Chiefs Close In On AFC West Title; Bengals Trying To Stay In Wild-card Race At Arrowhead Stadium

CINCINNATI (8-7) at KANSAS CITY (9-6)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST, CBS

OPENING LINE: Chiefs by 7, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Bengals 6-7-2; Chiefs 7-7-1.

SERIES RECORD: Bengals lead 18-15.

LAST MEETING: Chiefs beat Bengals 23-20 on Jan. 29, 2023, in the AFC championship game in Kansas City.

LAST WEEK: Bengals lost to Steelers 34-11; Chiefs lost to Raiders 20-14.

BENGALS OFFENSE: OVERALL (21), RUSH (32), PASS (11), SCORING (20).

BENGALS DEFENSE: OVERALL (31), RUSH (26), PASS (28), SCORING (31).

CHIEFS OFFENSE: OVERALL (9), RUSH (20), PASS (4), SCORING (T11).

CHIEFS DEFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (18), PASS (3), SCORING (2).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Bengals plus-8; Chiefs minus-10.

BENGALS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Joe Mixon managed just 43 yards on 11 carries and caught two passes for 7 yards in last week’s loss to Pittsburgh. He will try to bounce back against a Kansas City defense that did not allow a pass completion after the first quarter last week but did allow Raiders backup Zamir White to run for 145 yards.

CHIEFS PLAYER TO WATCH: Travis Kelce needs 32 yards receiving to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the eighth consecutive season, extending his franchise record and the NFL record for tight ends. Eight straight also would tie three other players for the fourth-longest streak in NFL history for players at any position.

KEY MATCHUP: Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire against the Cincinnati defense. Kansas City’s wide receivers have struggled, and the position is also thin now with Skyy Moore on injured reserve. And with RB Isiah Pacheco in the concussion protocol and RB Jerick McKinnon also on IR, it could be up to Edwards-Helaire to provide offense both on the ground and through the air for Kansas City.

KEY INJURIES: Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase missed practice this week with a shoulder injury. Chiefs CBs L’Jarius Sneed (calf) and Jaylen Watson (illness), RB Isiah Pacheco (concussion), WR Kadarius Toney (hip) and LT Donovan Smith (neck) also missed practice.

SERIES NOTES: The Bengals and Chiefs have met in the past two AFC championship games with Cincinnati winning 27-24 in overtime in the 2021 season and Kansas City winning 23-20 last season. The Bengals had won three straight in the series before the Chiefs won their most recent game to advance to the Super Bowl. The Bengals have won seven of the past nine games in the series overall going back to the 2007 season.

STATS AND STUFF: The Chiefs can clinch the AFC West for the eighth consecutive year with a win or if the Raiders and Broncos lose or tie. … The Bengals fell out of a wild-card spot with last week’s loss to Pittsburgh. They could move back into one with a win and some help this weekend. … Bengals RB Joe Mixon needs 212 yards rushing to pass James Brooks (6,447) for second in franchise history. … Mixon has 48 TD runs, tied with Rudi Johnson for second in Bengals history. Pete Johnson holds the record with 64. … Bengals WR Tyler Boyd needs 21 catches to pass Carl Pickens (530) for third in franchise history. … Chase has 93 catches, four shy of A.J. Green and T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the fifth-best season in Bengals history. … Chase has 1,156 yards, putting him 299 shy of his own Bengals record set in 2021. … Chase had 266 yards receiving against Kansas City on Jan. 2, 2022. … Bengals DE Trey Hendrickson has 16 sacks this season, the second most in team history. … The Chiefs have lost three of their past four, four of their past six and five of their past eight. They began the season 6-1. … Kansas City became the first team since 2000 to lose without allowing a completion after the first quarter last week against Las Vegas. … The Chiefs allowed defensive touchdowns 7 seconds apart against the Raiders on a pick-6 and fumble return. … Kansas City has scored in 179 consecutive games going back to Week 16 of the 2012 season, tying the longest streak in franchise history. … With a win, Chiefs coach Andy Reid can pass George Seifert (1989-96) for the second-most consecutive 10-win seasons with his ninth in a row. … Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes needs 329 yards passing to pass Len Dawson (28,507) for the most in franchise history. … Mahomes needs 62 yards passing to reach 4,000 for the sixth straight season as a starter. That would tie Tom Brady and Peyton Manning for the fifth-most consecutive 4,000-yard seasons in NFL history. … Kelce needs one TD catch to pass Jason Witten (74) for fifth most by a tight end in NFL history. Kelce needs three to pass Tony Gonzalez (76) for the most in Chiefs history. … Kelce needs 13 catches to pass Gonzalez (916) for the most in Chiefs history.

FANTASY TIP: This could be a bounce-back spot for Kelce, who was so frustrated last week against Las Vegas that he spiked his helmet on the sideline, and then had Reid refuse to give it back to him. Kelce had just five catches for 44 yards with a drop in the loss, and he has not caught a TD pass in the past five games. But he will be facing a Bengals pass defense this week that allowed Pittsburgh backup Mason Rudolph to throw for 290 yards and two scores last week.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)

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