Championship pedigree: Chiefs rarely falter in tense moments
Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones celebrates during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City. The Chiefs won 22-17. – The Kansas City Chiefs would be the first to tell you that the final score is all that matters. The Chiefs won seven straight games by one possession, two clear of the previous NFL record, including one against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — their Super Bowl opponent Sunday. “We won a lot of games this year off different guys making plays, offense, defense or special teams,” Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens said.
Reid's 4th down approach could help Chiefs in Super Bowl
In this still image from video provided by the NFL, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid speaks during Opening Night for the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. In a tight Super Bowl, that could make a big difference.”Reid’s decisions already made a difference this postseason with his most memorable call coming in the divisional round against Cleveland. You just don’t know what he’s going to do.”Arians did make a key decision earlier this postseason that helped the Bucs reach the Super Bowl. With 13 seconds left in the first half of the NFC title game, Arians went for it on fourth-and-4 from the Green Bay 45. “We didn’t come here to not take chances to win the game,” Arians said.
Chiefs' Mahomes cleared to play in AFC championship
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes enters the injury tent during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City. – Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was cleared Friday from the league's concussion protocol after his third consecutive day of practice and will be under center when Kansas City plays the Buffalo Bills in the AFC championship game. Mahomes was hurt in the third quarter of the Chiefs' divisional-round win over Cleveland. Either way, Mahomes immediately showed the symptoms of a concussion. “We had an option play called we ran a little earlier,” Mahomes recalled Friday, “and I ran out to the right.
Big offenses, overlooked defenses in AFC title game
The Kansas City Chiefs won their first NFL title since 1970 when they beat San Francisco in last year's Super Bowl. What we get Sunday is a matchup of dynamic offenses and overlooked defenses, the top two teams in the conference. Kansas City (15-2) has the confidence of a reigning champion and a charisma few NFL teams can match. That could provide an edge over Bills rookie Tyler Bass — except that Bass has been very reliable all season. Buffalo punter Corey Bojorquez and Kansas City rookie Johnny Townsend were two of the most dependable in the AFC.
Chiefs' Mahomes practices, remains in concussion protocol
– Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remained in the NFL's concussion protocol Wednesday, but practiced in a limited capacity, raising hopes that the reigning Super Bowl MVP can play in Sunday's AFC title game against Buffalo. If all goes well, that could mean the Chiefs' quarterback is cleared to participate more fully in practice Thursday or Friday. 1 cornerback is important with Bills quarterback Josh Allen riding a hot streak and All-Pro wide receiver Stefon Diggs coming to town. “It'll be good to have both of those guys back,” Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman said. ... Diggs isn't the only All-Pro wide receiver on the field Sunday, and Chiefs counterpart Tyreek Hill was sure to make everyone remember it.
Chiefs' Chad Henne goes from backup QB to playoff stage
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)Chad Henne came off the bench cold in the heat of a tense playoff game and delivered the game-sealing plays for Kansas City in his most consequential performance in a win since 2013. He got the nod again the following week in a playoff game against Green Bay with a limited number of plays on a wrist band. JEFF HOSTETLER: Hostetler had started just two games in almost seven full seasons for the Giants when Simms injured his foot in Week 14. FRANK REICH: Two years after losing to Hostetler, the Bills relied on a backup to make it to their third consecutive Super Bowl. He threw for 725 yards and six touchdowns in wins over Minnesota in the NFC title game and New England in the Super Bowl.
#HenneThingIsPossible as Chiefs look toward AFC title game
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne celebrates after a run during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City. – The 35-year-old journeyman quarterback that made the two plucky plays in the final minutes of regulation that helped get the Kansas City Chiefs into the AFC championship game was fortunate to even be on the team. “It was almost a flip of the coin,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said this week. And three years later, he had the opportunity to reward the Chiefs for their faith in him. Mahomes got the Chiefs fans everywhere tweeting “HenneThingIsPossible.”“I talk to Chad basically every morning, I think.
