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Joe Burrow Faces Patrick Mahomes Sept. 15 in Kansas City

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) speaks with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) following an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) speaks with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) following an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

The Bengals meet the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs in a national television window for the sixth straight time in the Burrow-Mahomes Era, this time early in the season.

The NFL released the Week 2 game in Kansas City on Tuesday in the run-up to Wednesday night's unveiling of the full schedule. The 4:25 p.m. CBS game (Cincinnati's Local 12) on Sunday, Sept. 15 comes off the Chiefs' mini bye, 10 days after they open the season on a Thursday night against the Ravens in another home game.

With the help of primetime eyes and their franchise quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes, the Bengals and Chiefs have staged arguably the NFL's tightest and most influential rivalry in the previous three seasons.

Two of the matchups have come in the AFC title game with the teams splitting them on last-snap field goals. Two of the regular-season games have decided division titles with a 2021 Week 17 win over the Chiefs giving the Bengals the AFC North and last year's Week 17 win over the Bengals securing the Chiefs the AFC West.

When Burrow was asked to characterize the rivalry on last month's New Heights podcast hosted by the Kelce brothers, he pointed to both sides of the ball.

"I think we both work really hard at what we do," Burrow said. "They have great players, we have great players. I think we match up pretty well with them. We're kind of built to beat them."

Last year's game at Arrowhead Stadium, a 25-17 KC win, is the one of the five Burrow didn't play and the only one not decided by a tie-breaking field goal on the last down of the game.

Still, the Chiefs needed six straight field goals to overcome the 10-point lead fashioned by Bengals quarterback Jake Browning in the middle of the second quarter.

When Burrow and Mahomes have matched wits in their four meetings, it has produced instant classic duels.

Burrow is the only active quarterback to beat him three times and has done it completing 70% of his 149 passes with a 107 passer rating that balloons to 138.8 in the two regular-season games. Mahomes has fired back, completing 67% of his 144 passes with a 101.7 rating that rises to 107.6 in the regular season. Burrow has nine touchdown passes and three interceptions in the four games, while Mahomes has eight and two, respectively.

And, the Bengals are taking notes on how the Chiefs have won three of the last four Super Bowls.

"They were great. Their defense was one of the best in the league. They have great players on that side of the ball," Burrow said last week. "Obviously, they've got Patrick and Travis (Kelce) and their O-line and those playmakers, so you know they're the gold standard right now. Everybody's chasing them, obviously. Back-to-back World Champs. Somebody's got to knock them off. I'm hoping it's us."

Although it's the first time the Bengals and Chiefs haven't met in December or January with Burrow and Mahomes, the game isn't bereft of storylines. The Bengals have started the last two seasons 0-2, including 2022 when they won 10 straight before losing to the Chiefs in the conference championship game, and a dash out of the gate is an emphasis this offseason at Paycor Stadium.

"You want to jump out and be 6-0. That's not always how it goes," Burrow said last week. "We're going to continue to get better every day during OTAs and we'll come out of training camp and strive to be better every day. I think that's all that you can do. We're going to continue to be focused on each rep, day-in-and-day-out, and now the results will take care of themselves, I think."

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