Chiefs’ pass rush largely absent in AFC Championship Game loss

Kansas City sacked Burrow once, hit him 4 times
Bengals Chiefs Football
Posted at 8:28 PM, Jan 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 10:32:30-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One week after Tennessee roughed up Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow, the Kansas City Chiefs failed to replicate that pass-rush success in a 27-24 overtime loss in the AFC Championship Game on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Titans overpowered the Bengals upfront, racking up nine sacks and 13 quarterback hits in limiting Burrow and company to 19 points.

It was a season-long problem for Cincinnati, which allowed the third-most sacks in the NFL during the regular season (55).

The Chiefs managed only one sack and hit Burrow a meager four times as Cincy advanced to its first Super Bowl since 1989.

“We did have opportunities,” Kansas City coach Andy Reid said. “He got out of those. That happens, but they were holding extra people in, too, as you saw for protection purposes.”

Regardless, the inability to get home and finish has plagued the Chiefs’ pass rush in 2021.

Melvin Ingram, a midseason addition via trade with Pittsburgh, had the only sack of Burrow.

He had two of Kansas City’s quarterback four official QB hits, while defensive end Mike Danna and defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi had the others.

Defensive tackle Chris Jones and defensive end Frank Clark, who have the two most-expensive contracts on the Chiefs’ defense, didn’t get credited with a quarterback hit.

“He’s tough, an athletic guy who can make all the throws and has poise,” Clark said.

Jones whiffed on a chance to sack Burrow on a key third down in the fourth quarter as Cincinnati drove for the go-ahead field goal.

“Hats off to him,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “Obviously, this kid studies a lot of tape, and he has the instincts to go with it as well. He made a couple third-down scrambles today that lifted their team.”

Burrow finished 23 of 38 for 250 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Kansas City sacked him four times in a Week 17 loss in Cincinnati.