Patrick Mahomes tiptoed down the sideline for a game-turning touchdown, added three TD passes, and the Kansas City Chiefs made their first Super Bowl in a half-century by beating the Tennessee Titans 35-24 on Sunday for the AFC championship. In two weeks in Miami, they will play the winner of the NFC title game between Green Bay and San Francisco.
Mahomes did his usual superb job passing, but it was his 27-yard tap dance down the sideline late in the first-half that gave the Chiefs their first lead. From there, they outran the run-oriented Titans and star back Derrick Henry. For the first time since 1970 and the third time overall, the Chiefs are Super Bowl bound.
As they had done in their past three “elimination” games, the sixth-seeded Titans got started quickly. The difference at Arrowhead as opposed to Houston, New England and Baltimore was that the Chiefs had Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Damien Williams on offense, and a vastly upgraded defense from when they lost in last year’s AFC title game.
A week after they overcame a 24-0 deficit against Houston, the Chiefs had to rally again. Down 10-0 and 17-7, Kansas City didn’t flinch, building a 35-17 lead while controlling the clock with a strong ground game. Naturally, Mahomes complemented that with sharp passing, spreading the ball on short and deep throws. The dagger came with a 60-yard completion to Watkins for the Chiefs’ 28th straight point midway in the final period.
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