AFC Championship Game returns to Kansas City for record 5th straight year

Chiefs host Bengals for 2nd consecutive year
Bengals Chiefs Football
Posted at 5:04 PM, Jan 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-22 18:07:19-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Next Sunday, the AFC Championship Game returns to Kansas City for a record fifth consecutive year.

The Chiefs will host the Bengals at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, the loudest stadium in the NFL.

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.

QB1 is determined to play — saying he will not exit a playoff game unless they "take me out" — but his teammates are prepared for another “Playoff Chad” performance if necessary.

“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.”

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.