Skip to main content

Quick Hits: Bengals Stunned, But 'We're Building A Legacy'; Chiefs Unleash Pass Rush; Mates Rally To Ossai

Ja'Marr converts fourth and six.
Ja'Marr converts fourth and six.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ Strong safety Vonn Bell, who made one of the winning plays for the Bengals in overtime to win the AFC title game last year, saw this one taken away with three seconds left and choked back tears as they wrestled with the tables turned.

So did nose tackle DJ Reader after his defense pitched another heroic second half stand against Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. As good as Mahomes was and he was 326 yards good, he didn't get to 23 points until Harrison Butker's field goal snapped the 20-20 tie.

It ended a 10-game winning streak and one of the most successful seasons in Bengals history. But that's all.

"We're building a legacy right now," said wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, whose magical fourth-and-sixth leaping 35-yard conversion brought them back. "It's still in the process of being built. As long as we're winning and moving forward, that will be good for us."

JOE SAYS: Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow suffered his first two-interception playoff game and rare 70 passer rating. But he also got sacked five times for the first time since their last loss 11 games ago on Halloween. With 1:30 left, Bengaldom still thought Burrow would pull it out after his 23-yard pass to tight end Hayden Hurst converted a third-and-16 at the Bengals 33 and they were, what? Thirty-five yards from an Evan McPherson winner?

"That was the plan," Burrow said.

But on third-and -eight, Chiefs Pro Bowl defensive tackle Chris Jones, who got his first sack in 14 career postseason games in the first quarter, jumped outside on right tackle Hakeem Adeniji to get his second sack to force the punt that turned into the deadly 29-yard punt return by rookie Skyy Moore.

"He's so good. He makes it hard on you," Burrow said. "He's so strong, he's so big and physical and he understands what you're trying to do to him up front. Give them credit. They had a real good rush plan. They let their big-time rushers go to work."

OSSAI RALLY: When Mahomes converted a third-and-four with eight seconds left and second-year edge man Joseph Ossai went all out to stop him on the sideline, he was flagged for roughing the passer and the 15 yards got Butker close enough to give it a shot. Ossai was devastated and in tears, but his teammates to a man defended the play. The classy Ossai bit his lip and met the press while defensive tackle BJ Hill stood right next to him.

"Because he's my brother," Hill said. "The same thing happened to me a few years ago. I had a chance to win a game and I missed a sack. One person does not lose a game. That's not going to fly with me. Especially on this team. A great group of guys. He had a great year. One play doesn't define who you are. That play right there, he was playing his butt off. He practices how he plays. No hard feelings about that play. He was playing all out."

Ossai says it was an all-out pursuit. On the previous play, Ossai lined up inside and got off a good enough rush that Mahomes hurried an incompletion as the CBS broadcast team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo raved about what a good game he was having.

"I was just in full-chase-mode, and I was trying to push him to get him going backwards because I knew he was going for that sideline," Ossai said. "I was trying to make him go backwards and get that clock running. I haven't seen it yet. I don't know how far out of bounds we were."

Remember, it was Ossai who sacked Mahomes near midfield back on Dec. 4 in the Bengals' 27-24 win on what turned out to be the last snap for Mahomes. It was a huge play for a guy that missed all last season with injuries. Then this.

"It's great to have the support of my teammates. Like Sam (Hubbard) was saying, I have to learn from experience. I have to know not to get close to that quarterback when he's close to that sideline if there's anything that could cause a penalty. In a dire situation like that, I have to do better," Ossai said. "This time last year, I was on the couch. Just being able to be in this game, in this stadium and in this locker room with these guys, it's a blessing and I thank God for that. I'm sorry things didn't go our way, but it's a huge blessing."

Ossai said his knee buckled on the play and he'll get an MRI on Monday.

FLAG MINUTE: The Bengals, one of the least penalized teams in the league over the last two seasons, took two major ones that were up for debate in the last minute. Before the Ossai penalty, the other one was caused by the sheer domination of Chris Jones. Before his second sack of Burrow, he forced Burrow into what they called an intentional grounding penalty. Center Ted Karras tried to get over to help right guard Max Scharping, but there was no stopping Jones Sunday.

"I'll think about that all offseason. We had the Mike (linebacker) and he kind of played to the left, so I had to follow him for a second, I should've been there a little bit faster. I thought he might be wrapping around. They had been plugging a lot all day, and I tried to make it back. It was just one of those plays," Karras said. "It's our assignment and I had to honor it at that point. I would've liked to make a faster decision and get back to 95 [Chris Jones], but it is what it is."