For Week 17, the Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Cincinnati Bengals on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. At stake for Kansas City was the team’s eighth straight AFC West title — and an opportunity to rest its starters in the season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers in the season finale. After an ugly Christmas Day loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Chiefs finally got it done, collecting a 25-17 victory against their AFC rivals.
Under the hand of backup quarterback Jake Browning, Cincinnati started the game with a methodical 14-play drive that got into the Kansas City red zone before the defense finally could manage a stop, forcing a 34-yard field goal that gave the Bengals a 3-0 lead. The Chiefs responded with a seven-play drive that featured a 35-yard scamper by Isiah Pacheco — and ended when the running back hauled in an eight-yard touchdown pass that gave Kansas City a 7-3 lead.
Cincinnati came back with another long drive, chewing up 6:29 and scoring on a seven-yard pass to running back Joe Mixon. That gave the Bengals a 10-7 lead — and on the third play of the next Kansas City possession, Trey Hendrickson strip-sacked Patrick Mahomes and recovered the fumble at the Chiefs’ 24-yard line. It took nine plays to do it, but the Bengals took a 17-7 lead on Browning’s one-yard run with 6:23 left in the half.
Kansas City’s next drive sputtered at the Cincinnati 36, so Harrison Butker kicked a 54-yard field goal to narrow the score to 17-10. The Chiefs’ defense forced a three-and-out, giving the offense good field position — which Pachceo immediately improved with a 37-yard run to the Cincinnati 31-yard line. Kansas City couldn’t get any further, so Butker’s 43-yard field goal with 39 seconds left in the half allowed the teams to go to their locker rooms with the Bengals holding a 17-13 lead.
The Chiefs’ offense opened the third quarter with a three-and-out. The Bengals came back with an 11-play drive whose biggest play was a pass interference call against Kansas City’s Joshua Williams that turned a third-and-9 at the 45-yard line into a first-and-10 at the 14. But Cincinnati gave up the ball on downs when the Chiefs’ Willie Gay blew up a fourth-and-1 at the Kansas City 6-yard line.
The Chiefs went to work, crossing midfield with a 41-yard pass to Justin Watson and getting into the red zone with a 24-yard reception by Rashee Rice — but then the offense stalled, so Butker kicked a 27-yard field goal to make the score 17-16.
Then the Kansas City defense managed a stop near midfield, giving the Chiefs the ball at their own 9-yard line with 2:39 left in the third quarter. On the third play of the drive, Kansas City turned in their longest pass play of the season: a 67-yard strike to Rice down the right sideline to the Bengals’ 11-yard line. The offense, however, couldn’t punch it in — so another Butker field goal gave the Chiefs a 19-17 lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
The Kansas City defense forced another three-and-out. The offense went back to work at its own 30, mostly moving the ball on the ground — including a fourth-and-1 that quarterback Patrick Mahomes converted with a keeper. But then the Chiefs were stopped on a third-and-5, giving Butker his fifth field goal of the day — and the team a 22-17 lead.
On Cincinnati’s next drive, George Karlaftis collected his 10th sack of the season on a third-and-17, concluding another three-and-out. On the punt that followed, Richie James recorded a 27-yard punt return that put Kansas City on the Bengals’ 37-yard line. Once again, the offense couldn’t move further — and a 46-yard field goal gave the Chiefs a 25-17 lead with 2:59 left in the game.
Cincinnati tried on its final drive — even converting a fourth-and-18 — but the Kansas City defense had its hair on fire, collecting four sacks on eight plays. On a fourth-and-27, Browning’s pass was incomplete — and that sealed the Chiefs’ 25-17 victory.