2023 AFC Championship Game

2023 AFC Championship Game

Hmmm, two of the three best quarterbacks in the AFC are facing off against each other in the conference championship game…who could have seen this coming? It’s Patrick Mahomes versus Joe Burrow for the second straight time in the postseason, and for the second straight year it will determine who plays in the Super Bowl. Burrow has faced the former league MVP three times thus far in his NFL career and he has come out of it undefeated. Will the same bode true this time around? Let’s break down the 2023 AFC Championship Game.


These two teams squared off in the regular season last month and the Bengals took care of business, with a 27-24 win. Joe Burrow has been nothing but solid in his three career games against Kansas City. In those matchups, he’s averaged 327 yards passing per game with a 72 percent completion rate and eight touchdowns to one interception.

Mahomes has played well, just not well enough to beat his new foe. Mahomes has gone for just over 250 passing yards per game with a 67 percent completion rating and a six to two touchdown to interception ratio.

Storyline to Watch

Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes’ Ankle

If you watched the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, it looked like Patrick Mahomes was going to be the next victim of a gruesome leg injury. But the star quarterback played through the injury which was later diagnosed as a high ankle sprain. If you are thinking there is no way Mahomes would ever miss a conference championship game for something like an ankle sprain, you are correct. He is playing through it, but it will be something to watch for, as high ankle sprains are no walk in the park. The Bengals love to bring pressure and they will try to get Mahomes out of the pocket and on the run with a bum ankle if they can.

Bengals – The Offensive Line

This was a huge storyline entering last week and it proved to not be much of anything. The Bengals are beat up as hell on the offensive line with three starters out for what could be the remainder of the postseason. However, they allowed just a single sack last week to one of the best defensive lines in the league. The Chiefs offer a similar threat, and with a week of footage, they could identify some weaknesses. 

Key Player

Chiefs – DT Chris Jones

He had 15.5 sacks this season and gets after the quarterback in a dominant and powerful way. The Bengals O-line will have to do their best to keep him away and keep the pocket clean for Burrow who is mobile but not a run-first quarterback by any means.

Bengals – WR Tyler Boyd

We know about Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, but Tyler Boyd is the #3 wide receiver on the Bengals who would be a #1 on many teams in the league. He averaged 15 yards per catch in the last matchup versus KC.


Burrow gets the advantage here with a bum ankle from Mahomes who will lose a fourth straight. Bengals 27 Chiefs 20