How Chiefs obtained to AFC Championship sport: Key wins, acquisitions, turning level, greatest causes for fulfillment


The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs stumbled early this season, hit their stride, received an epic divisional spherical sport and are actually internet hosting the AFC championship sport for an NFL report fourth-consecutive 12 months.

So how did Andy Reid’s membership enhance from a 14-2 season in 2020 that featured a convincing convention title sport victory? No, its report wasn’t as spectacular this time round, however there’s purpose to imagine it is a Kansas Metropolis group extra geared up to win the Tremendous Bowl this 12 months than in February of 2021. 

Let’s assessment with a glance again at their key acquisitions, most necessary wins and different notable moments from their 2021 marketing campaign:

Key acquisitions

After the blocking abomination within the Tremendous Bowl final February, the Chiefs felt work wanted to be achieved up entrance. A whole lot of work. They swung one of the shocking trades I can keep in mind — between AFC rivals — touchdown Brown from the Ravens in a deal that included a second and a sixth additionally going to Kansas Metropolis in change for the Chiefs’ first, third, and fourth-round picks in 2021 and a fifth-round choice in 2022.  

In free company, the Chiefs made Thuney the highest-paid guard — on a multi-year deal — in soccer after a blinding starting to his profession in New England. With these two strikes, Kansas Metropolis was properly on its approach to rebuilding the offensive line, one thing that wanted to be achieved. 

Then Ingram fell into their lap on the commerce deadline. He began scorching in Pittsburgh however cooled, and he wasn’t proud of diminished snaps. Basic supervisor Brett Veach despatched a sixth-round decide to the Steelers for the highly effective veteran rusher. 

Key draft picks

The reconstruction of the unit tasked with defending Mahomes was not full with the Brown commerce and Thuney signing. The Chiefs chosen Humphrey in Spherical 2, and he garnered Offensive Rookie of the Yr hype all through his first NFL season. Enjoying middle in Reid’s offense has typically produced unbelievable outcomes for whomever’s blocking there, however Humphrey performed properly past his years on the pivot. 

4 rounds later, Kansas Metropolis picked Smith as a flier. After years on the draft radar, well being points led to his colossal slide, and Kansas Metropolis was content material stopping his plummet. Smith, a strength-based blocker with an NFL physique, was unbelievable as a rookie, too. And with that, the offensive line was reworked. 

The group’s first second-round decide (Bolton) had his points in protection early however settled into his position because the group’s sideline-to-sideline patrol man.

Turning level

Week 10 vs. Raiders: The Chiefs began 3-4 earlier than holding on for an unsightly 20-17 win over the Giants after which beating the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers, 13-7. However the offense was nonetheless not proper. Not even shut. It wasn’t till a shellacking of the Raiders that the Chiefs righted the ship, hitting large performs all around the discipline in opposition to Gus Bradley’s Cowl 3-based protection. Mahomes obtained on monitor, ending with 406 yards and 5 touchdowns on 35-of-50 passing and a studly ranking of 127.6. 

From that time ahead, the Chiefs have principally regarded just like the Chiefs once more. 

Key win

Week 18 vs. Broncos: With an immense quantity of parity within the NFL this season — significantly within the AFC — the ultimate sport of the common season was vital for the AFC playoff image. And it wasn’t a cake stroll for the Chiefs in Denver. The Broncos took a 14-10 lead into the half and have been up, 21-20, halfway by way of the fourth. On the doorstep of one other landing, Ingram popped Broncos working again Melvin Gordon, permitting Bolton to scoop up the ball and run it again for an 86-yard rating. Huge play in a large win.

Had the Chiefs misplaced that sport, the Payments would’ve been the No. 2 seed and the Chiefs No. 3 — that means that divisional spherical contest would’ve been in Buffalo. 

Largest causes for his or her run

  • Yards after the catch: I am not taking something away from Mahomes as a result of he is a celebrity, however the Chiefs offense is very YAC-friendly. Getting into this convention title conflict with the Bengals, Kansas Metropolis averages a hefty 6.31 yards after the catch per reception. That is second within the NFL to solely the 49ers. Between Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman and a group of springy scat backs, the Chiefs are constructed to gash defenses after the catch. 
  • The offensive line: For the reason that aforementioned Raiders sport in Week 10, Mahomes has solely been sacked 11 occasions in eight contests on 307 drop backs. That equates to a reasonably low sack charge of three.6%, which is almost an identical to his sack charges for the whole thing of the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Has the Chiefs offensive line been unstoppable? No. However the rebuild has labored. 

Full 2021 outcomes


vs. Browns

W, 33-29


at Ravens

L, 35-36


vs. Chargers

L, 24-30


at Eagles 

W, 42-30


vs. Payments

L, 20-38


at WFT

W, 31-13


at Titans

L, 3-27


vs. Giants 

W, 20-17


vs. Packers

W, 13-7


at Raiders

W, 41-14


vs. Cowboys

W, 19-9


vs. Broncos

W, 22-9


vs. Raiders

W, 48-9


at Chargers

W, 34-28 (OT)


vs. Steelers

W, 36-10


at Bengals

L, 31-34


at Broncos

W, 28-24 

Wild Card

vs. Steelers

W, 42-21


vs. Payments

W, 42-36 (OT)

AFC Championship vs. Bengals TBD



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