Second-year quarterback Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals secured a spot in the Super Bowl in thrilling fashion on Sunday. The Bengals overcame an 18-point deficit en route to a 27-24 overtime walk-off win on the leg of rookie kicker Evan McPherson, whom you might remember from his divisional-round star turn.
While Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs had experience on their side, Burrow was the fifth player in the past 30 seasons to enter a conference championship game while leading the NFL in both completion percentage and yards per attempt (including playoffs). So yeah, we already knew he was pretty good at this football thing.
We also knew Burrow wouldn't get far without some help from his favorite target and former LSU teammate, Ja'Marr Chase.
Which is why seeing Burrow's and Chase's dads celebrating their sons' win together with some victory cigars was particularly heartwarming.
Jimmy Chase 🤝 Jimmy Burrow— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) January 31, 2022
Smoke em if you got 'em 💨 pic.twitter.com/eKVkJ7TOKV
Jimmy Burrow and Jimmy Chase weren't the only ones hyped about the Bengals' big win. From LeBron James to Josh Allen and Trevor Lawrence, here's what the sports world had to say about Joey B. leading the Bengals to a long-awaited third appearance in the Super Bowl.
21-3 and to come back and win.... #YouDidItJoe— Candace Parker (@Candace_Parker) January 30, 2022
Wow great game! Congrats @Bengals— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) January 30, 2022
Joey Super Bowl pic.twitter.com/yTn7bLMx2J— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) January 30, 2022
Pain.— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) January 30, 2022
We've also got you covered with a look at how all the action unfolded as Cincinnati earned its first AFC title since the 1988 season:
It took 21 unanswered points and some bonus football, but the Bengals are heading to the Super Bowl.
Even losing the coin toss in overtime couldn't prevent Cincinnati from claiming its first AFC title since the 1988 playoffs. After an interception by Vonn Bell, Evan McPherson stayed perfect in the postseason to secure the win for Who Dey Nation.
Evan McPherson's not your average rookie kicker -- he's the one who has converted the most postseason field goals by a rookie kicker in NFL history. With his field goal in the first quarter, McPherson surpassed Stephen Gostkowski (eight in 2006) for the record.
His 52-yarder gives the Bengals a 24-21 lead in the fourth quarter.
Bengals defensive tackle B.J. Hill's big-guy interception was the catalyst for a familiar end zone connection: Burrow to Ja'Marr Chase. One 2-point conversion later and we suddenly have ourselves a tie game.
Chase now holds the record for the most receiving yards by a rookie in a playoff run in NFL history.
Huge play. The first turnover of the game -- the second interception Mahomes has ever thrown at home in the playoffs -- comes courtesy of Hill.
Three touchdowns, three different receivers. Mahomes is, in fact, in his bag. The QB completes Kansas City's third offensive drive (yep, he's thrown a score on each of his team's drives) with a toss to Mecole Hardman, who finds the end zone to make it a 21-3 game.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Mahomes has never lost when taking a lead of 15 or more points (37-0 including playoffs).
While we're on the subject of relevant stats, it also feels worth mentioning that per Elias Sports Bureau, the Chiefs are the first team to score touchdowns on their first three drives in either a conference championship game or a Super Bowl since the 1994 season (San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl XXIX).
Mahomes gonna Mahomes. It's unclear what's more predictable at this point: Mahomes displaying an unparalleled ability to scramble, or the QB finding Travis Kelce in the end zone. Either way, the Chiefs started the second quarter with another touchdown to make it a 14-3 game.
Mahomes wasted approximately no time in getting the Chiefs on the board. The 26-year-old found one of his favorite targets, Tyreek Hill, in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown. The catch marks Cheetah's fifth career postseason TD reception.
And this one won't be a shutout. Cincinnati gets a field goal from the hero of the Bengals' divisional round win, supremely confident kicker Evan McPherson, with under a minute remaining in the first quarter to make it a 7-3 game.
A Twitter List by bengals_chiefs