Cincinnati Bengals Outlast Kansas City Chiefs, Shake Up AFC

The Cincinnati Bengals topped the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in Week 13, besting the perennial AFC powerhouse for the third straight time and turning the standings topsy-turvy. With the loss, the Chiefs surrender the AFC's top seed to the Buffalo Bills, a team that defeated them 24-20 in Kansas City in Week 6. With their win, the Bengals advance to 8-4 and close the distance on the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens. They'll meet in Week 18 in a game that's likely to decide the division. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow delivered in the clutch, netting 279 passing yards on his 32 dropbacks and adding another 46 yards on 11 rushes. But those pretty numbers may undersell his value. Burrow hit several crucial plays on the day, including a game-sealing 14-yard pass on 3rd and 11 to Tee Higgins to run out the clock in the fourth quarter. Without that incredible conversion, the Chiefs would have got the ball back down three with nearly two minutes to play. It doesn't officially go down as a game-winning drive, but in today's NFL, it was just as important.

As for the Chiefs, they were their typically brilliant selves on offense, just with fewer possessions. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambled and extended plays all night while minimizing mistakes, netting 211 passing yards on 29 dropbacks and converting 6/11 of third downs and two fourth down attempts. The Chiefs punted only once all day; if not for a crucial fumble by tight end Travis Kelce, they could have easily won. That turnover could come back to haunt them if they find themselves on the road in the playoffs for the first time in Mahomes' career.

Looking ahead to Week 14, the Kansas City Chiefs will have a chance to redeem themselves by battering the helpless Denver Broncos, and the Cincinnati Bengals will host quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns.
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