Joe Burrow congratulated Patrick Mahomes and told the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback to ‘go win’ the Super Bowl after his Cincinnati Bengals were knocked out of the NFL Playoffs.
In a thrilling AFC Championship Game that went down to the wire, Mahomes overcame his frustrating ankle injury to lead the Chiefs past the Bengals with a 23-20 win at Arrowhead Stadium. Mahomes entered the game without a win in three meetings with Bengals star Joe Burrow, but the MVP favourite ensured he finally got one over his rival as kicker Harrison Butker sunk the clinching field goal to win with just three seconds remaining.
Late in the fourth quarter, Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai drew an agonising penalty for a late hit on Mahomes which ultimately led to Butker’s winning kick. Burrow was also scrutinised through a crucial penalty for intentional grounding, which helped slow Cincinnati’s momentum.
The win means the Chiefs have reached the Super Bowl on three occasions in the past four years after hosting five successive AFC title games at home. Mahomes has been a starter in the NFL for just five years since taking over from Alex Smith in 2018 - the year he won MVP.
After the epic contest, players from either sideline congratulated one another on the field. The NFL released footage of Burrow and Mahomes exchanging pleasantries after they went toe-to-toe.
“Many more, dawg, many more,” Mahomes said. “Hell of a game. You have a hell of a career, dawg.”
“You too, brother,” Burrow replied. “Go win it now.”
In his post-match press conference, Burrow went into more detail concerning why his Bengals came up short compare to a year ago, when they reached Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. He also revealed his respect for the Chiefs following a buildup littered with trash talk and antagonising comments.
“Tough loss, didn't make the plays that we needed to to win this game, and they did,” Burrow suggested. “And that's what it came down to.
“It's all love at the end of the day, they know the respect we have for them. I know the respect that they have for us. It's an intense emotional game. Things like that are going to happen, but that's what makes it fun.”
After a second successive deep playoff run, the Bengals enter the 2023 offseason focused on improving to ultimately return to the Super Bowl and go one better in winning a championship. With superstar quarterback Burrow at the helm, Cincinnati will feel as though they can be perennial contenders and they will look to tie the quarterback down to a long-term contract this offseason.
The Philadelphia Eagles will face the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona on February 12. The Eagles crushed the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 in the NFC Championship Game to return to a second Super Bowl in five years.