KC Chiefs vs. Bengals recap: Key storylines from Week 17

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CINCINNATI, OHIO – JANUARY 02: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals delivers a pass over the defense of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of the game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs came into Cincinnati to face the Bengals in a game that was hyped all week long for the assumed fireworks that would be on display. The experts turned out to be correct as defenses struggled on both sides to handle the potent production of both Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow. In the end, only one team could win however and the Bengals are the ones who went home happy.

In a game that featured marvels and mistakes for the Chiefs, the ultimate outcome means that the Chiefs have lost hold of the top seed in the AFC given the Tennessee Titans put the Miami Dolphins away on Sunday as well. The Chiefs now go into their final game against the Broncos needing a win (and a loss for the Titans) to get that first-round bye.

In light of Sunday’s game, we have a few key storylines that not only tell the story of Week 17 for the team but should have us talking for days to come.

Mahomes vs. Burrow buzz was legit

Patrick Mahomes looked every bit like a former MVP ready to make another Super Bowl run on Sunday. Joe Burrow looked every bit like the No. 1 pick ready to carry his team to the next level. In a game like this, someone has to lose but the key takeaway for both sides is that the buzz surrounding a matchup between Mahomes and Burrow was completely legitimate. Both players looked like they might be the NFL’s best two young quarterbacks in the game.

Mahomes continued his dark horse push for another regular season MVP award for the Chiefs (although it’s doubtful to happen given Aaron Rodgers’ stats and success) with a final line of 26 completions on 35 attempts for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was completely locked in all day long with minimal mistakes and multiple outrageous plays. (Shortly before halftime, the Chiefs should have had another 60+-yard completion to Tyreek Hill, who dropped a couple passes on Sunday, for one example.)

As for Burrow, Chase definitely made him look good, but he throws a beautiful ball and his poise in the pocket and ability to make something happen in the face of constant pressure is a real sign he’s going to be a great one. As the Bengals begin to properly protect him (assuming they will), it will be exciting for Bengals fans to watch Burrow’s development. He finished with an incredible 446 passing yards and 4 touchdowns.

These two franchises are likely going to joust several more times with Mahomes and Burrow at quarterback and this series could be one of the most exciting ones in the decade to come in the NFL.

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