes queued up for his postgame interview, the Chiefs finally got the last word. Kansas City spokesman Travis Kelce popped up next to Mahomes and yelled into the CBS mics, “‘ Burrowhead’ my a**! It’s Mahomes’ house!”


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