The Cincinnati Bengals fell just short of a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, losing a close 23-20 game to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
Wide receiver Tyler Boyd believes that if he had not left that game with an injury he would have been able to do enough to get his team back in the big game.
“Still to this day, I feel like if I would have played the whole game, I was the key factor,” Boyd said on Tuesday, via ESPN. “We would’ve won the game.” Boyd was injured in the first half on a 24-yard reception that saw his leg get tangled under Chiefs safety Justin Reid.
At the time of his exit from the game, he had caught two passes for 40 yards. On one hand, Boyd’s injury almost certainly impacted the Bengals’ offense.
With him in the lineup, they had a stellar trio of receivers that also includes Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Boyd caught 58 passes for 762 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season.
But he also might be overestimating his importance to that game. For starters, the Bengals scored 17 of their 20 points in the game after Boyd left the game, including their only two touchdown drives. Boyd also caught just four passes for only 49 yards and no touchdowns in the Bengals’ first two playoff games.
The San Francisco 49ers remain convinced they would have beaten the Philadelphia Eagles on the NFC side had they not lost quarterback Brock Purdy to injury.
Now Boyd believes he was the missing piece for the Bengals in their game against the Chiefs. Injuries were the trend in last year’s conference championship games. The unfortunate reality for both teams is that injuries play a major role in the outcome of games. Especially single-elimination playoff games.