There’s a war going on outside no man is safe from—unless you’re
Jeff Garcia’s Twitter mentions the Cincinnati Bengals or the Los Angeles Rams.
On Sunday, after Ashanti did what she does best—look great on mute—Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs gave us the kind of choke job you only see when the entire restaurant forgets the Heimlich maneuver.
After running up a 21-3 lead in the second quarter, the Bengals showed signs of life after Samaje Perine ran in a 41-yard touchdown. But you know that ominous feeling you get when you eat too many onions rings? With the first half of the game drawing to a close, instead of the Chiefs taking the easy points and kicking a field goal, they got greedy and tried to sneak in one last touchdown with seconds left on the clock.
As fate would have it, their efforts to do so ended in profound failure, and it was at that exact moment that I text the following to one of my homeboys: “That could bite the Cheifs in the ass later.”
Because I’m an oracle and shit.
Fast forward to the second half of the game, and the Bengals got to work while the Chiefs’ offense was nowhere to be found, mustering a grand total of three points in the final 30 minutes of regulation because God don’t like ugly and apparently, there’s only so many racist indigenous chants and “Arrowhead chops” the same guy who gave us Donald Trump could stomach.
And while Mahomes and Kansas City were performing arguably the greatest impersonation of Teddy Bridgewater and the Denver Broncos offense that I’ve ever seen, icy-ass Joe Burrow—yes, the diamonds are real—kept his cool and dug the Bengals out of an 18-point hole. Because that’s what quarterbacks not named Dak Prescott or Baker Mayfield actually do.
But before we heap ladles of praise upon the second-year superstar, rookie kicker Evan McPherson’s right foot is the real MVP. After tying up the game 24-all with yet another field goal at the buzzer—which has been a reoccurring theme throughout the playoffs this year—the 22-year-old sealed the deal with a 31-yarder with 9:22 left in overtime.
Suffice to say, if ever there was an opportune time to bust out the Ickey Shuffle, I would think it would be after heading to the Super Bowl for the first time in 33 years. (We only ask that you get that whole inaudible halftime debacle cleaned up beforehand.)
“It’s a special team that’s capable of doing special things,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said after his team’s shocking 27-24 win. “We’ve said that from the get-go, whether people believed us or not. We believed. So we’re not surprised.”
Just don’t call them underdogs. Word on the street is they hate that shit.
Also, special shoutout to the Baltimore Ravens for ending their season with a six-game losing streak, making the Bengals reign of terror even possible. We love you, Lamar, but your catastrophic failure and commitment to the cause—homie even faked an ankle injury!—is greatly appreciated.
Next on the menu was a delicious appetizer of Brandy’s soaring vocal gymnastics to kick off the NFC Championship game, followed up by the Los Angeles Rams finally beating their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, after failing miserably six consecutive times beforehand.
The Rams, who equipped themselves with mercenaries like Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller in order to complete the task at hand, made the most of their high-powered offensive that included Matt Stafford doing damage in the air (337 passing yards, two touchdowns) while Cooper Kupp (142 receiving yards, two touchdowns) and OBJ (nine receptions, 113 receiving yards) embarrassed the Niners secondary.
There was also some guy named Aaron Donald who yelled “Boo!” really loud and made San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo do this with a little over a minute left in the game:
With Sunday’s 20-17 win, Los Angeles will now descend into chaos for the next two weeks with the Super Bowl set to be played at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium.
“I’m so proud of this group,” Stafford told reporters after earning his first Super Bowl berth. “We’ve had high expectations all year, done nothing but everything in our power to try to meet those. It’s a terrific group we have in there. Today wasn’t easy. It wasn’t perfect in some spots, but we found a way to win the game and that’s what it’s all about. I’m just happy and proud to be a part of this group. We’ve got some more work left to do.”
That you do, Matt. Because if you lose on the same night that Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar perform a free concert in front of the entire galaxy you might not make it home afterward.
Congrats to the Bengals and Rams on doing the damn thing on Sunday. Let’s see who keeps that same energy on Feb. 13.