NFL

Rookie McPherson's late game-winner sends Bengals into AFC Championship Game

By Sports Desk January 22, 2022

Rookie Evan McPherson's last-gasp 52-yard field goal has sent the Cincinnati Bengals into the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1988 with a 19-16 win over the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.

The Bengals, who claimed their first playoffs win in 31 years last weekend against the Las Vegas Raiders, will take on either the Buffalo Bills or Kansas City Chiefs on the road. Saturday's victory was Cincinnati's first-ever postseason road win and qualifies the franchise for the AFC Championship Game for the third time.

Cincinnati regained possession with 20 seconds left, setting up McPherson's late field-goal chance, when Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill's pass was intercepted by Logan Wilson. Tannehill completed 15 of 24 attempts for 220 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow was sacked nine times but kept his side moving, making 28 of 37 attempts for 348 yards with one interception.

Rookie receiver Ja'Marr Chase was key for the Bengals too, making 109 yards from five receptions while Tee Higgins had seven receptions for 96 yards. Joe Mixon rushed Cincinnati's only touchdown after a slick cutback to open up a 16-6 third-quarter lead.

Titans running back Derrick Henry, on his return from a foot injury, scored the only touchdown of the first half in trademark style, finishing with 20 carries for 62 yards for the game.

AJ Brown made some major plays with five receptions for 142 yards for the Titans but none were bigger than his TD from Tannehill's long pass late in the third quarter which forced a tie game.

Scores remained locked until Tannehill's late interception pass, before Burrow drove the Bengals within field-goal range and University of Florida rookie McPherson made himself the hero, completing a perfect four from four for the game.

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