The Kansas Town Chiefs’ protection had heard the refrain of critics all season lengthy, those that claimed their sieve-like line and shaky backfield would ruin younger celebrity Patrick Mahomes and price them an opportunity to chase their first Tremendous Bowl look in many years.
Smartly, that protection is a huge reason the Chiefs are one step away.
With chronic snow turning Arrowhead Stadium right into a wintry weather wonderland, the Chiefs effectively close down Andrew Good fortune and the potent Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.
Mahomes and the remainder of their very own high-powered offense took care of the remainder, rolling to a 31-13 victory within the divisional spherical to finish 25 years of playoff frustration.
“We are one of these other staff,” mentioned Mahomes, who threw for 278 yards whilst operating for a ranking. “We have now such younger avid gamers. We have now such self assurance we are going to win each and every unmarried sport.”
Damien Williams ran thru snow and muck for 129 yards and some other ranking, and Tyreek Hill had 72 yards receiving and a landing run, because the Chiefs beat Indianapolis for the primary time in 5 playoff conferences to earn their first AFC identify sport look since January 1994.
The AFC West champions will play the winner of Sunday’s sport between the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots subsequent weekend for a place within the Tremendous Bowl in Atlanta.
“We needed to remove darkness from town,” Chiefs defensive take on Chris Jones mentioned. “We did not wish to take the street down reminiscence lane.”
Andrew Good fortune was once held to 203 yards passing for the Colts, whilst Marlon Mack was once a non-factor at the flooring. He had 46 yards dashing prior to leaving past due within the fourth quarter with a hip damage.
“Was once now not anticipating it to finish lately,” Colts trainer Frank Reich mentioned. “We knew we had been going up towards an excellent staff, an excessively well-coached staff. It is onerous to lose. It is onerous to lose whilst you’ve come this a ways with the staff that we have got and the fellows that we have got, so credit score to the Chiefs.
“They outcoached us, they outplayed us,” Reich mentioned. “We simply gave them too many alternatives.”
The Chiefs got down to exchange historical past from the hole mins, once they pressured a three-and-out after which waltzed proper over a Colts protection that almost close out the Texans per week in the past. Mahomes and Co. scored on their first 3 possessions , however simply prior to halftime, to take a 24-7 lead.
If there was once any query whether or not this is able to be Kansas Town’s day, it was once replied when Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri overlooked a 23-yard field-goal check out off the upright simply prior to halftime. It was once the primary time in 22 postseason makes an attempt that he’d overlooked from that shut.
Now not that the Chiefs idea that they had it wrapped up.
They have had larger playoff meltdowns towards the Colts.
There was once the 10-7 loss wherein Lin Elliott overlooked 3 discipline objectives when the Chiefs had been the No. 1 seed, and the loss at Arrowhead Stadium in 2003 wherein no person punted. 5 years in the past, they blew a 38-10 second-half lead towards Good fortune and the Colts to ruin Andy Reid’s first season.
Now not this time.
Now not with this Kansas Town quarterback.
After shattering just about each and every franchise passing report, Mahomes picked up proper the place he left off in his regular-season finale. He led the Chiefs on landing drives of 90 and 70 yards to open the sport, temporarily recognized a favourite goal in Travis Kelce, and shook off a banged-up knee to scramble for a landing past due within the first half of to provide his staff a large cushion.
In fact, the Chiefs (13-Four) did not want it the best way their protection was once taking part in.
The Colts (11-7) went three-and-out on their first 4 possessions, had been outgained 185-12 within the first quarter, and Good fortune did not entire a cross till he discovered T.Y Hilton early in the second one.
Their lone vivid spot got here when Zach Paschal recovered a blocked punt for a landing .
Even if the Colts stuck a damage and Sammy Watkins fumbled the ball to them past due within the 3rd quarter, they had been fast to provide it again. Dee Ford stripped Good fortune and fellow linebacker Justin Houston plopped at the ball, ruining some other red-zone alternative.
“It appeared like the rushers had been getting there all night time,” Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller mentioned. “Guys sticking protection, taking part in excellent methodology, excellent eyes and such things as that.”
The Colts in spite of everything scored an offensive landing with five:31 left within the sport. However in the easiest summation in their awful afternoon, their erstwhile megastar kicker overlooked the additional level.
By way of that time, the birthday party within the stands already had begun.
The Chiefs had misplaced six directly house playoff video games, together with heartbreakers to Pittsburgh and Tennessee the previous two years. However a proud franchise that gained its most effective Tremendous Bowl identify with Len Dawson in 1970, and ultimate performed for a place in the back of Joe Montana, is another time one step away.
“I am simply glad for those guys on this locker room,” Kelce mentioned. “Playoff wins are onerous to come back by means of, let by myself wins within the NFL. So, I imply, it is simply thrilling for us so that you could play subsequent week.”
Reid was once summoned to the nook of the stadium right through the two-minute caution within the first half of to implore lovers to prevent throwing snowballs at the discipline. Previous within the half of, one virtually hit Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez whilst he was once kicking.
Colts: Middle Ryan Kelly (knee) left past due within the fourth quarter. … FS Malik Hooker (foot) and DE Tyquan Lewis (knee) had been inactive, whilst SS Mike Mitchell (calf) was once put on injured reserve previous this week. That left the Colts protection with out some key items.
Chiefs: Protection Eric Berry (heel) and operating again Spencer Ware (hamstring) had been inactive, even though Berry — the staff’s emotional chief — broke down the pregame huddle within the north finish zone.
Chiefs: Wait for the Chargers-Patriots winner within the AFC identify sport.
Colts: Start making ready for April’s draft.
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