KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Next Sunday, the AFC Championship Game returns to Kansas City for a record fifth consecutive year.
Kansas City.— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) January 22, 2023
The official home of the AFC Championship Game. pic.twitter.com/QEbzuTfKhX
But this matchup is personal.
In a rematch of last year's AFC Championship Game, Kansas City looks to snap its losing streak against Cincinnati.
Mahomes and company lost to the Bengals three times in 2022 — twice in January and once in December.
During the Week 13 regular-season matchup, the Chiefs fell to the Bengals by 3 points.
In a Jan. 2 matchup, the Chiefs also lost by three. However, Kansas City had led by 14 points before falling apart and allowing the Bengals to rally to a 34-31 win.
But perhaps the most memorable loss came in the AFC Championship when the Chiefs had a meltdown that deteriorated a 21-3 lead to a Super Bowl berth for the Bengals.
With revenge on the mind, Kansas City’s quest for victory could be complicated by a high-ankle sprain Mahomes sustained in the Divisional round against Jacksonville.
“We had a veteran guy, Chad Henne, stepping up to the plate yet again in the playoffs,” tight end Travis Kelce said Saturday. “Playoff Chad, baby — we keep finding a way to win with him at QB.”
The road to the Super Bowl runs through Kansas City. pic.twitter.com/TjHL1DTRpy— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 22, 2023
Before the Cincinnati-Buffalo AFC Divisional matchup Sunday, the location of the AFC Championship game was up in the air.
Had the Bills won, the game would have been played at a neutral site — Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
In preparation for the potential Chiefs-Bills pairing, over 50,000 tickets were sold ahead of time.
But with the Bengals defeating the Bills 27-10 in snowy Buffalo, Kansas City gained home-field advantage once again.
Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29. The game can be viewed on CBS.