The Kansas City Chiefs have diligently prepared for the AFC Championship against the Cincinnati Bengals. And regardless of the injury to quarterback Patrick Mahomes, left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. has shifted his focus to the bigger picture.
This is the AFC Title, after all.
"I think there's really a standard heading into any time of year," Brown explained. "With the circumstances so high, obviously, the margin of error is so small and slim. Just understanding besides (Mahomes) being hurt, it is the AFC Championship."
Historically speaking, the Bengals have been better than the Chiefs, to which Brown credits the Bengals' ability to execute their game plan better.
"The margin of error is just so slim because these quarterbacks are so good at what they do," said Brown. "It's all about executing, and I just feel like they've out-executed us in the past."
Brown says he will "have his hands full, as usual" as he matches up with Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson on Sunday. Brown was complimentary of his opponent’s pass-rushing skill set and understands the challenge of facing him.
"He does a lot of things well," praised Brown. "Rushing the passer is, I think, is one of the best things that he does. He does a really good job setting up his moves; it's a chess match out there with him for 60 minutes."
It's no secret that head coach Andy Reid and offensive line coach Andy Heck set the standard high for the team, and that mentality carries into the offensive lineman room.
"We're truly chasing perfection – which is the reason we have two All-Pros in there," boasted Brown. "[Heck] does a really good job of making sure every single week no matter who the opponent is, he sets the standard high, and he approaches the week like that and holds us accountable, and we do the same amongst each other."
This will be the fourth matchup between Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and the Chiefs and the second consecutive AFC Championship between the two teams. Brown says that getting a long, sought-after victory over the Bengals would mean a lot to the Chiefs.
"It's the AFC Championship, we know what's at stake [if] we win this game and we've been here before as a team," explained Brown. "I think it will be a real gratifying win."