The Chiefs tried their best to keep the Bengals from scoring. It took two fourth-down plays, and three penalties, for the Bengals to get a first-and-goal from the 1 with 46 seconds left.
But after the Bengals got a new set of downs at the 1, the Chiefs’ play call was “Freeway.” That, linebacker Anthony Hitchens explained Tuesday, calls for the defense to allow the opposition to score.
The Chiefs were hoping the Bengals would run a play and score, leaving Patrick Mahomes enough time to drive for a game-tying touchdown (or potentially a win if the Chiefs chose to go for 2).
Instead, the Bengals took a knee with 46 seconds remaining and let the clock run down to three seconds before spiking the ball. Evan McPherson kicked a 20-yard field goal on the final play for a 34-31 win.
The Bengals kept the ball out of Mahomes’ hands.
They went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1, and Joe Mixon was tackled short of the goal line. But both teams were called for holding, creating a replay of the down.
Joe Burrow threw incomplete on the next try, but L’Jarius Sneed was called for illegal use of hands on Tyler Boyd. The penalty left the Chiefs with only one real option, and the Bengals took that away by smartly taking a knee.