The Kansas City Chiefs have done it again! With a 27-20 victory over the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday, the top-seeded Chiefs have advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the fifth consecutive season.
Star quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, returned from an ankle injury in the second half to lead the charge, while tight end Travis Kelce caught two touchdown passes to help the Super Bowl contenders secure the win this weekend. Read more: Latest Week 12 NFL scores on Nov. 27; Eagles, Chiefs, Dolphins win
Mahomes’ injury occurred in the second quarter and initially caused concern among fans, coaches and analysts. He, though, was visibly frustrated and was even noticed throwing his helmet down to the ground in response.
“I did not want to go,” Mahomes recalled of the locker-room visit. “They kind of gave me the ultimatum that I wasn’t going back in unless I went in there.”
He gave in and spent some time getting looked after, but X-rays came back negative and he was able to return to the field.
Despite the interruption, Mahomes completed 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Backup quarterback Chad Henne also threw a scoring pass, stepping up when needed to solidify his importance to the team at the position.
Henne entered the game at a pivotal point in the game with the offense on the Chiefs’ 2-yard line. He cleverly drove the team downfield and then his 1-yard throw to Kelce made it 17-7 with 3:54 left in the half.
“It’s a credit to the guys around me,” Mahomes said. “The offensive line kept me clean in the pocket knowing I couldn’t move and guys made plays around me.
“That’s what a great team does. When somebody gets a little banged up, everybody around them steps up.”
Kelce’s 14 receptions (for 98 yards) tied for third-most in NFL postseason history and wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling added a touchdown catch for Kansas City.
“We have the ultimate team right now,” Kelce said. “We’re playing great ball in all three phases.”
On the defensive side, the Chiefs had key takeaways in the fourth quarter from linebacker Nick Bolton (fumble recovery) and safety Jaylen Watson (interception).
The Chiefs’ five consecutive visits to the conference championship game match the Oakland Raiders (1973-77) for the second-longest streak in AFC title game history. The record is held by the New England Patriots, who made it to the game eight straight times from 2011-2018.
Meanwhile, for the Jacksonville Jaguars, quarterback Trevor Lawrence was 24-of-39 passing for 217 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
His Clemson teammate and running back Travis Etienne rushed for a touchdown, wide receiver Christian Kirk had a scoring reception, and linebacker Foyesade Oluokun had 14 tackles.
Despite the loss, the Jaguars should be proud of their impressive season, having made it to the final four teams in the AFC after a difficult two-year stretch.
Last weekend, they made history by posting the third-largest postseason comeback in NFL history by recovering from a 27-0 deficit to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30.
“I told them I’m proud of them for the season we put together,” first-year Jacksonville coach Doug Pederson said. “Nobody expected us, the Jaguars, to be in this football game from the beginning of this season until today.”
The Bills and Bengals will play on Sunday to determine who will be the opponent.