NFL News & Analysis

AFC Championship: Immediate fantasy football takeaways from the Cincinnati Bengals' overtime win

Kansas City, MO, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Samaje Perine (34) runs for a 41-yard touchdown off a Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) screen pass in the second quarter during the AFC championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports

Conference Championship Weekend got off to an incredible start Sunday, with the Cincinnati Bengals defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime to advance to Super Bowl 56.

Kansas City started the game hot, relying heavily on Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce and scoring on each of their first three drives. However, Cincinnati’s defense stepped up with a stop to end the half, and they continued to shut out Patrick Mahomes in the second half and overtime.

Cincinnati’s offense took advantage of some good field position and made enough plays in the pass and run game to get the Bengals back to their first  Super Bowl in over 30 years.

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PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success for any NFL playoff contests as well as the 2022 season.

Table Notes
  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties like offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

  • Travis Kelce: 10 receptions, 95 yards, 1 TD (3 avoided tackles)
  • Tyreek Hill: 7 receptions, 78 yards, 1 TD (54.5% of snaps from the slot)
Cincinnati Bengals Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Ja'Marr Chase 68 42 9 1
Tee Higgins 60 40 9 0
Tyler Boyd 48 38 4 0
Mike Thomas 2 1 0 0
Trent Taylor 1
TE
Drew Sample 62 27 2 0
Mitchell Wilcox 18 4 0 0
C.J. Uzomah 9 6 2 0
HB
Joe Mixon 52 24 3 21
Samaje Perine 17 14 4 0
Total 69 42 33 24

 

Kansas City Chiefs Snaps Routes Run Targets Carries
WR
Tyreek Hill 65 44 10 0
Demarcus Robinson 48 30 3 0
Byron Pringle 42 32 3 0
Mecole Hardman 32 21 4 2
TE
Travis Kelce 62 45 11 0
Blake Bell 22 6 0 0
Noah Gray 3 1 0 0
HB
Jerick McKinnon 54 38 4 12
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 13 5 2 6
Darrel Williams 2 2 0 0
Total 69 46 37 21

Monitor the C.J. Uzomah injury: The Bengals' starting tight end suffered an MCL sprain on the second drive of the game. This kept him out for the rest of the game and could cost him a spot in the Super Bowl — it typically takes a player between two and four weeks to recover from an MCL sprain.

Drew Sample took over as the tight end for the rest of the game, as he did in the 2020 season. He was held to one catch for 4 yards.

Sample will remain the starting tight end if Uzomah cannot play in two weeks. His 0.82 yards per route run over the last two seasons are second-worst for tight ends with at least 500 routes run. Uzomah missing the Super Bowl would largely mean more opportunities for the Bengals' other skill players.

Samaje Perine’s big game: Perine scored on a 41-yard catch and run with a minute left in the first half, sparking the Bengals' comeback. He ended the day with three catches for 43 yards and no carries. One big play doesn’t necessarily mean his value is on the rise, but his usage today is promising.

Cincinnati has shifted to using backups even less during the playoffs, with their starting wide receivers exiting the field less often than the regular season. This trend was true at running back, as Chris Evans didn’t play an offensive snap in the game. Perine took even more of the third down and two-minute drill work than usual.

Jerick McKinnon’s backfield: McKinnon has been the clear starter in Kansas City throughout the playoffs. This was a necessity at the beginning of the playoffs, with both Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams injured. Edwards-Helaire returned last week, and Williams this week, but that didn’t stop McKinnon from dominating the snap share.

The veteran gained 65 yards on the ground and another 30 in the air. Edwards-Helaire was restricted to playing on just a few drives, while Williams didn’t see his first offensive snap until the third quarter. The distribution of snaps was similar to last week.

Both McKinnon and Williams are unrestricted free agents heading into the offseason. The Chiefs are unlikely to keep both players as they don’t have much cap space and have several other players who are a bigger priority to re-sign. There is a chance Edwards-Helaire will be a top-20 running back next season due to red-zone opportunities and lack of competition alone.

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