Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase lead Bengals to comeback win over Chiefs, clinch AFC North title

Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and the Cincinnati Bengals made a statement on Sunday

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Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and the Cincinnati Bengals made a statement on Sunday.

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Burrow completed 30 of 39 passes for 446 yards and four touchdowns, and Chase hauled in 11 receptions for a franchise-record 266 yards with three scores for the Bengals in their 34-31 victory over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Kicker Evan McPherson booted a 20-yard field goal as time expired and the Bengals (10-6) – champions of the AFC North – clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2015.

With the game tied at 31 apiece, the Bengals went for it on fourth-and-inches with under one minute to go in the game. Burrow threw an incomplete pass in the end zone, however, Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was called for illegal use of hands, and it gave the Bengals a new set of downs.

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Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson (2) boots a winning 20-yard field goal during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson (2) boots a winning 20-yard field goal during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

After two kneel-downs, McPherson came onto the field and nailed the game-winner.

The Chiefs (11-5) led by two touchdowns three separate times in the first half. At the midway mark, Kansas City held a 28-17 lead, but the second half belonged to Burrow and the Bengals.

Despite being sacked four times and hit at least six more times, Burrow and Chase connected on every level in this matchup. Burrow found Chase for a 69-yard touchdown strike early in the second half to cut the Chiefs’ lead to 28-24. After Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker booted a 34-yard field, Burrow capped an 86-yard drive when he connected with Tyler Boyd for a 5-yard score.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow celebrates after the Bengals defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 34-31 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow celebrates after the Bengals defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 34-31 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

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Mahomes completed 26 of 35 passes for 259 yards and three TDs in the loss. Running back Darrel Williams rushed for 88 yards and scored twice.

Next week, the Chiefs travel to Denver to take on the Broncos. The Bengals, on the other hand, will square off against the Browns in Cleveland.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.