The Cincinnati Bengals were the NFL’s worst team two years ago. They’re now heading to the Super Bowl to face the Los Angeles Rams in their home stadium.
The Bengals made the greatest comeback in AFC championship games, overcoming an 18-point deficit to beat Kansas City 27-24 in overtime on Sunday. This was their first trip to the big match since 1988. They won just two games in 2019, and were the top overall draft pick, using quarterback Joe Burrow as their quarterback. After the first quarter, they dominated the Chiefs.
To win the contest, Evan McPherson, a rookie, made a field goal of 31 yards to win it.
With 1:46 left, the Rams overcome a 10-point deficit in the second half and won the NFC title with a 20-17 win over San Francisco. Matt Gay’s 30-yard field goal was the winning play. Los Angeles (15-5) had lost six straight games to the 49ers (12-8), however, the visitors couldn’t stop All-Pro receiver Cooper Kupp. LA tied the game with a fourth quarter interception by Safety Jaquiski Tartt.
Kupp had 11 catches for 142 yards, and two touchdowns.
Matthew Stafford was 31 for 45 and 337 yards passed in a physically demanding game that featured some great plays by Kupp and Deebo Samuel, both All-Pro receivers for the 49ers. This led to him reaching his first Super Bowl. New England beat the Rams to get there in 2018.
Stafford stated, “We have one more at home stadium. Let’s get it done.”
Samuel finished with four receptions of 72 yards and a 44 yard score. He also ran 26 yards.
The Rams have been to four Super Bowls before, going 1-3. Their only win came in 1999 while they were still based in St. Louis.
FanDuel Sportsbook has Los Angeles as a 3 1/2-point early favorite
Stafford, who was born in Detroit, said that he feels blessed to have been a part of the team with these guys and this coaching staff. Stafford said, “You can’t tell the story any better. I am at a loss of words. These guys …” are just having fun.
The Bengals (13-7), reached their third Super Bowl. They lost to the 49ers in 1989 and 1982. Kansas City (14-6), hosted its fourth consecutive AFC championship game, and is currently 2-2. Two years ago, the Chiefs won their second NFL title.
Cincinnati, the AFC North champion, had not won a postseason match since 1991. After beating Las Vegas, Cincinnati then secured a road win in the playoffs, eliminating Tennessee, which was the top seed. To reach their fourth consecutive conference championship game, the Chiefs defeated Pittsburgh. They then won in overtime against Buffalo.
Burrow said that “we’ve been a team in the second half all year,” referring to his first season missing six games due to a knee injury. It’s not something you want, but it’s how it works. In the second half, our defense was much better and we made plays on offense when we needed to. … It was a team effort of great quality.”
Burrow led them back on Sunday and McPherson made like a 10-year-old veteran by kicking four field goals. This included the winner after Vonn bell’s interception to Patrick Mahomes in the first series of overtime.
“We are made for this moment.” We never quit,” Bell said. “Never quit fighting. We are a resilient group.
In 2006, Indianapolis defeated New England by 36 to 34. This was the other 18-point rally in AFC championship games. Burrow should note that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were the quarterbacks in that game.
Coach Zac Taylor stated, “We’ve overcome many deficits this year.” We believe in all phases. Everyone rose to the occasion. We are not finished yet.