As the song says, "I’m going to Kansas City. Kansas City here I come".
But the song is misleading; because we are not going to Kansas City. Rather, the Kansas City Chiefs are coming here – to Cincinnati. So, why aren’t we going to Kansas City? One possibility is because the NFL schedule says that the game is a home game for Cincinnati. But a more likely possibility is because nobody knows where Kansas City is.
Is Kansas City in Kansas, or is it in Missouri? Well, it is in Kansas. And, it is in Missouri. Both states have a city named Kansas City. And if that isn’t confusing enough, the two cities border each other across the Kansas-Missouri state line.
For football purposes, the Kansas City Chiefs play in Missouri’s Kansas City, and not in Kansas City, Kansas. But that’s not important now, because unlike what the song says, we are not going to Kansas City. Rather, the Chiefs are coming to Cincinnati. And it’s about danged time.
10 of the last 15 games between the Bengals and Chiefs have been held in Kansas City. But despite that lopsided home field advantage, the Bengals hold a winning record of 8-7 during that span.
Clearly that "home field advantage" has not held for the Chiefs. And if nobody knows where Kansas City even is, no wonder it’s not much of a home field advantage. All time, the Cincinnati Bengals are 14-13 against the Kansas City Chiefs, and have not lost at home to the Chiefs since 1984. In the Marvin Lewis era, the Bengals are 4-2 against the Chiefs.
In the last three games between the two teams, the Bengals defense has held the Chiefs’ offense to a miserable 7.3 points per game. The Chiefs have only scored one total touchdown in those three games, on a 20 yard pass from Matt Cassel to fourth string running back Tim Castille.
The last time these two teams faced off was November 18th during the 2012 season. Touchdowns by A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis gave the Bengals a commanding 21-3 lead, before Ryan Succop connected on a 33-yard field goal as the first half came to an end. Coming out of their locker rooms with the Bengals leading 21-6, neither team’s offense did much in the second half. Both teams spent much of the second half sending volleys of punts back and forth. The Bengals did manage to squeeze in a fourth quarter touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu, and ultimately came away from Missouri’s Kansas City with a 28-6 victory.
I have to guess even if the game was in Kansas’ Kansas City, the result would not have been much different. The Chiefs struggled through a rough 2-14 season in 2012, while the Bengals were on their way to their second of four consecutive playoff appearances.
So what do you expect in the 2015 battle between Kansas City BBQ and Cincinnati Chili? Will Kansas City’s offense manage to top 10 points for the first time since 2007? Will the Bengals come away with their fifth straight home victory in the series? We'll find out on Sunday afternoon.