SPRINGFIELD — Ahead of the AFC Championship this Sunday, our Jesse Inman broke down keys to the game with former Chiefs TE Jason Dunn.
If the Chiefs want to advance to Super Bowl for the third straight year, they’ll need to get revenge on the Cincinnati Bengals. On January 2nd, the Chiefs traveled to Paul Brown Stadium and fell the Bengals by a score of 34-31 on a field goal as time expired.
This time around, the reigning AFC North Champions will travel to Kansas City with much more on the line this time: A trip to the Super Bowl. That’s something the Bengals haven’t experienced since 1989.
Former Chiefs Tight End Jason Dunn caught up with KOLR10 Daybreak Anchor Jesse Inman about what some of the important aspects of this game will be.
Dunn, who played 8 seasons with the Chiefs from 2000-2008, played with Chiefs legend Tony Gonzalez. He also is one of the hosts of the “Chief Concerns” podcast, along with former Chiefs CB Eric Warfield, and host Marcus Dash. “Chief Concerns” drops every Thursday wherever you get your podcasts.
Looking back at the Chiefs week 17 loss to the Bengals, Dunn believes the Chiefs let a win slip through their grasp.
“Convincingly I think in the first half, we had them beat,” Dunn says.
The Chiefs were up 11 at the end of the first half but scored just 3 points in the second half. Offensive struggles, big plays given up by the defense, and some controversial penalties played a big part in the Chiefs loss.
Dunn says the Chiefs need to focus on creating pressure on Bengals QB Joe Burrow and prioritize locking down the Bengals star Wide Receiver.
“The obvious thing is, you’ve got to stop Ja’Marr Chase. He did a tremendous job, he’s an incredible talent. A guy like that – once he starts going, he can make you pay. He made us pay the very first game. As far as creating pressure on Burrow, it just didn’t seem to quite work, or quite get there like you wanted it to. The secondary ended up paying for it,” Dunn says.
No QB has been sacked more during this season more than Joe Burrow, who hit the dirt 62 times between the regular and postseason. The Chiefs took Burrow down 4 times in their first matchup.
Kansas City also sputtered on offense in that second half. Being a TE himself, Dunn’s focus is often on Travis Kelce.
In week 17, Kelce had a touchdown but was held to 5 catches for just 25 yards. Dunn says if the Bengals put a major focus on containing Kelce, it could open up things for other guys to make plays.
“They’re going to give him a lot of attention. The good part of that is, it opens everybody else around to make plays. Pringle and Hardman have done a tremendous job of doing that, and Hardman also when you try to at least take him away from the game,” Dunn says.
Dunn also discussed the Chiefs thrilling OT win against the Bills, and the similarities between Kelce and Tony Gonzalez in the full interview above.
The Chiefs host the Bengals Sunday at 2 P.M. on KOLR10 for the AFC title game. The winner advances to the Super Bowl to take on the NFC Championship game winner.
The NFC title game between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams takes airs Sunday at 5:30 P.M. on Ozarks FOX.