NFL Week 17 grades: Bengals get an ‘A’ for wild upset of Chiefs, Steelers get ‘A-‘ in Big Ben’s home farewell

It took six years, but the Bengals are finally back on top of the AFC North and they got there by beating the Chiefs at their own game. 

In an AFC showdown that actually lived up to the hype, the Bengals topped the Chiefs 34-31 in a wild shootout where Joe Burrow was so impressive, he might have done enough to put himself firmly in the MVP conversation. One week after throwing for 525 yards, Burrow was just as good against Kansas City, throwing for 446 yards and four touchdowns. 

The Bengals offense has looked borderline unstoppable over the past two weeks with Burrow making clutch throw after clutch throw, and on Sunday, most of those clutch throws went to Ja’Marr Chase, who put himself squarely back in the Offensive Rookie of the Year race (against Mac Jones) with a history-making performance that saw him catch 11 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns. 

Not only did Chase break the Bengals franchise record for receiving yards in a game, but he also set the NFL rookie record for most receiving yards in a single-game, topping a mark that had stood since 1979 when Buffalo’s Jerry Butler finished with 255. 

The reason Chase was able to set the record is because he kept coming up with big plays when the Bengals needed them the most. His first score of the game might have been the biggest. With the Bengals trailing 14-0, Chase cut the Chiefs’ lead in half with a 72-yard score where he weaved around Kansas City’s entire defense. 

Chase also had touchdown catches from 69 and 18 yards against Kansas City. 

Although all three touchdowns were important, you could argue that none of them would qualify as his biggest play of the game and that’s because his biggest play came on a third-and-27 with the Bengals at the Chiefs’ 41-yard line late in the fourth quarter. 

With the game tied at 31, the Bengals were staring at a possible punt or long field goal attempt if they didn’t convert,…

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