While the Rams were finally able to overcome their six-game losing streak against the 49ers and became the second team in two years to advance to a Super Bowl in their home stadium, the shocking result from Sunday’s conference title games was unquestionably what we saw in the afternoon.
After coasting to a 21-3 lead in the second quarter, the Chiefs utterly and completely collapsed against Cincinnati. The Bengals promptly rolled off 24 consecutive points to take the lead, and while the Chiefs tied the game at the end of regulation and won the coin toss, a Patrick Mahomes interception and an Evan McPherson field goal sealed a stunning trip to Super Bowl LVI for the Bengals.
We’ve seen heavy pregame favorites lose before, of course, but this has to be one of the most shocking defeats in recent memory. The Chiefs topped out with a win expectancy of 95% after building that 18-point lead, meaning they had a better chance of winning than the Bills did after either of their late touchdowns in the divisional round. Chiefs fans were frantically trying to log onto the in-stadium Wi-Fi to buy plane tickets to Los Angeles. The game felt over.
What happened? How did the Bengals claw their way back? And how did the Chiefs blow a three-possession lead and miss out on a chance to make their third consecutive Super Bowl?
Mistake after mistake for the Chiefs’ offense