Patrick Mahomes finally got the better of Joe Burrow. All he needed was a little push.
Harrison Butker made a 45-yard field goal with 3 seconds left — after Cincinnati’s Joseph Ossai was flagged for a 15-yard penalty for pushing Mahomes after he was out of bounds — and the Chiefs beat the Bengals 23-20 in the AFC championship game to go back to the Super Bowl.
Kansas City will face the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl on February 12 in Glendale, Arizona.
The Eagles opened as 1 1/2 point favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
There’s no shortage of storylines: Kansas City head coach Andy Reid goes up against his old team – which he led to Super Bowl 39 – in a game that also happens to be the first black starting quarterback meeting in the Super Bowl with Mahomes and Jalen Hurts of Philadelphia.
Also, there’s a brother-on-brother showdown between Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Philadelphia center Jason Kelce.
“ Officially done being a Chiefs fan this season!! Jason Kelce tweeted right after the Chiefs win.
Since Mahomes came to town as the franchise’s quarterback, the Chiefs have performed regularly after the season.
This was their fifth straight trip to the AFC title game and will be their third Super Bowl appearance in that span. They beat the 49ers for the NFL title in the 2019 season but lost to the Bucs the following season.
The Eagles beat the Niners 31-7 in the NFC title game last Sunday. They have looked dominant in the playoffs thus far, also beating the New York Giants 38-7 in the divisional round.
Philadelphia returned to the Super Bowl five years after beating the New England Patriots 41-33 on February 4, 2018.
Now a mostly new generation of Eagles – led by head coach Nick Sirianni and Hurts – will come to Arizona to try and win another title.
The Chiefs-Bengals match looked set for extra time before ill-advised play from Ossai. Mahomes – who was playing with a sprained ankle – was racing to get a first down in the closing seconds as Ossai desperately tried to track him down.
Mahomes was out of bounds when Ossai shoved him, sending both players to the ground. The resulting 15-yard penalty was enough to push Butker into field goal range and the kick split the uprights.
A distraught Ossai sat on the dugout with his head in his hands, well after the game was over.
The Bengals and Chiefs were playing for the fourth time in less than 400 days and Cincinnati had won their previous three games, all by three points. That too was decided by a field goal, and all Burrow could do was watch.
The Bengals lost to the Rams in last year’s Super Bowl and just missed another chance to get back into the title game.
NO DRAMA IN NFC
Oddsmakers thought the fans were in for some close league play.
They will have to settle for a 50% success rate.
The NFC title game was a blowout. Niners rookie quarterback Brock Purdy was injured in the first quarter when Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick punctured his right arm on a play that was ruled a fumble. The Eagles recovered that fumble and the injury proved to be a game changer.
With Purdy injured, San Francisco turned to 36-year-old reporter Josh Johnson, who couldn’t do much before walking away with a concussion. Purdy returned to the game, but could barely pitch and the Eagles cruised to the win.
The 49ers battled quarterback injuries all season, losing Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo before turning to Purdy, a seventh-round draft pick from Iowa State. Purdy moved into the starting role in December and won his first seven games before the injury on Sunday.
Here are some things to know about the upcoming Super Bowl:
WHAT’S NEXT SCHEDULE?
Pro Bowl flag-football game, 3:00 PM EST, ABC/ESPN
Super Bowl LVII, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 6:30 pm EST, Fox
RIHANNA AT INTERVAL
Rihanna will take center stage as the star of this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.
With sales of over 250 million records worldwide, Rihanna is one of the best-selling female artists of all time. Her most recent album was 2016’s ‘Anti’. Rihanna last publicly performed at the Grammy Awards in 2018.
The singer said she turned down a similar opportunity for the 2019 Super Bowl which was ultimately headlined by the Maroon 5. At the time, many performers expressed support for Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who protested police brutality against black people and minorities by kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.
Country music star Chris Stapleton will sing the national anthem, while R&B legend Babyface will perform “America the Beautiful.”
PRO BOWL REFURBISHMENT
The Pro Bowl is getting a major makeover this year after the NFL did away with its full-contact all-star game and replaced it with week-long contests of skill and a game of flag football.
The flag football contest is February 5 in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium, one week before the Super Bowl.
The Pro Bowl debuted in January 1951 in Los Angeles and remained there for 21 seasons before the game moved to different cities from 1972 to 1980. Hawaii hosted from 1980 to 2009 and the game had several homes in the following years , including Miami, Phoenix, Orlando and Las Vegas.
“The game was kind of silly, I guess,” two-time Saints Pro Bowl offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk said in September when the news was broken. “The boys weren’t out there playing real football. Hopefully, there will be a lot of fan interaction and the kids will have the opportunity to come out and show some skills. I could see it’s a good change.