The Kansas City Chiefs are set to host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in the AFC Championship game. And the Chiefs stole one of the Bengals’ biggest weapons ahead of the big showdown.
Cincinnati thrives on motivation — they love using perceived slights as fuel to play better.
Joe Burrow has some petty in him, too 😂 pic.twitter.com/l6iNrgZhwz
— zach ragan (@zachTNT) January 22, 2023
The Bengals felt slighted in week 18 against the Baltimore Ravens because the NFL was going to use a coin toss to determine home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs if Baltimore won that game (because of the canceled Bengals/Bills game in Week 17).
Cincinnati won that game and then continued to use the coin toss as motivation when they played the Ravens again in the playoffs in week one.
Last week against the Bills, the Bengals used the NFL selling tickets for a potential AFC Championship game in Atlanta between Buffalo and Kansas City as motivation.
Despite being defending AFC champions, the Bengals were routinely pegged as regression candidates.
If a potential slight against his team exists, Zac Taylor knows it.@pauldehnerjr on Cincinnati’s Year in Disrespect.
Read: https://t.co/6DHWXoOTS0 pic.twitter.com/Zj103El28z
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) January 25, 2023
The Bengals may not view themselves as underdogs, but they thrive on disrespect. In fact, Cincy head coach Zac Taylor said this week said that he’ll search every inch of the internet to find that motivation.
Unfortunately for the Bengals, that disrespect isn’t there this week. I’d even suggest it’s the Chiefs who could feel disrespected this week.
Kansas City, after all, is a home underdog this weekend. It’s the first time the Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback have been underdogs in a playoff game.
Mahomes and the Chiefs are underdogs in a playoff game for the first time ever on Sunday.
“The shifts in the ‘disrespected team’ in the AFC the last few weeks are wild. Last week, Cincinnati leaned into it. This week, it’s the @Chiefs. I’m here for all of it.”
— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) January 25, 2023
One of the Bengals’ biggest weapons suddenly isn’t a weapon anymore. If anything, it’s the Chiefs’ weapon now. Will that have an impact on Sunday’s game? That’s impossible to know. But either way, it’s one less piece of ammo that Cincinnati will have in their biggest game of the season thus far.