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Cincinnati Bengals remind AFC they are defending conference champs

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Remember when the Cincinnati Bengals started 0-2? Cincinnati’s minor Super Bowl hangover is a distant memory now.

That’s because the Bengals reminded the AFC on Sunday that they are the defending AFC champions.

Cincinnati defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in a physical game that had a playoff atmosphere. The victory was the Bengals’ third win over Kansas City in the calendar year and improved their record to 8-4 this season. Cincinnati defeated Kansas City (9-3) twice in January, including in the AFC Championship Game, and added another for good measure Sunday in front of a frenzied crowd at Paycor Stadium.

“Our guys just made plays. We just told our guys to cut it loose. There is no fear of failure in this building. We want to go be aggressive and go make plays. This is the type of game where you want to do that,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “Our guys are so poised and so confident.”

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs off the field after the victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at Paycor Stadium.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was excellent. He went 25-of-31 passing for 286 yards and two touchdowns, showing poise and making clutch throws. Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, playing in his first game since Week 7 due to a hip injury, had seven receptions and 97 yards, including a big catch on third down that allowed Cincinnati to milk the clock late in the fourth quarter. Running back Samaje Perine produced 106 yards on the ground.

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