NCAA Football

Chiefs vs Bengals, how to watch: time, channel, streaming on Paramount+, AFC Championship 2023

Chiefs vs Bengals, how to watch: time, channel, streaming on Paramount+, AFC Championship 2023

Let’s not waste time on a long preamble: it’s NFL Championship Sunday. In the AFC championship, the first seed is also the champion of the AFC West Kansas City Chiefs will host the No. 3 seed and AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals.

These two teams have met before this season as well as in the conference championship game last year. Cincinnati won both of those contests, but the Chiefs are once again operating with home-field advantage. Before we break down the match, here’s how you can watch the game.

How to watch

Date: Sunday, January 29 | Time: 6:30 PM ET
Location: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, MO)
TV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (Click here)
Coefficients: Bosses -1.5, O/U 48

Selected game | Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals

When the Bengals have the ball

Last week’s big story about the Bengals vs Buffalo Bills was the offensive line. As if the group is ahead Joe Burrow hold while down three starters, and count on the like Jackson Carman, Hakeem Adenijiand Max Sharping? As it turned out, it holds up well.

According to Tru Media, Barrow was pressured on just 31.6% of his downs, well below average. The Bengals’ ball carriers averaged an impressive 1.94 yards per carry before contact, a significant improvement over the 1.26 they averaged during the regular season. Not just Buffalo’s defensive line no dominate the game; it largely dominated. Cincinnati controlled the line of scrimmage from the jump.

The question now is whether the offensive line can do it again. The Chiefs actually pressured opposing quarterbacks at a higher rate (35.7%) during the regular season than the Bills (33.7%). And given that Buffalo was without Miller The Chiefs also had a separate threat of a higher caliber last week (Chris Jones), than any bill brought to the table a week ago. There is good news and bad news for the Bengals on that front. The good thing is that the other two starters along the line of scrimmage (Ted Karas and Cordell Wolson) both play on the interior, where Jones does his work. The bad thing is that Scharping also plays on the interior, and the Chiefs can line Jones up wherever they want to create advantageous matchups.

The only way the Bengals can neutralize the rush is through Nara. Against Buffalo, Barrow averaged 2.57 seconds per carry per game per Tru Media, matching his season average of 2.55 seconds. Only Tom Brady (2.33 seconds) has gotten rid of the ball faster this season, and only Brady has completed a higher percentage of his shots (55.3%) within 2.5 seconds of the snap than Barrow (55.0%). Burrow’s superpower lies in his ability to quickly decide where he’s going with the ball and pick it out of his hands when the situation calls for it, but he also has the extended playmaking ability that the league’s other superstar quarterbacks bring to the table.

It helps that he has arguably the best weapons in the league — or at least in his conference — to choose from. Ja’Mar Chase and Or Higgins give him two No. 1 alpha receivers who can each both make contested catches and generate yards after the catch. Chase is nearly impossible to knock down from the first down, and the Bengals take advantage of that fact by getting him the ball on screens and drops so he can attack defenders with pressure. In the first matchup between these two teams, the Chiefs left their inexperienced corners on the island too often with Chase or Higgins on the outside, and Borrow made them pay for it on multiple occasions. Steve Spagnuolo needs to come up with a different plan of attack this time around.

It will be interesting to see if the Chiefs slide Jarius Snead back out and re-insert Trent McDuffie in the slot, after they reversed those positions last week vs Jaguars. The most important threat in Jacksonville was Christian Kirk, so the Chiefs moved Snead back to the slot. Chase and Higgins remain the main threats for Cincinnati, and not Tyler Boyd, so it might make sense to move Snead back to the perimeter and let McDuffie try to play physical against Boyd inside. Spagnuolo should still be cautiously given to Sneed and Jaylen Watson appropriate help, however, Burrow will be aggressive in one-on-ones and trust his guys to win the ball in the air. Being able to send enough bodies behind Nara to create pressure while also maintaining enough coverage to ensure they don’t get smoked on the outside will be a tricky balance.

