KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes gave star Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase a tidbit that would come true in a few weeks.
“We’ll see you in the playoffs.”
And now the Bengals make their way to Arrowhead Stadium to face the Chiefs for the AFC Championship in what they know will be a hostile environment.
“Every week when you’re on the road, you have to be ready to be great in your nonverbal communication,” Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said.
“We’ve been really good on the road. We’ll have to be good again this week.”
The last time these teams played in Cincinnati, the Chiefs jumped out to a 21-7 lead; the Bengals would respond and make it 28-17 at the half.
Burrow and Chase’s connection bloomed in the second half leading the Bengals to a 34-31 victory where the Bengals make a field goal as time expires and Chase’s 266 receiving yards broke several NFL and franchise records.
“It’s one of the biggest challenges that we’ve had playing this team,” Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton said on Wednesday. “Quarterback’s playing outstanding, great under pressure, great getting out of the pocket. Three wide receivers, all of them do something a little bit special for the team. They’re all great pass catchers running after the catch, and also the running back, All-Pro running back.”
Bolton noted things like tackling and making plays in space that the defense needed to improve on from the AFC Divisional Round game vs. the Buffalo Bills. But he says it all starts with each man doing his job; that applies on both sides of the ball for the Chiefs.
“Execute your one-11th. That’s kind of the mindset we’ve got for this week. Doing our job to the
best of our abilities and having fun, communicating, flying around, playing Chiefs football,” Bolton said.
“It’s not no pressure. Just go out and execute the things that the coaches give us and don’t leave
it out there so when looking at the game you don’t say I could’ve did this or I could’ve done that,” receiver Byron Pringle said.
“Do it during the week so come gameday, you go out and execute at a high level.”