The Cincinnati Bengals ended Kansas City’s eight-game winning streak Sunday by rallying to win a 34-31 decision as 3.5-point home underdogs. In the process, they won their third consecutive game both straight up and against the spread.
Most important, Cincinnati (10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS) won the AFC North with the victory.
That fact loomed large for one Caesars Sports gambler in Michigan who wagered $20,000 on the Bengals to win the division at 20/1 odds back on Sept. 16.
That bettor will be bringing home $400,000.
He or she can credit second-year QB Joe Burrow and rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase for doing a lot of the heavy lifting to help that wager cash. On Sunday against the Chiefs, Burrow completed 30-of-39 passes for 446 yards and four TDs without an interception.
Chase had 11 receptions for 266 yards and three TDs, including TD catches of 72, 18 and 69 yards.
With the game knotted at 31-31 in the final minute, Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor elected to go for it on fourth-and-goal at the one instead of taking the chip-shot field goal. It was a daring move, but an understandable one considering that KC’s electric offense led by QB Patrick Mahomes would’ve had more than 40 seconds remaining to get into field-goal range.
The move appeared to fail initially, but offsetting penalties on both teams gave the Bengals another crack at it. At that point, this Armchair QB thought it would be more prudent to take the field goal.
Taylor thought differently. Once again, the play initially appeared to fail when Burrow threw incomplete. However, the Chiefs were flagged for illegal use of the hands to give the Bengals a first down.
Burrow took a hit to the knee and had to leave the game. Backup QB Brandon Allen (From? Arkansas!) entered the game and took a knee. This allowed Cincinnati to drip the clock before rookie kicker Evan McPherson would attempt a 20-yard field goal on the game’s final play.
McPherson, a rookie out of Florida who was taken in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, buried the kick to seal the victory.
Even with the win, there was plenty of concern for Burrow, who has caught fire at the perfect time of the season. The LSU product, who has 11 TD passes without an interception in the Bengals’ last four games and threw for 525 yards and four TDs in last week’s 41-21 home win over Baltimore, quickly alleviated the fan base’s worries during the club’s post-game celebration, though.
Taylor said in his post-game presser that Burrow’s knee got rolled up on, but the team was confident that it wasn’t anything serious.