Analysis: Backup QBs saw plenty of action in NFL playoffs
Jameis Winston threw a 56-yard trick-play touchdown pass to Tre’Quan Smith on his first playoff action after 76 regular-season games over six seasons. In his 72nd NFL game, Henne atoned for an end zone interception with two huge plays to allow the Chiefs to escape with a 22-17 win over the Browns. Rodgers and Tom Brady, making his 14th conference championship appearance in 21 seasons, square off next week at Lambeau Field. If this was it, Brees went out with a whimper: 134 yards passing and three interceptions in the worst playoff game of his career. The Chiefs forced a punt and Henne got the ball back with just over four minutes left.
Brady vs Rodgers, possibly Mahomes vs. Allen in title games
Tom Brady will take on Aaron Rodgers in a matchup of quarterback legends in the NFC title game. Brady threw two TD passes and relied on his defense to make it to his 14th conference title game and first since joining Tampa Bay (13-5) in the offseason. SATURDAY’S GAMESPackers 32, Rams 18Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and also ran for a score as the top-seeded Green Bay Packers beat the Los Angeles Rams 32-18. The win sends Rodgers to his fifth NFC title game as starting quarterback and the first at home since taking over from Brett Favre in 2008. Rodgers threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams and a game-clinching 58-yarder to Allen Lazard with 6:52 left for Green Bay (14-3).
Browns' comeback comes up short, fall to Chiefs in playoffs
(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)Just like so many painful playoff losses in their past, the Browns came up achingly short — inches from a game-swinging play, inches from a last chance. After trailing 19-3, the Browns (12-6) fought back and were in position to maybe end the Super Bowl champions' one-year reign. "There is a finality to this one when you do not get it done in the playoffs, and that really hurts. However, Kansas City's defense dug in and forced the Browns to punt with 4:19 left. As they watched on the sideline, Mayfield and his offensive teammates felt that with one last chance, the Chiefs were finished.
Gutsy or insane? Depends on the outcome of tough calls
“My coaches were on board, they all did a great job with the spot, with the calls, everything — they were spot-on. It was a great job.”That play is part of a pick-6 of great jobs — and great flops — with gutsy calls. PHILLY SPECIALThe Eagles led New England by three points approaching halftime in the Super Bowl for the 2017 season. Philadelphia went on to win its first Super Bowl. The Packers then won their second Super Bowl.
Chiefs advance to 3rd straight AFC title game at home
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)The AFC title game is returning to a familiar place in Kansas City. The question all week will be whether Patrick Mahomes will be able to play quarterback for the Chiefs. Coach Andy Reid’s gutsy call helped make sure the Chiefs would become the first team to host the AFC championship game for the third straight year. New Orleans (13-4) is hosting Tampa Bay (12-5) later Sunday for the right to visit Green Bay in the NFC title game next week. The win sends Rodgers to his fifth NFC title game as starting quarterback and the first at home since taking over from Brett Favre in 2008.
After losing Mahomes, Chiefs and Henne hold off Browns 22-17
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne celebrates after a run during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City. – The Kansas City Chiefs had lost Patrick Mahomes to a concussion and were in danger of losing the game. With their star quarterback reduced to a spectator, the oft-forgotten bunch opposite Mahomes' high-powered offense forced the Browns to punt in the waning minutes. After the teams swapped field goals, with Butker breaking the Chiefs playoff record with a 50-yarder into the wind, the Browns marched for what could have been a momentum-swinging score heading into halftime. First, the Browns held the Chiefs when Mayfield threw an interception and Butker missed a field goal.
Chiefs' Reid: QB Mahomes 'doing good' after concussion
– Patrick Mahomes had enough wits about him after a concussion knocked the star quarterback from the Kansas City Chiefs' divisional-round playoff win over the Cleveland Browns to get a rather clever hashtag trending on Twitter. It was a reference to his backup, Chad Henne, who came on when Mahomes got hurt midway through the third quarter Sunday. Now, the question is whether Mahomes will be cleared to play the Buffalo Bills in the AFC title game next Sunday. He passed all the deals he needed to pass and we'll see where it goes from here,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game. 1 seed and first-round bye, so Reid elected to sit Mahomes and most of his starters for the otherwise meaningless game.