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A look at the offensive player of the year contenders
  1. NFL

NFL: Bengals have hope in AFC decider

After an exhilarating divisional round, the AFC Championship game pits the underdog Cincinnati Bengals against the winning machine Kansas City Chiefs.

We take a look ahead to what's in store this weekend.

Burrow and Bengals making history

Joe Burrow, the young Bengals quarterback, has led his team on a dramatic turnaround over the last two seasons. Having gone 4-11-1 last year, the Bengals put together a 10-7 season before beating the Las Vegas Raiders in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, ending the longest playoff win drought in NFL history.

It was their first postseason victory since 1990 and they backed it up with a battling win over the number one seed Tennessee Titans to reach the AFC Championship game for the first time in 33 years.

The Bengals are 11/4 on the money line to win this one and can be backed at seven on the spread.

Pass Master Mahomes leads Chiefs past Bills in thriller

Patrick Mahomes signed the biggest contract in NFL history last season and showed exactly why as he was the catalyst for an overtime victory for the ages over the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round.

25 points were scored between the two sides in the last two minutes of regular time as they played out a back and forth thriller.

Mahomes threw three touchdowns, ran for another as he was responsible for almost 450 yards in their 42-36 win.

The Chiefs also scored 42 points in their Wild Card round victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers so they are an offense at the top of their game.

The Chiefs are 2/7 to return to the Super Bowl.

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Bengals regular season win gives hope

Very few quarterbacks can go toe to toe with Patrick Mahomes but that is just what Joe Burrow did in the regular season meeting between the Bengals and Chiefs.

Kansas City came into the game on a eight-game winning streak and have won the following three, but the Bengals inflicted a 34-31 loss on the Chiefs in this early January encounter.

Burrow threw for 446 yards and four touchdowns in an explosive performance, with receiver Ja'Marr Chase contributing 266 yards and three of those touchdowns, the most yards for a rookie in NFL history.

Perhaps most important for this rematch was the Bengals' second half defensive performance in which they held Mahomes' explosive offense to just 50 passing yards and three points.

Chiefs have been here before

The Kansas City Chiefs have won the last two AFC Championships, reaching the Super Bowl where they have won one and lost one.

After a 3-4 start to this season it looked unlikely that they would make it three in a row, but their offense clicked into gear and they haven't looked back since, winning 12 of their last 13 games, with their only loss to the Bengals.

Kansas City's experience at this level could come in handy, especially in crunch situations that Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid seem to thrive in.

Pass heavy offences may lead to high-scoring affair

The 65 points scored in the regular season encounter between these two could be a precursor for another high-scoring affair.

Both sides rely heavily on their passing game and as such can move the ball down the field quickly, as demonstrated by the Chiefs in their recent win over the Bills.

Burrow and the Bengals also showed during this season he can throw with the best of them, leading the league in completion percentage at 70.4 per-cent and average yards per throw at 8.9.

The points line is 54.5 and this may prove on the low side if the two quarterbacks can serve up the passing bonanza they are capable of.

The Chiefs are favourites for a reason, having won the last two AFC Championship games but the Bengals have proven to be the surprise package of this year's playoffs and could make this a closer encounter than some expect.

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