KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It took the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs 5 irritating a long time to make their third Tremendous Bowl look.
Now, the defending champs are headed there for the second straight yr.
Displaying no lingering results from his concussion, Patrick Mahomes sliced up Buffalo’s secondary with ruthless effectivity Sunday evening, serving to the Chiefs roll to a 38-24 victory over Josh Allen and the Payments within the AFC championship sport.
The reigning Tremendous Bowl MVP completed with 325 yards passing and three touchdowns, most of it to favourite targets Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, who complemented their star quarterback with a record-setting evening of their very own.
The Chiefs will face a well-known foe — Tom Brady — and the NFC champ Buccaneers in two weeks in Tampa, Florida.
“It was simply trusting one another. The most effective factor about this workforce is we consider in one another,” mentioned Mahomes, who was additionally coping with a toe damage. “However the job’s not completed. We will Tampa; we’re making an attempt to run it again.”
Kelce completed with 13 catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns, and Hill added 9 catches for 172 yards, changing into the primary duo in NFL historical past with consecutive video games of no less than 100 yards receiving every in a single postseason.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams added brief TD runs for the Chiefs, who will attempt to turn out to be the eighth franchise and first workforce because the Brady-led New England Patriots in 2003 and ’04 to defend the Lombardi Trophy.
“So glad to get to do it once more,” mentioned Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt, whose father Lamar based the franchise. “Thought lots about my dad tonight, thought of my household and the way excited my father would have been that we obtained to do it once more in Arrowhead Stadium. That is what he would have favored probably the most about it.”
Allen, who had his worst sport of the season in a Week 6 loss to the Chiefs, once more struggled towards the blitzing Kansas Metropolis protection. He completed with 287 yards passing with two touchdowns and an interception, however a giant chunk of his numbers got here because the Payments tried to rally from a 38-15 deficit within the last minutes.
Their frustration boiled over with 3:19 to go, when Allen was getting sacked by Tanoh Kpassagnon. Alex Okafor completed off the deal with, and Allen pitched the ball in his face in resentment. Offensive linemen Jon Feliciano and Dion Dawkins rushed in and leveled Okafor, leading to a flood of offsetting private foul penalties.
“Clearly loads of emotion,” Allen mentioned. “Any time you don’t end the season with a win, that’s the kind of emotion you’re going to have. The best way it ended doesn’t sit proper with me with how chippy and ticky-tack it obtained. I’m disenchanted in myself. I let my feelings get to me there. That’s not the way you’re speculated to play soccer.”
It capped a bitter evening for the Payments, who had reached their first AFC title sport since beating Kansas Metropolis at residence on Jan. 1, 1994. They’d gained 11 of 12 since their loss to the Chiefs earlier this season — the truth is, they hadn’t trailed within the second half since Week 8 — and have been driving a wave of confidence that this may lastly be their championship yr.
As an alternative, after lastly conquering the Patriots within the AFC East, the Payments have a brand new roadblock to the Tremendous Bowl.
“It stings to get this far,” mentioned Payments coach Sean McDermott, who as soon as labored beneath Chiefs counterpart Andy Reid in Philadelphia. “Typically the additional you go, the tougher it’s to lose. It’s a studying expertise for us as a company.”
The Chiefs really spotted the Bills a 9-0 lead, thanks largely to Mecole Hardman’s muffed punt inside their 5 that gifted Buffalo a landing. However the reigning champs have been hardly rattled; the Chiefs, in any case, rallied from double-digits in every of their postseason wins final season, together with their Tremendous Bowl overcome San Francisco.
Mahomes and Kelce quickly discovered their groove. And the remainder of the Chiefs offense adopted swimsuit.
They surgically took aside Buffalo’s protection on a 14-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a short TD throw to Hardman — no exhausting emotions over that fumble. Then, the Chiefs cruised 82 yards in simply 5 performs, the large one Hardman’s 50-yard end-around that arrange Williams’ touchdown tumble. Lastly, they made it three TDs in three possessions when Edwards-Helaire — in his first sport again from an ankle damage — capped a 77-yard drive with a brief plunge.
The one reply from Buffalo was Tyler Bass’s chip-shot area objective that made it 21-12 on the break.
You do not beat Kansas Metropolis by kicking area targets from the 3-yard line, although. Or from the 9, the place the Payments settled for an additional one to shut inside 24-15 late within the third quarter.
That grew to become painfully clear on the following drive. Mahomes hit Hill in stride and the All-Professional extensive receiver promptly made the Payments secondary look downright foolish. Weaving out and in of woebegone defenders, Hill was lastly caught contained in the 5-yard line after a 71-yard achieve, in the end establishing Kelce’s short TD catch just a few performs later.
“You watch him on movie, you see what he’s doing. It’s like he’s working at a distinct pace in comparison with all people else,” Payments security Micah Hyde mentioned. “And tonight, we noticed first-hand for the second time. He’s quick.”
Any hopes the Payments had of a comeback have been dashed when Rashad Fenton picked off a tipped cross deep in Kansas Metropolis territory. The Chiefs breezily marched the opposite course, and Mahomes and Kelce kicked off the celebration of one other journey to the Tremendous Bowl after they related for his or her second rating of the sport.
“I’m pleased with these guys,” mentioned Reid, who moved right into a tie with Joe Gibbs for fourth on the profession listing along with his seventeenth playoff win. “They did an exceptional job, and hats off to the Buffalo Payments and the nice job they did all yr, and most of all, pay attention, we now have the Lamar Hunt Trophy again in Kansas Metropolis.
“Now we now have to get the large one.”
Chiefs: RG Andrew Wylie damage his knee early within the second half and LT Eric Fisher limped off within the fourth quarter with an damage to his Achilles’ tendon. … CB L’Jarius Sneed and SS Armani Watts have been evaluated for concussions.
The Chiefs and Buccaneers have solely performed 13 instances, and Kansas Metropolis had misplaced 5 straight earlier than a 27-24 win in Tampa on Nov. 29 — a sport that wasn’t as shut as the ultimate rating. Brady is 5-5 in his profession towards the Chiefs, together with an additional time victory with the Patriots within the AFC title sport at Arrowhead Stadium two years in the past.
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