The Cincinnati Bengals are preparing for the upcoming AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs. After this game, they will be going to Super Bowl LIII. The first time Evan McPherson got on an NFL field was during Week 1 of the 2018 season and he has been a key part in their defense ever since then.
The “2020 afc championship game” is a matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals are coming off an impressive victory against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. They will need to rely on their defense and special teams if they want to win this one.
Because of the way he carries himself under duress, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is dubbed “Joe Cool.” Burrow, on the other hand, needs to take a backseat when it comes to his own team’s steely nerves.
The rookie kicker has nothing on the second-year QB.
Last Saturday, Evan McPherson made his mark on the world by kicking the Bengals into the AFC Championship Game with a game-winning 52-yard field goal with no time remaining to defeat the AFC’s top-seeded Tennessee Titans, 19-16.
It was McPherson’s fourth field goal of the day, and his second from over 50 yards, and the 22-year-old from Fort Payne, AL, added a little more English to the game-winner with a bold prediction that has already established him as one of the game’s finest clutch kickers.
Now, the Bengals will need every point they can muster on Sunday to stay up with the Kansas City Chiefs’ high-flying offense, which has scored 42 points in each of its first two NFL Playoff games on route to a third consecutive Super Bowl appearance.
McPherson may once again be tasked with ensuring the Bengals don’t leave any scoring opportunities on the field.
After the Bengals’ first two postseason games, McPherson has emerged as the must-see player.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images/Evan McPherson
McPherson was about a decade away from being born the last time the Bengals won a playoff game before this season. Now, the Bengals’ rookie kicker is one of the main reasons why they are one game away from making their third Super Bowl trip, and their first since 1989.
McPherson is 8-for-8 on a goal attempts and 3-for-3 on extra points in two games thus far, contributing for 27 of the Bengals’ 45 total playoff points against the Raiders in the Wild Card round and the Titans in the Divisional Round.
Last Saturday, McPherson added a 45-yard field goal to his two 50-yard conversions, and he had another 40-yard kick as part of his quartet of field goals in the Raiders’ 26-19 triumph.
With his eight field goals, McPherson is one field goal away from tying for third place all-time in postseason field goals. Brandon McManus, who converted 10 field goals for the Denver Broncos during their Super Bowl-winning season in 2015, is tied with him on two field goals.
The famous Adam Vinatieri holds the all-time record with 14 touchdowns for the Indianapolis Colts in their 2006 Super Bowl-winning season.
But with one more kick, McPherson, 22, will set a new record: no kicker in NFL history under the age of 24 has ever made nine field goals in a single playoffs.
In his debut NFL season, the former Gator is full of confidence.
McPherson was packed his bags for Kansas City before anybody else on the team in those closing, frantic seconds last Saturday, when the Bengals were setting up the 52-yard field goal that would carry them to the AFC Championship Game.
“I suppose we’re going to the AFC Championship,” McPherson said almost nonchalantly to Bengals backup quarterback Brandon Allen as he prepared to make the game-winning field goal.
This week on the Pat McAfee Show, McPherson explained his boldness.
McPherson described it as a “challenge.” “You better get out there and back it up if you say anything like that.”
McPherson next requested McAfee, a former Indianapolis Colts punter, to read the wording on an autographed football that listed Vinatieri’s achievements, especially requesting McAfee to read from the line regarding Vinatieri’s single-playoff record of 14 field goals.
McPherson is clearly aware of the record and, more than halfway there, is determined to smash it. If the Bengals are to make it to the Super Bowl, he may be required to do so.
To have a shot on Sunday, the Bengals must score on as many possessions as possible.
On one level, the Bengals might already be in danger if McPherson kicks field goals on Sunday, since the Chiefs are scoring touchdowns at an incredible rate, having found the end zone 11 times in their first two postseason games.
However, if the Bengals defense, who intercepted Ryan Tannehill three times last week, can keep the Chiefs in the game, it will be crucial for McPherson to mop up any drives that stall in Chiefs territory but are too dangerous to convert on fourth down.
Even a three-point gain on a drive is significant, particularly if the Chiefs offense falters. And, of course, if the Bengals can remain within a couple of points and receive the ball last, they’ll know their kicker is more than capable of repaying their trust.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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