JuJu Smith-Schuster Clinches First Super Bowl Appearance With Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs and JuJu Smith-Schuster earned a berth in Super Bowl LVII by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in dramatic fashion, 23-20, on Sunday night at Arrowhead. It will be the Chiefs third appearance in the Super Bowl in the last four years — defeating the San Francisco 49ers in 2019 and falling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. It will be Smith-Schuster’s first Super Bowl appearance.
Smith-Schuster had just one reception for seven yards in the AFC title game, but he was productive throughout the regular season — recording 78 receptions for 933 yards (12.0 average) and three touchdowns. He left the game early with a knee injury. The Chiefs and Smith-Schuster will go up against the Philadelphia Eagles and Javon Hargrave in the Super Bowl. Smith-Schuster and Javon Hargrave are the only former Steelers players on both teams’ rosters.
What a moment for @TeamJuJu 🙌 pic.twitter.com/Ov8sl6gZvT
— NFL (@NFL) January 30, 2023
Chiefs wide receivers Skyy Moore (Shady Side Academy) and Justin Watson (South Fayette) are WPIAL products. Moore played with Mike Tomlin’s son, Dino, at Shady Side Academy. Kicker Matthew Wright is also on the Chiefs’ practice squad. When filling in for Chris Boswell (injured reserve) from Weeks 9-12, Wright made 12 of 14 field goal attempts and was 7 of 7 on extra points. Former Steelers draft pick Chris Oladokun is on Kansas City’s practice squad.
With 41 seconds left in regulation and the score tied at 20-20, Moore returned a punt 29 yards to set the Chiefs up at the Bengals’ 47-yard line. Three plays later, Mahomes rushed for a first down on third-and-4 and was hit late out of bounds by Joseph Ossai, which tacked on 15 extra yards and put Kansas City in field goal range. The Chiefs sent out Harrison Butker on the next play for a 45-yarder, and he nailed it to put the Chiefs back in the Super Bowl.
The Bengals previously won three in a row against the Chiefs, including last year’s AFC Championship Game. Former Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton called Arrowhead “Burrowhead” as the game was ending in Buffalo last week. Chiefs tied end Travis Kelce said in his postgame interview, “Burrowhead my a**! This Mahomes’ House!” Mahomes also took a shot at the Bengals for lighting cigars after the win at Buffalo.
It will be the Chiefs’ fifth appearance in the Super Bowl, winning twice (1969 and 2019). The main Super Bowl storylines will be Andy Reid against his former team and the Kelce brothers playing one another.