Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images | Patrick Smith


  • Patrick Mahomes sent the Chiefs to Super Bowl LVII
  • Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai's final penalty sealed their fates
  • Travis Kelce will meet his brother Jason and the Eagles in the big game

The two teams headed to Super Bowl LVII are official as the newly-crowned AFC Champions Kansas City took down the Cincinnati Bengals in a masterclass of both offense and defense.

The first quarter of the AFC Championship game had little to write home about as both quarterbacks were still finding their footing, but it was the Chiefs who struck first with a field goal made in the middle of the quarter.

Cincinnati would enter the scoreboard in the second quarter via a field goal of their own, but it would be the hometown Chiefs who would find the endzone first after Patrick Mahomes found tight end Travis Kelce for a 14-yard strike.

Another field goal saw them enter the half with a seven-point lead, 13-6.

The Bengals made their adjustments to give Joe Burrow some more time in the pocket to find his receivers after giving up four sacks in the first half (three in the first quarter alone), allowing him to find super rookie receiver Tee Higgins for a 27-yard touchdown.

Their efforts would be negated after Mahomes connected with rookie receiver Valdes-Scantling for a 19-yard touchdown, pushing the score to 20-13, while the Bengals punted.

However, a Mahomes fumble late in the third allowed Cincinnati to draw level thanks to running back Samaje Perine's two-yard run in what would turn out to be the last touchdown of the night.

Marred by a ton of penalties, the final frame of the AFC Championship will be hotly contested among NFL fans in the coming days due to the officiating brouhaha that drew former punter-turned-WWE commentator Pat McAfee's ire.

Burrow and the Bengals accumulated a ton of penalties in the fourth such as cornerback Eli Apple and offensive lineman Ted Karras getting called for holding, but the most crucial of them all was Burrow's and defensive end Joseph Ossai's.

With 1:26 to play, Burrow was flagged for intentional grounding as the Bengals did not have a receiver in the immediate area of the pass and it was confirmed by the league's official officiating account on Twitter.

That drive would turn into a punt after Chiefs big man Chris Jones sacked Burrow for a loss of seven yards, giving Kansas City a shot at the win.

With 17 seconds remaining, Ossai was flagged for unnecessary roughness at the 42-yard line after Mahomes, on a bad ankle, had completely gone out of bounds on the rush, gifting the Chiefs a go-ahead field goal from the 27-yard line.

This allowed Harrison Butker to make the 45-yard field goal attempt and send the Chiefs to Super Bowl LVII.

Mahomes ended the night with 326 yards on 29-of-43 attempts along with three sacks while Burrow had 270 yards on 26-of-41 attempts with a touchdown, two interceptions, and a whopping five sacks.

Ossai's play will be the defining moment in this tightly contested affair, but to outright blame him for the Bengals' loss undermines his work as one of the best defensive ends in the NFL this season.

Missed coverages and easily avoidable penalties from last year's AFC representatives in the Super Bowl should not have happened when the lights were at their brightest.

After the game, Bengals linebacker Jermaine Pratt was livid about Ossai's penalty as they walked back into the locker room.

Despite the penalties being the focal point of fans' frustrations, Kansas City is heading into the Super Bowl which will feature Kelce taking on his brother Jason and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Super Bowl LVII will take place on February 12 at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Joe Burrow (9) lines up with his Cincinnati Bengals team-mates at the SoFi Stadium on Saturday
Joe Burrow (9) lines up with his Cincinnati Bengals teammates at the SoFi Stadium on Saturday GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP / RONALD MARTINEZ