Your Cincinnati Bengals are officially AFC North Champions. They went from worst to first in the division, and they did it with a huge statement win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The weight of this game was obvious. The Chiefs were playing to hold onto the top seed in the AFC, and the Bengals were looking to secure their spot. Both teams went in knowing they had to win.
The entire team deserves all the credit in the world. The defense turned things around holding Kansas City to just three points in the second half. Joe Burrow was absolutely lights out making all the clutch throws and playing mistake-free football. The rest of the offense stepped up making timely plays as well. However, the game ball clearly goes to one player.
Ja’Marr Chase can’t be stopped
The Chiefs were more than willing to make Chase beat their corners in man coverage. Simply put, he did just that. Chase broke Chad Johnson’s record for yards in a game for a Bengal as well as setting the rookie record for yards in a single game for any rookie.
Chase did it in a multitude of ways as well. His first big play came off a simple hitch route where he made one man miss then was off to the races. He then continually got behind Kansas City’s defense. He made several contested catches over Charvarius Ward who gave the receiver some extra motivation early in the game.
charvarius ward hit the griddy just to get mossed by Jamarr Chase 2 plays later lol pic.twitter.com/hPz4Nliw2Q— MF⚜️(7-10) (@GOATED_WF) January 2, 2022
Chase just couldn’t be stopped. He made a clutch pass on 3rd-and-27 to extend the drive that ended with the go-ahead-field goal. The main point here is this game was very validating for a fan base who had to defend the Chase pick for so long.
So many people took shots at this Bengals’ front office for looking to create an elite receiving group to take defenders out of the box. Giving this offense a legitimate deep threat has turned Burrow from the worst deep ball passer to the best in the league. That move is why we are talking about the Bengals winning the AFC North instead of not being able to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Ja’Marr Chase = ROY.— Rebecca Toback (@Rebecca_Toback) January 2, 2022
Bruh Chase holding the ball out. Holy shit what a vibe.— Mike (Sans) (@bengals_sans) January 2, 2022
That's a single-game record!— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) January 2, 2022
Ja'Marr Chase (266) just broke Chad Johnson's record (260) for most yards receiving in a single-game.
Omg omg omg omg omg— Kay Adams (@heykayadams) January 2, 2022
Kings of the North
The Jungle was packed for a matchup of two of the hottest offenses in the NFL. They all got to witness the Bengals claim the division on their way to the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season.
This team wasn’t given a shot before the season. They have been heavily criticized as a bottom tier franchise since it seemed destined that Burrow was going to land there in the 2020 draft with many suggesting he should force his way to another team. Then this season it continued with the criticism over the Chase selection.
All the defensive free agents also ended up paying off despite losing some fan favorites. They held Kansas City to only three points in the second half.
This game This season has been validating for head coach Zac Taylor, Cincinnati’s front office, these players and a fan base that was able to see the vision that was being put into place.
The Cincinnati Bengals are headed to the playoffs. Not only that, but they look like a team that is more than just happy to be there.
AFC North Champ Let’s fucking goooooooo!!!!!! Great Team Win— Mr. Undrafted (@quinton_spain) January 2, 2022
can we examine this.— John Sheeran (@John__Sheeran) January 2, 2022
2nd and 27- shot play incomplete
3rd and 27- zac takes another shot play and it converts
then successfully runs clock, and goes for it TWICE on 4th and goal. https://t.co/EWeX8J9gpU
I honestly might cry— Justin Cashman (@JCashman27) January 2, 2022
How many games have the Bengals won this season? pic.twitter.com/CLyXh94scg— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) January 2, 2022
What a game. What a season.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) January 2, 2022
If we listened to all that outside noise from the media and the social media accounts that know more about football than we do..we wouldn’t be where we are right now, AFC NORTH CHAMPS! Not done yet #WhoDey— CJ Uzomah (@cj_uzomah) January 2, 2022
Zac Taylor choked up trying to start press conference.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) January 2, 2022
Asked why so emotional.
“You guys have sat in here and seen what we have been through.”
You went to the Super Bowl your rookie year. Over 1000 yds and pro bowl— Ken Anderson (@KenAndersonNFL) January 2, 2022
Sounds like another rookie this year
Offensive line room looks VERY happy to be AFC North champions!— Willie Lutz (@willie_lutz) January 2, 2022
Frank Pollack might be the happiest camper of them all! Who Dey! pic.twitter.com/TChR59XfTN
Oh and we not done— Dj Reader (@Djread98) January 2, 2022