Tee Higgins gives simple yet solid advice on how to beat the Chiefs with First Take
Cincinnati Bengals third-year wide receiver Tee Higgins joined the set of First Take to talk about his season, the AFC Championship loss, and to deliver some sound guidance on beating his arch-enemy, the Kansas City Chiefs.
After one of the most controversial officiating jobs in NFL history, the Chiefs defeated their budding rival after dropping three straight games to Joe Burrow and his lethal wide receiver duo. However, Higgins pointed to the run game as a recipe for the Bengals’ success against Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.
In the 2022 AFC Championship game, the Bengals utilized a balanced approach with 27 rushing attempts to 38 passing. Game flow dictates whether a team must switch into a pass-heavy attack, but Cincy averaged 4.3 yards per carry in their overtime win.
Zac Taylor earned his third straight win over Andy Reid in Week 13’s epic showdown. Joe Mixon missed this contest due to a concussion, but backup Samaje Perine went next man up, rushing for 106 yards on 21 carries. As a team, the Bengals averaged 4.5 yards per carry and won the time of possession battle in both games.
In this year’s AFC Championship loss, the Bengals ran 17 times and threw it 41 times while still averaging 4.2 yards per rush. After the circus show by the referees ended and the Chiefs punted with 9:26 left in the 4th quarter and the game tied, Zac Taylor ran the ball once on the next drive.
Tee Higgins First Take
Tee Higgins caught six passes for 83 yards and an incredible high-point touchdown grab in that game and joined “First Take” down in Arizona. The crew asked Higgins what the Eagles could do to beat the Chiefs in Super Bowl 57.
They just have to have that run game down, and that’s what they’ve been doing all year. The Eagles do a lot of different things on offense, so it should give them a little trouble.
I couldn’t agree more, Tee. Not only do defenses have to worry about Jalen Hurts as a rushing threat, but the Eagles also have a three-headed monster in the backfield and one of the best wide receiver tandems in the NFL.
Miles Sanders is coming off his first 1,000-yard season and averages 4.7 yards per rush in the playoffs. Boston Scott is not only contributing on the ground with two touchdowns but adds a dynamic threat to the kick return game. Lastly, Kenneth Gainwell transformed into Playoff Kenny this postseason with 160 rushing yards (4th most in playoffs), 6.2 yards per carry, and seven runs over 10 yards (most in playoffs).
Stephen A. Smith then asked the Bengals’ second-round pick in 2020, “Is there one thing that stands out that you believe y’all should have done that you didn’t do?” Tee Higgins’s response was quick but impactful. Run Game.
You’ve got to establish that run. You’ve got to establish the run so they can’t play double-double all the time.
Higgins refers to “Double-Double,” meaning the Chiefs use their cornerbacks and safeties to double the outside wide receivers. Stephen A. followed that by asking, “So you view them as a team that can be run on?” Again, Higgins’s response was swift but emphatic. “Yeah.”
This year is Jeff Stoutland’s Magnus Opus in terms of offensive line performances. His ability to mold young players like Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, and Isaac Seumalo, combined with the pillars of Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson, is a beautiful thing to watch. He’s essentially the conductor of a finely tuned orchestra where all the different styles of instruments harmonize to create a masterpiece.
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