Chiefs’ epic victory over Payments leaves NFL followers eager for extra, but it surely does not get any higher than this


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It is written someplace that there should be an AFC Championship Recreation subsequent week sooner or later. Actually? Cannot we simply cease time right here Sunday night time the place Kansas Metropolis and Buffalo performed among the best NFL video games ever. Not simply playoff. Not simply common season.

Probably the greatest ever.

Congratulations Chiefs after pulling out a 42-36 AFC divisional playoff win over the Payments. Now high that.

The reality is, it will possibly’t be surpassed. Not on this city. The outcome is likely to be essentially the most heart-rending within the half-century historical past of Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs are of their fourth consecutive AFC Championship Recreation. They received a Tremendous Bowl a few years in the past. However this?

The lead modified fingers 3 times and was tied as soon as — within the closing two minutes of regulation and additional time. Buffalo’s Josh Allen was one of the best participant within the sport, throwing what appeared like a slam-dunk game-winning landing with 13 seconds left. Till he wasn’t.

Patrick Mahomes outdid, effectively, himself throwing the game-winner to Travis Kelce ending the primary possession of additional time.

“That is positively one other step for him into the corridor of fame,” Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill stated of his quarterback.

“When issues look grim,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid instructed Mahomes, “be the Grim Reaper.”

And so they have been grim. Kansas Metropolis trailed by three twice within the closing 1:54 solely to rally each occasions. Then, virtually unfairly, a quarterback duel of the very best order got here right down to a coin flip. You realize, the one which begins additional time. Kansas Metropolis received it and eight performs later received the sport.

“The principles are what they’re,” Allen stated. “If it was the opposite method round we might be celebrating.”

Allen threw for 4 touchdowns and solidified his rep as among the best working quarterback within the NFL. Mahomes threw for 3 and solidified his rep as a minor god on this city. Each quarterbacks have been their groups’ main rushers. No marvel protection was non-obligatory. The groups mixed to run 15 performs in these closing two minutes.

The Cincinnati Bengals will come right here subsequent week with a Tremendous Bowl berth on the road however within the haze of the postgame fireworks and shock of the outcome Buffalo wants a shoulder to cry on. Is it doable the season peaked proper right here on an evening when the Payments could not break via once more and Mahomes did it once more?

Kansas Metropolis will get the possibility to try to high it as a result of they’re nonetheless standing within the AFC. Extremely, miraculously. Lastly. Mahomes, that 26-year-old celebrity, added to his already lengthy legacy by throwing the game-winning landing to Kelce in additional time.

That was after he led the Chiefs to the game-tying area objective within the closing 13 seconds of regulation. That was after throwing for 188 yards and two touchdowns within the closing 114 seconds of regulation and additional time alone. That was after finishing his final 10 passes.

That was after the groups mixed for 25 factors — within the closing two minutes of regulation.

“To be on this second, on this sport, in opposition to that crew to stroll off in a sport like that,” Mahomes stated, “I will keep in mind that for the remainder of my life.”

Buffalo heart Mitch Morse virtually channeled Russell Crowe in “Gladiator” describing his feelings.

“We’re devastated in that locker room,” he stated. “That final two minutes of soccer is one thing particular you’ll be able to’t write. I used to be honored to be a part of it.”

Hill was nonetheless a lot within the second, he winced enduring a cramp whereas addressing the media on a Zoom name. Kelce tried to elucidate the interior clock that instructed him to go down on Buffalo’s 31-yard line with 3 seconds left in regulation.

That left Harrison Butker sufficient time to tie it 36-36.

“You begin to develop an understanding of the time, how a lot time it takes for a play to develop,” Kelce stated. “That and whenever you’re a little bit child you are working round appearing such as you’re Michael Jordan or one thing with 3 seconds left on the clock. You naturally begin to rely in your head.”

This was going to be Allen’s breakthrough sport. His third landing move of the sport and 2-point conversion gave the Payments a 29-26 lead with 1:54 left. After Mahomes one way or the other discovered Hill for a 64-yard rating with 62 seconds left, Allen threw his fourth scoring move with 13 seconds left to Stefon Diggs.

That was the identical Diggs who made certain he watched the confetti fall final January when the Payments misplaced the AFC Championship Recreation right here. They have been just about dealt with in that sport, 38-24.

This one was 13 ticks away from the most important occasion Buffalo has seen since Marv Levy led the Payments to 4 straight Tremendous Bowls within the Nineteen Nineties.

However Mahomes and crew one way or the other discovered a strategy to sneak in three performs from their very own 25 after the kickoff. Mahomes hit Hill for 19 yards. Mahomes discovered Kelce in a seam for 25 yards. Increase, Butker.

Perhaps 974 mixed yards and 78 factors was what this sport was destined for. This was the groups’ fourth assembly within the final 461 days. The Chiefs have realized a factor or three about beating the Payments when it counts. Sunday’s win was the third within the 4 conferences. In Week 5, the Payments made a press release profitable by 18 right here. On Sunday, the Chiefs beat the crew they defeated to get to the Tremendous Bowl final yr.

This time they stepped over the Payments to change into the primary AFC crew to play 4 straight championship video games at residence.

However after Sunday night time — even with a visit to the Tremendous Bowl at stake — how can subsequent week be any higher?



Leave a Comment