Connect with us


Chiefs vs. Bengals: 2023 AFC Championship Game Preview and Prediction

Bengals vs Chiefs AFC championship game preview
Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Let’s be honest; this is the matchup that we always wanted right? The Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals will face off in the 2023 AFC championship game. Get an in-depth look at both teams, along with our prediction of who will win this all-important football matchup.

Breaking Down The Teams

The Chiefs and Bengals have faced off 31 times over their histories, with the Bengals coming out on top in 17 of those matchups. Currently, the Bengals have a 3-0 lead over the Mahomes/Reid-era Chiefs. This year, however, the balance of power may have shifted – the Bengals are a more potent offensive unit than ever before and boast one of the top defensive units in the NFL. Last Sunday, we saw what could have happened if the tragic injury to Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin had not occurred on January 2. Cincinnati went into Buffalo and overwhelmed a Bills team that had every reason to be motivated. And they accomplished the victory with a battered offensive line. Can they add another win to their column with Joe Burrow under center facing the Chiefs? We’ll soon find out.

As we look ahead to the 2023 AFC championship game, the Bengals are a team on the rise. They’ve retooled their defense with young, playmaking talent and have an offense brimming with dynamic players who can create mismatches all over the field.  The Chiefs, meanwhile, are looking to solidify their status as an all-time great dynasty. With a bevy of offensive weapons and an ever-improving defense, they too could be poised to make a run at another Super Bowl title. It promises to be an exciting game.

Analyzing The Coaching Matchup

In the battle of the sidelines, it’s a matchup between two of the NFL’s best coaches – Andy Reid and Zac Taylor. Both bring a wealth of experience to their respective teams, with Reid having led the Chiefs to five straight AFC championship games. It wasn’t too long ago that Taylor was viewed as a failure in Cincinnati. He has since led the team to its second straight AFC title game appearance. With Burrow and the cast of weapons under his guidance, he is now recognized as one of the NFL’s top offensive minds. However, when it comes to overall playoff success and proven leadership, Andy Reid has the clear edge.

Players To Watch For Both Teams

Both the Chiefs and Bengals will be looking to rely on key players if they want to win the 2023 AFC Championship game. For Kansas City, quarterback Patrick Mahomes is an obvious choice; the 2018 League MVP has been nothing short of dominant in his career and has proven that he can perform at a high level when it matters most. The former Red Raider is appearing in his fifth consecutive AFC championship game. Meanwhile, Cincinnati will be relying on rising star QB Joe Burrow, who had a fantastic 2022 season. He finished fifth in the league, in passing yards (4,475), and tied second in touchdowns (35). With his combination of strength and endurance, Burrow could be the difference-maker for the Bengals in Sunday’s big game.

Keys to Victory: Bengals

It has been reported that Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes will play in Sunday’s AFC title game despite the injury that occurred last week. Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain last Saturday’s divisional-round matchup against Jacksonville. The Bengals’ defense must test Mahomes’ effectiveness as a passer to see if there is any validity of him being 100 percent. When he returned to action last week against Jacksonville, Mahomes did not perform like a quarterback at full strength.

On offense, Cincinnati must get the football into the hands of their dynamic playmakers early and often. Kansas City’s defense is a unit that they are very familiar with. While Burrow is the primary conductor of the Bengals’ offense, their running attack will be the catalyst to set things up. The key to minimizing a quarterback like Mahomes is to keep him on the sidelines watching the scoreboard. The way to do that is by having an effective running game.

Keys to Victory: Chiefs

Key members of the Bengals’ offensive line will be out with injuries when the team heads down to Arrowhead this Sunday. Can the Chiefs’ defense take advantage of those injuries by disrupting Burrow? It’s highly possible. But when facing Burrow, nothing is out of the realm of possibility. When the Bengals went on their run to the Super Bowl last season, he played behind a terrible offensive line. Will that be the case again? It can be done, but unlike the Titans, who sacked Burrow nine times in the divisional matchup last year, Kansas City has the firepower on offense to take advantage of those opportunities given by their counterparts. The Chiefs’ defense has the personnel on the defensive side that can prevent the former Bayou Bengal from having success this Sunday. Their unit finished second behind the Philadelphia Eagles in sacks with 55. Defensive tackle Chris Jones was responsible for 15 of those sacks.


The Bengals will be going back to the Super Bowl for the second-straight time and will face the Philadelphia Eagles in 57th edition of the big game. Right now, they are the better team playing with a more healthier quarterback.

Bengals 31, Chiefs 27

Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Topics Covered

More in AFC