Bengals rally late to beat Chiefs

CINCINNATI – Just when it seemed the Kansas City Chiefs had all the momentum, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt changed the game.

With the Bengals trailing 24-20 in the fourth quarter, Pratt stripped the ball away from Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce at the end of a big catch near midfield, and the offense responded with its first touchdown since early in the second quarter. Joe Burrow teamed up with Chris Evans on an 8-yard pass for the go-ahead score, and that was all Cincinnati needed.

The Bengals got a crucial third-down sack from Joseph Ossai that led to a missed field goal on the next drive, and they held off the Chiefs for a 27-24 win Sunday at Paycor Stadium in a game that had all the feels of a playoff atmosphere.

Kansas City (9-3) entered the game as the top team in the AFC, but Cincinnati (8-4) has now beaten the Chiefs three times this calendar year, including the AFC Championship last season at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Bengals, who have won four straight games and eight of their last 10 games, had gotten off to a dominant start Sunday, scoring on their first two drives while holding the Chiefs to a field goal and three-and-out on theirs. But once Kansas City found the end zone late in the second quarter, it was the start of a run of touchdowns on three consecutive full possessions. The Bengals would need the defense to shift the tide.

Cincinnati missed an opportunity to go into halftime with a two-score lead when the Chiefs snuffed out a jet sweep on fourth down with less than a minute left in the second quarter, and that meant Kansas City trailed just 14-10 going into the break and possession to start the second half.

The Chiefs took their first lead on Isiah Pacheco’s 8-yard run on the opening drive of the third quarter, and the Bengals settled for a 36-yard game-tying field goal from Evan McPherson the ensuing possession. Kansas City responded with a Mahomes touchdown run to make it 24-17 with 3:49 remaining in the period, and Tyler Boyd dropped a pass in the end zone that would have tied the game again.

Instead, McPherson came out for a 41-yard field goal, and Kansas City was approaching midfield when Pratt made his big play on Kelce after he caught a 19-yard pass from Mahomes. After Evans’ first touchdown of the season gave Cincinnati the lead for good, Ossai came up with the third-down sack to force the field goal Harrison Butker missed from 55 yards.

Burrow, who scored the team’s first touchdown on a 4-yard run, finished with 286 yards passing and two touchdowns in the air to go along with 46 yards on 11 carries. Samaje Perine had 106 yards on 21 carries and added 49 yards receiving as Bengals running back Joe Mixon was inactive for a second straight game because of a concussion suffered in Week 10.

Ja’Marr Chase made his return to the field after missing four games with a fractured hip and proved to be just fine, leading the receivers with 97 yards on seven catches.

Mahomes, the league’s passing leader, had one of his lowest passing total for the season with just 223 yards and one touchdown. Pacheco had 66 of the Chiefs’ 138 yards rushing.

SUNDAY’S GAME

Browns at Bengals, 1 p.m., Ch. 7, 12; 700, 1530, 102.7, 104.7; 1290, 95.7

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