Stars, studs and duds from Bengals’ AFC North-clinching Week 17 win

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For a moment, it’s celebration time for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Those Bengals welcomed the AFC North-leading Kansas City Chiefs to town on Sunday and pulled off a spectacular end-of-game drive to steal a win, securing the AFC North in the process.

Pretty much everybody comes out of the game looking great, but it’s worth zooming on some particular standouts.

Before the team starts prepping for its Week 18, season-ending showdown with the Cleveland Browns, here’s a look at some outliers of note.

Star: WR Ja'Marr Chase

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Who else? Chase just put a Randy Moss-level hurting on the Chiefs, starting his day with a 72-yard touchdown and working his way up to 11 catches for 266 yards and three scores, averaging a superb 24.2 yards per catch. He was nearly unguardable and the top reason the team was even in this game. The showing broke plenty of records, both in a single game and for rookie receivers as a whole.

(Bonus) Star: QB Joe Burrow

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Burrow was under pressure most of the day, to the point the nameplate on the back of his jersey got ripped off late in the game.

Not that it mattered.

Burrow was an excellent 30-of-39 with 446 yards and four touchdowns. He never really lost his cool or made a major mistake, giving off vibes of that epic LSU season that made him the first-overall pick.

Stud: RB Joe Mixon

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How about No. 28 quietly having a huge game? Mixon didn’t get a ton of chances on the ground because the game script didn’t really permit it. But he rushed 12 times for 46 yards (3.8 average) and was also a big help through the air, turning seven catches into 40 yards. There were also big blitz pick-ups that don’t show up on the stat sheet.

Dud: CB Eli Apple

(AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Apple came back down to Earth a bit in Week 17, being the man closest to at least one Chiefs touchdown and straight-up dropping an interception that would have changed the game. The showing earned him a 55.2 PFF grade, his lowest since Week 9.

Stud: CB Chidobe Awuzie

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Awuzie had the daunting task of chasing speedster Tyreek Hill all over the field. In hindsight, maybe it’s not so daunting for a resurgent talent like Awuzie, who held Hill to six catches for 40 yards. In fact, his amazing day was good for his highest PFF grade of the year (88.5).

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