At the midway point of the regular season, the Cincinnati Bengals were 5-4 and coming off consecutive losses to the Cleveland Browns and the Mike White-led New York Jets. They are now in the Super Bowl after toppling the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs on the road. Not bad after a 30+ year gap between postseason wins.
But what of the Chiefs? They were christened as the NFL’s next dynasty and no doubt they’ve done well to make it to two Super Bowls and four AFC Championship games. They were on the cusp of a third straight appearance in the big game and instead they blew a 21-3 lead at home, tied for the biggest collapse in Conference Championship game history.
Kansas City has been up there as the class of the NFL since Patrick Mahomes became the starter. How did their fans at Arrowhead Pride react to this unbelievable meltdown by their superstar quarterback and the team as a whole? This is where Enemy Reaction comes in. And unlike the NFC Championship where both teams losing was preferable, the wholesome joy from Bengals fans at Cincy Jungle is worth your watch.
Tyreek Hill puts the Chiefs on top right away (7-0 KC)
Patrick Mahomes creates magic, finds Travis Kelce for touchdown (14-3 KC)
Mecole Hardman extends the lead (21-3 KC)
Semaje Perine takes screen pass to the house (21-10 KC)
Bengals get huge goal-line stand to end the half (21-10 KC)
FAT GUY INTERCEPTION! (21-13 KC)
Ja’Marr Chase catches touchdown, Trent Taylor ties the game (21-21)
L’Jarius Sneed picks off Joe Burrow (21-21)
Mahomes almost fumbles the game away, Harrison Butker forces overtime (24-24)
Patrick Mahomes picked off by Vonn Bell (24-24)
Evan McPherson sends the Bengals to the Super Bowl (27-24 CIN FINAL)
Post-Game: Patrick Mahomes will need to clean up his act (John Dillon, Chiefs Wire)
Patrick Mahomes is the least of Kansas City’s concerns, but some of the habits he has developed over the course of this season were part of the Chiefs’ struggle against the Bengals. Fans love his ability to make big plays seem effortless, and his brand of football is certainly fun to watch, but when he relies on scramble-drill tactics against top-tier opponents what is usually fun can quickly become a liability to a team that desperately wants to prove their greatness.
None of which is to say that Mahomes really needs to change anything in his game, but rather that if he intends to continue winning on the biggest stages, he’ll need to clean up his act. The interception that he threw in regulation was flat ugly, and the decision to go for the big play in overtime ultimately sealed Kansas City’s fate when he threw the second pick to Bengals safety Von Bell.
He didn’t seem comfortable behind the offensive line that played so well for him all season and simply tried to do too much in the pocket to make the signature plays that make SportsCenter top-10s on a near-weekly basis. A return to fundamentals and a healthy chip on his shoulder next year could do the MVP quarterback a lot of good after a loss as ugly as this one.
Post-Game Video: A compilation of emotional Bengals fans after historic win (GRB Highlights)
Post-Game Video: Chiefs fans in disbelief
My goodness. The Chiefs are like Niners Nation Midwest. And also I love seeing those Bengals reactions if not just to see them finally happy for the first time in forever, but also that was us as a fanbase not too long ago.
Check back for the Super Bowl edition of Enemy Reaction in two weeks!
Thanks for reading and go ‘Hawks! And for the next two weeks, go Bengals!