Win and you're in. It's that simple for the Bengals Sunday afternoon as they host the Chiefs in the Jungle for what will be the season's biggest game to date.
Here are five things to know ahead of Sunday's Week 17 meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs:
1. Bombs Away
Last week's win over Baltimore was a thrilling one, as it was a day of records, milestones and career highs. For the second time this season, the Bengals recorded 500 total yards of offense, as both instances came against the Ravens. But the 575 yards the offense recorded in Week 16 stands as the fifth most ever in team history, and it's the most by a Bengals team in over 31 years. The last time the team logged more total yards was on October 7, 1990, against the Los Angeles Rams in a 34-31 overtime win where Boomer Esiason threw for 490 yards as the offense put up 582 yards for the game.
2. Hall of Fame Company
Esiason's 490-passing yards on that day in 1990 stood as the team record until Joe Burrow took the field last week and threw for a new Bengals record of 525 yards. As Burrow surpassed the 400-passing yardage mark, he joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks to throw for 400 yards and three touchdowns in at least three games in their first two seasons.
Check out the Top 50 game action images from the 2021 calendar year of the Bengals players.
3. Triple Threat
Burrow has spread the wealth to his pass catchers this season, as the Bengals are the only team in the NFL with three receivers who each have more than 750-receiving yards. Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins have already surpassed the 1,000-yard mark, while Tyler Boyd needs 208 more yards to reach it. If Boyd reaches 1,000, the Bengals would become the first Cincinnati team and sixth in NFL history to have three 1,000 yard receivers in the same season. The 2008 Arizona Cardinals were the last team in the league to accomplish this feat.
4. Defense Delivers
Since the bye week, the defense has taken their play up a notch. The Bengals have won the turnover margin in each of their last four wins, and on the season they have been stout on fourth downs. Teams are converting 37.5% of fourth-down attempts on Cincinnati, tied for second-best in the league.
5. Good Fortune Jungle
As the Chiefs and Bengals square off at Paul Brown Stadium, Kansas City enters a place they have recently struggled in. The Bengals have won the last five meetings against the Chiefs in Cincinnati, and have outscored Kansas City 123-83 in those matchups.