Evan McPherson kicked his fourth field goal of the game in overtime to send the Cincinnati Bengals to Super Bowl LVI after a thrilling 27-24 victory over the the Kansas City Chiefs.
McPherson held his nerve to seal a brilliant road win for the underdog Bengals, who trailed 21-3 in the first half following three touchdown passes from Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes at Arrowhead Stadium.
Quarterback Joe Burrow threw two touchdown passes as the Bengals scored 21 unanswered points to take a 24-21 lead, with the Chiefs unable to score a game-winning touchdown after reaching the Bengals’ four-yard line inside the final two minutes.
Harrison Butker’s 44-yard field goal sent the game into overtime and the Chiefs won the coin toss to get the ball first, meaning a touchdown would secure a third straight Super Bowl appearance without the Bengals having the chance to respond.
However, after two incomplete passes Mahomes was intercepted by safety Vonn Bell and the Bengals drove down the field to set up McPherson for the game winner from 31 yards.
The 18-point comeback equals the record in either an AFC or NFC Championship game, set by the Indianapolis Colts in 2006.
It is the first time since the 1988 season that the Bengals have reached the Super Bowl.
They will face the Los Angeles Rams for the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Rams rallied late to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 20-17.
Following a tight opening half which saw San Francisco take a 10-7 advantage into half-time, the 49ers extended their lead to 10 points in the third quarter when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo found George Kittle in the end zone.
However, the Rams hit back almost immediately as Matthew Stafford connected with Cooper Kupp on an 11-yard touchdown pass.
Two late field goals then put the Rams in front while the 49ers offence fizzled down the stretch – the result ultimately sealed when Garoppolo was picked off with just over a minute left.
Super Bowl LVI will be played at SoFi Stadium, the home of the Rams, on February 13.