Evan McPherson has kicked a 31-yard field goal with 9:22 left in overtime to get the Cincinnati Bengals into the Super Bowl for the first time in 33 years with a 27-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game.
The Bengals erased an 18-point deficit – tying an AFC title game record – to take a late 24-21 lead.
But Harrison Butker’s 44-yard field goal as time expired in regulation sent it to overtime a week after his 49-yarder on the final play of regulation did the same against Buffalo.
One week after Buffalo’s Josh Allen called tails and it came up heads for the overtime coin toss – giving Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs the ball – Cincinnati backup quarterback Brandon Allen called heads and the coin came up tails.
The Chiefs opened overtime again with the ball, but Vonn Bell intercepted Mahomes on the third play, and quarterback Joe Burrow and the Bengals took over.
Now they’re heading to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1989 after winning their first playoff overtime game.
“Usually when you lose the coin flip to those guys, you’re going home,” Burrow said.
“Our defence really stepped up and made plays in the second half. And on offence we made plays when we had to.
“I thought the offensive line played really well all day. We started running the ball there at the end and that’s exciting.
“Big win for us.”
The Bengals (13-7) will play the winner of the NFC championship between San Francisco and the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl in Los Angeles on February 13.
Cincinnati lost to the 49ers in both of their previous trips to the Super Bowl.
Mahomes and the Chiefs (14-6) will be left to lament blowing a chance at a third straight Super Bowl appearance.
They had a chance at a winning touchdown in the closing seconds of regulation, but sacks by Sam Hubbard on consecutive plays forced Kansas City to settle for the tying field goal.