The Bengals got a lot better running the ball once they got away from how they wanted to run the ball early in the season. They were an under-center, out-of-zone team early, and it was extremely vanilla. They switched to an almost exclusively shotgun offense at the start of the year, and that allowed them to get a little more unpredictability in the rushing attack. Kansas City ranked a respectable 15th in DVOA as a rushing defense this season, according to Football Outsiders , so this isn’t one of those units where you can just run the ball down their throats if you want, as has sometimes been the case in the past seasons. Joe Mixon and The very crotch certainly they have a role to play here, but the Bengals are best off doing what they do best: letting Burrow control the game by playing quarterbacks from the pocket.

If the ball is with the bosses

Well, it all really boils down to one question: is there Patrick Mahomes healthy enough to play like Patrick Mahomes? I honestly have no idea, and I think anyone (except maybe the Chiefs team doctors) who tells you they know with any degree of certainty is lying.

So, let’s try to find out what we know:

  • We know Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anaruma will once again have a customized game plan to deal with Mahomes and the Chiefs’ passing attack.
  • We know the game plan will likely be at least a little different from what we saw in Week 13, which itself was a little different from what we saw in last year’s AFC title game.
  • We know Kansas City’s passing game is going Travis Kelceand the Bengals will likely try to pick him off using Tre Flowers to get physical help with him near the line of scrimmage and sending other coverage defenders further down the field.
  • We know the Chiefs retooled their offense last offseason to counter the defenses the Bengals and other teams used against them last year, forcing players to fit specific roles to fill their rushing game, direct drop game and run game. another level.
  • We know that all of these moves have largely worked, with Mahomes leading the way NFL to EPA for refund, Issia Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon giving them their most versatile backfield in years, and the Chiefs had arguably their best offensive season since Mahomes won (his first) MVP award back in 2018.
  • We know that the Bengalis know all these things, and that the chiefs know that they know it, and that the Bengalis know that the chiefs know that they know it, and so on.

If Mohamed is healthy, he should be trusted to handle the situation. Even in a loss to Cincinnati earlier this season, Mahomes completed 16 of 27 passes for 223 yards (8.2 per attempt) and a touchdown and added a score on the ground. If not for Kelce’s fumble, we might be talking about this game in a very different way. After all, it’s not like Mahomes is completely shut down. Kansas City scored on four of its first six drives, with one of those drives just ending in a two-run first inning from deep in its own territory. So they scored 24 points on five possessions. Then Kelce fumbled, Cincy scored, Harrison Butker missed the tying field goal and the rest Cincinnati’s mayor claims Burrow is Mahomes’ father, or what. (If anything, it should be Anoruma – Mahomes’ father, but I digress.)

In this game, however, the Bengals forced Mahomes to be incredibly patient. He averaged 3.36 seconds before passing the ball, the seventh-longest layup time in his 91 career games. (Two of the six games he took longer to play were last year’s AFC title loss to Cincinnati and Super Bowl losses for Art Buccaneers last year.) One of the reasons he was still able to succeed was because he could maneuver in the pocket because of his mobility, and he used that mobility to create big plays down the field. The rushing plays the Chiefs have been trying to get back into their offense this season have been largely unavailable.

Whether he’s available this week will depend on whether Anarum decides that Mohames’ injury means he has to apply pressure and force him to try to move, or that he doesn’t have to apply pressure because Mahomes can’t move. If Cincy gets the pressure, Mahomes can pick up the defense from the pocket like he did last week against the Jaguars. However, the Bengals have very rarely been blitzed in these last two games against the Chiefs, and they are not a blitz-heavy team anyway. It seems unlikely that Anarumo will suddenly change course on this. But unless the Bengals send more bodies, it’s also likely that the wall the Chiefs have built in front of Mahomes over the past two years will hold and give him time to find a free man down the field.

I’d expect Kansas City to play in the shotgun most of the time, so Mohamed won’t have to move too much to facilitate the run or get deep into play-action pass concepts, meaning it should be a tougher game for McKinnon than Pacheco. McKinnon is an ace pass defender and gets a little more exposure thanks to his agility, but Pacheco has the ability to go downfield and punish the Bengals for the lightbox game. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Chiefs try to get their game going early, forcing the Bengals to crawl and allow more downs.

#Chiefs #Bengals #watch #time #channel #streaming #Paramount #AFC #Championship

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