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Cincinnati Bengals Clinch Super Bowl Berth

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The Cincinnati Bengals scored a near-miracle upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in the NFL’s AFC Championship game, sending the team to the Super Bowl for the first time since the late 1980s.

The Bengals scored a 27-24 overtime win against Kansas City in the Chiefs’ home stadium. The Chiefs, a team that has made back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl during the past two years, were heavily favored to make it a three-peat this year. The Bengals’ opponent will be decided later Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers play the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game in Los Angeles.

The Bengals’ last trip to the NFL’s championship game came in January 1989 when the team lost 20-16 to San Francisco. The Bengals also lost to San Francisco 26-21 in the team’s only other Super Bowl appearance, in January 1989.

Sunday’s AFC Championship was a showdown of young quarterbacks, as the Chiefs’ hot-shot Patrick Mahomes has logged another banner season. But Bengals’ QB Joe Burrow has been on the NFL’s one-to-watch list for the past few years.

The Chiefs in the Mahomes era won the Super Bowl 31-20 over San Francisco in 2020. The team lost 31-9 last year to a triumphant Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sunday’s Bengals-Chiefs battle was hailed by CBS Sports announcer Tony Romo as “the biggest comeback in championship game history” given how high the expectations were for Kansas City.

Chiefs took early lead but the Bengals upped the drama by tying it up, 21 to 21, in the final seconds of the third quarter.

Cincinnati pulled ahead to 24 with less than six minutes to go in fourth quarter. Kansas City tied up at last second. The game went into a 15-minute overtime until the Bengals scored.

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