Patrick Mahomes continued to add to his ever growing legacy with a dominant performance for the ages in his third straight AFC Championship game. He continuously fed his two best weapons and punched his team’s ticket to Tampa. Congrats Chiefs Kingdom!
The Chiefs fell behind 9-0 in the first half and it was the same old story from last postseason: uncharacteristic drops and turnovers. The Bills kicked a field goal on their opening drive, WR Tyreek Hill dropped a deep pass and then, after the Chiefs’ defense forced a punt, WR Mecole Hardman muffed a punt inside his own 10 yard line. This resulted in a 3 yard score from Josh Allen to TE Dawson Knox, one play later, to extend the lead to 9-0. Kicker Tyler Bass doinked the extra point off the upright to keep the lead at 9, but the Chiefs showed no fear. They simply went on one of their scoring barrages, that they are well known for under Mahomes.
Hardman got the party started with a 3 yard score on the next drive and one drive later took an end around for a 50 yard rush to help set up a 6 yard score from RB Darrell Williams. For Hardman that long run had to feel incredible following his early fumble and it’s clear his teammates/coaches gave him encouraging words to make sure he had a short memory. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire capped the scoring for the Chiefs with a 3 yard score on the 2nd to last drive of the half and suddenly the Chiefs were rolling 21-9 and the Bills looked stunned, but this is just what the Chiefs can do and they looked unstoppable.
Travis Kelce was the start of the first half with a jaw dropping 9 catches for 92 yards. Everytime Mahomes needed a big play that’s who he looked for. In case anyone (myself included) was worried about Mahomes athleticism with his toe injury, he was escaping pressure multiple times and his receivers found openings down field. I could do nothing but shake my head in amazement and awe. Combine that with his defense holding the Bills to a 25% conversion rate on 3rd down, one touchdown and two field goals, you can see why the Chiefs are so explosive and dangerous as defending champs.
The score stood at 21-12 at the break, but regardless of what occurred through the first half of the game, the game looked to be long from over. I believed Buffalo’s defense would keep their team within striking distance once they made second half adjustments, but I was dead wrong.
Unfortunately for Buffalo, the Chiefs were too powerful and flexed their muscles in the 2nd half. KC scored 17 points on their final three possessions (minus the kneel down at the end) to put the game away and showed why they should be the favorite in Super Bowl 55. Kelce continued his big night catching both second half scores and he finished with 13 receptions for 118 yards overall. Tyreek Hill added 9 catches for 172 yards just to make this victory extra sweet for Chiefs Nation. I said in my preview for this game these two stars would need to dominate and that’s exactly what they did. Buffalo had no answers.
The Chiefs’ defense continued to frustrate Josh Allen and company in the second half, holding them to just one 4th Quarter touchdown, 2 field goals and an interception. That interception was converted into a killer touchdown that iced the game for good. The most important statistic that jumps off the screen for me is holding that dynamic offense to 35% conversion rate on 3rd down. Add four sacks and a variety of different pressures and Josh Allen never looked fully comfortable in the pocket.
Even worse, top receiver Stefon Diggs was held in check with 6 receptions for 77 yards and more importantly was kept out of the end zone. Without an enormous game from Diggs and with slot receiver Cole Beasley hobbled with a broken leg, Buffalo was held to only 2 touchdowns in 10 possessions. Shoutout to Beasley for still catching 7 passes for 88 yards on one leg, but it was clear he wasn’t 100% and the Bills paid dearly for it. Kicking field goals won’t win games against Mahomes and the Bills found that out the hard way.
Chiefs Kingdom Headed to Super Bowl
The Chiefs will now face off against Tom Brady and the white hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who punched their own ticket to the Super Bowl with a 31-26 win in Green Bay. Get ready for a showdown that promises to feature a ton of offensive fireworks. After two weeks of preparation and hype, the game will kick off Sunday at 6:30 pm on CBS from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida. What a matchup that will be to end this insane season.
By: Whitney Dowds CruelFan.com