For the 2nd straight season, the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs are headed to the AFC Championship Game, nonetheless their return outing took a by no blueprint-forward of-viewed path. Trailing by 24 functions within the principle half, the 2nd-seeded Chiefs — led by the spectacular play of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce — rallied your total serve and defeated the No. 4 Texans, 51-31, in Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round Game at Arrowhead Stadium.
Kansas Metropolis will host the No. 6 Tennessee Titans subsequent Sunday within the AFC Championship Game, where coach Andy Reid’s Chiefs’ season ended closing 365 days.
Here’s what we realized from Kansas Metropolis’s bewitch:
1. The Chiefs were beating themselves for a entire quarter. A blown coverage. A blocked punt returned for a TD. Four colossal dropped passes. A muffed punt main to a assemble. A 24-0 deficit. Then, treasure a colossal brother recognizing his miniature brother 9 functions in a game of basketball to 11 within the backyard, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs created their very have chaos, streaking for 41 straight functions to blow the game birth. K.C. went from down colossal to the lead within the blink of an seek. The Chiefs, within the serve of the 2018 MVP rifling darts in every single build the sphere, scored four straight TDs to discontinuance the principle half with a 28-24 lead. Those four scores came in only 4:50 of game-play. The Chiefs modified into the principle team in NFL ancient previous, fashioned season or playoffs, to path by 24-plus functions within the principle half and be tied or main getting into halftime, per NFL Be taught. Mahomes and Andy Reid by no blueprint let off the gas pedal. The QB reminded the enviornment he’s the most dynamic tag-caller within the league. Given hundreds of time from his O-line, Mahomes shredded a suspect Houston defense, picking up 20-yard beneficial properties treasure a young particular person pops M&Ms. The QB modified into the principle player in NFL playoff ancient previous to pass for 300-plus yards, bustle for 50-plus yards and throw 5 TDs in a game. Mahomes accomplished with 321 yards passing, 9.2 yards per try and 5 TDs and added Fifty three yards speeding. The Chiefs offense used to be so explosive, they scored 51 functions in 32 minutes of play, alongside with seven straight TD drives. Mahomes and Reid once extra showed they shall be unstoppable when or now not it’s all clicking. How colossal of a issue did the Chiefs build on within the final three quarters? Arrowhead essentially ran out of fireworks.
2. Texans coach Bill O’Brien shall be questioning several 2nd-quarter choices that helped turn the tide in opposition to his team. First, he eschewed going for it on fourth-and-inches at the K.C. 13-yard-line, calling a timeout and kicking a field arrangement to head up 24-0. After the Chiefs answered with a transient touchdown, O’Brien made one other essential resolution. Going by means of a fourth-and-4 from its have 31, Houston dialed up a flawed punt. Justin Reid used to be stuffed after two yards on a enormous play by security Daniel Sorensen, who read the play the total technique. K.C. inclined the short field to realize one other TD in 23 seconds. And the flood gates opened. Agree or disagree with either resolution, the decisions proved pivotal within the loss. The Texans then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and overlooked an discontinue-of-half field arrangement, seeing their two-dozen-level lead wiped out. From there, the Houston defense disintegrated, unable to make a decision up a 2nd-half quit unless they were down 20 functions. Few gave the Texans an different to tiresome or quit Mahomes getting into the game. The technique the blowout occurred, then again, is a diversified tag of embarrassing for O’Brien.
3. Travis Kelce dominated each and every matchup the Houston defense attempted. Cornerbacks? No contest. Safeties? Burned with ease. Double groups? Please. After a third-down drop on the outlet series, the tight discontinue used to be uncoverable, gobbling up chunk beneficial properties. Kelce compiled a whopping 10 catches on 12 targets for 134 yards with three TD snatches. Even a transient hamstring injury may now not tiresome Kelce. When the TE is getting birth with ease as he used to be Sunday, the Chiefs offense is unstoppable. Kelce creates mismatches the least bit phases. Houston’s resolution to try covering Kelce with rookie nook Lonnie Johnson early proved unfavourable and the Chiefs made them pay. All modifications thereafter failed as Kelce and the Chiefs rolled with the ease of a drop of rain working down a slick hill.
4. Deshaun Watson did his easiest to support tempo with Mahomes, nonetheless did now not own the play-caller, blockading or constant explosive performs to overcome the sieve defense on his facet. Watson came out dialed in, adjusting performs at the road and divebombing a Chiefs defense knocking off the rust, alongside with a 54-yard TD strike to Kenny Stills on the outlet force. Watson battled to try to support the game discontinuance, throwing for 388 yards and two TDs, adding a TD lag and no turnovers. The QB came upon DeAndre Hopkins 9 times for 118 yards, alongside with several colossal chunks. The Texans offense, then again, did now not own passable in opposition to a surging K.C. defense. Watson used to be sacked four times and suffered several dropped passes from his targets. The magic Watson lived on within the Wild Card Round, then again, dissipated as the game wore on. The QB’s gutsy play wasn’t passable to keep on with a dominant offensive performance from Mahomes.
5. After a wobbly originate, the Chiefs defense stiffened, keeping Houston to honest seven 2nd-half functions. Tyrann Mathieu made his presence felt in every single build the sphere, alongside with a enormous pass fracture-up of Hopkins on the largest third-and-long discontinuance to midfield that compelled a punt gradual within the principle half with K.C. aloof trailing. Mathieu once extra keyed a secondary that made Watson & Co. work for all the pieces for the final three quarters. Frank Clark came off the brink to back disrupt the QB, picking up three sacks, alongside with the game-ender. The Chiefs D played eminent down the stretch nonetheless hadn’t confronted a quarterback reasonably treasure Watson in that gallop. On Sunday, they proved they’ll pass that test too.
6. With the comeback W, the Chiefs will host the upstart Tennessee Titans within the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium subsequent Sunday, Jan. 19, at 3:05 p.m. ET. K.C. lost 35-32 at Tennessee in Week 10 on a closing-2nd blocked field arrangement. It marked the Chiefs’ closing loss of the 365 days. On that afternoon, Mahomes threw for 446 yards and three TDs, nonetheless the K.C. defense allowed Derrick Henry to bound for 188 yards and two TDs. The Chiefs defense has played significantly higher since that day, nonetheless Henry has confirmed within the playoffs he’s a beast K.C. hasn’t confronted since November.