The AFC Championship Game will feature two division winners, two star young quarterbacks and nine combined Pro Bowlers.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story of this unlikely matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Starting with Cincinnati, you would’ve been laughed at if you picked the Bengals to even make the playoffs before this season. The team went 4-11-1 in 2020, they hadn’t made the postseason since 2015 and second-year quarterback Joe Burrow was coming off of ACL surgery.
The Bengals started the season 5-2 before going 5-5 down the stretch, which was still enough to clinch their first NFC North title since 2015. Postseason play is a completely different story in Cincy, though, as the team hadn’t won a playoff game since 1991. This all changed in the wild card round with their 26-19 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Soon after, they went to Nashville and upset the No. 1 seed Tennessee Titans on the foot of rookie kicker Evan McPherson. It’s clear that the Bengals are more than just a Cinderella story at this point.
On the opposing side, the Chiefs are in a familiar spot. Kansas City is hosting the AFC Championship Game for the fourth straight year, looking to advance to its third consecutive Super Bowl. But it didn’t always seem inevitable this season, especially after a 3-4 start. Many celebrated the downfall of the once-budding dynasty, claiming that the league had figured out star quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Well, reports of the Chiefs’ demise were greatly exaggerated. Mahomes and Co. went on a tear, finishing the season 9-1 to secure the AFC’s No. 2 seed. Super Wild Card Weekend was a breeze, as they finished 42-21 over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The divisional round displayed an instant classic, as KC held off the Buffalo Bills 42-36 in overtime after 25 points were scored in the final two minutes of regulation.
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Interestingly enough, these two teams played just a short time ago in Week 17 of the regular season. The Bengals won that game 34-31, handing the Chiefs their only loss since October.
So, will the Chiefs advance to their third straight Super Bowl? Or will the Bengals reach the big game for the first time in 33 years?
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch the AFC Championship Game:
What time is the AFC Championship Game?
Kickoff between the Chiefs and Bengals is set for 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 30, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
What TV channel is the Chiefs-Bengals game on?
The Chiefs-Bengals game will air live on CBS. Jim Nance (play-by-play), Tony Romo (analysis), Tracy Wolfson (sideline), Evan Washburn (sideline) and Jay Feely (kicking analysis) will be on the call.
How to stream Chiefs vs. Bengals live online
Free streaming option: FuboTV (free trial)
Who is favored to win the AFC Championship?
The Chiefs enter their fourth straight home AFC title game as seven-point favorites over the Bengals, according to PointsBet. The over-under is set at 53.5, the Chiefs moneyline is -325 and the Bengals moneyline is +250.
Take a look at the full odds for the game, including lines, player props and over-unders.