By DAVE SKRETTA, AP Game writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Kansas City chiefs lost Patrick Mahomes to an ingredient and were in danger of losing the game.
Then their defense and Chad Henne – their defense and Chad Henne ?! – Holding the Cleveland Browns 22-17 on Sunday to advance to their third straight AFC Championship game kept their hopes of a Super Bowl repeat alive.
“#HenneThingIsPossible,” one Siedeld Mahomes wrote on Twitter shortly after the victory.
Being reduced to a spectator with his star quarterback, the tot-forgotten bunch, unlike the Mahomes’ high-powered offense, forced Browning to punt within minutes. Then, his 35-year-old backup showed off a long third-down scramble for Tyreek Hill and some moxie with daring fourth-downs – when go-for-break Andy Reid decided to go for it – leading the Chiefs to a first down. met. With just over a minute left and allowed them to run off the clock.
“That’s why we love Big Red. He is always on time, ”said head safety Tyron Matthews. He said, “He is like our spirit warrior who is out behind the scenes.” He is always trying stuff. We always knew they had a game on the table. “
The Mahomes had not played in 21 days, as the Chiefs took the AFC’s top seed in Week 16, but hardly got a beat before dropping them in the middle of the third quarter. He completed 21 of 30 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown.
Harrison Butker scored three field goals for the majors, which led to an almost 19–3 lead, but became the first AFC team to host three consecutive conference title games. They will face Buffalo Bill next Sunday.
“It stings,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. “We came here to win and the work was not done. There is a final status to it.”
Baker Mayfield threw for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Browndown, who were coming away with their first playoff win since the 1994 season. But his inability to drive for the winning touchdown – he finished with 4:23 remaining in the game – prevented him from winning two playoff games in a season for the first time since 1950.
Mahomes completed 11 of his first 12 passes and led the Chiefs to back-to-back touchdowns to start the game. Mahomes raced for the first time and Travis Kelsey made a dump-off in a 20-yard catch for second, making it the first player on the ground and through the air since Steve Young in 1995 with three straight playoff games. Made.
In fact, Mahomes was passing so fast in the first half that he also completed a celebratory run for one lucky fan in the reach of the upper deck of Arrowdiam Stadium after his touchdown jaunt.
After the teams exchanged field goals, Butler smashed the main playoff record with a 50-yard run to the Browns, swinging at a pace to achieve the score at halftime. But when wide receiver Rashard Higgins tried to stretch at the goal line for a touchdown, Chief Daniel Sorenson rushed to deliver a hit, loose the ball and into the final zone for a touchback – the call stood after video review.
Count the crook for Cleveland? The chiefs had 1:32 left, with Mahomes having plenty of time to bring them within the bunker’s strong right foot. His chip-shot field goal gave Kansas City a 19-3 halftime lead.
The entire complex of the game changed early in the third quarter, however.
First, when Mayfield threw a blocker, the Browns caught the Chiefs and Bakker scored a field goal. Then, Mayfield led them the other way, capping a 77-yard drive with a touchdown throw to Jarvis Landry. And finally, about 17,000 fans were allowed into the stadium, as the pandemic sat in stunned silence when the Mahomes were left in quarters with 7:27 around the head and left on the middle field ground. Was.
Mahomes, who was already affected by a leg injury, stumbled as he tried to get his feet. She is eventually helped to the blue tent on the shore, then escapes to the locker room, where she is evaluated for a conclusion.
After the game, Reid said, “It made the air out of him and everything else,” he’s doing very well right now, which is a real positive. He did all the deals needed to pass and we’ll see where it goes from here. “
Turned into the end, Brown began to tilt too much on his vaunted run game, producing just 18 yards in the first half. Chubb converted a fourth-place conversion with a hard run, then Hunt followed another fourth-down conversion on the same drive, hitting the final zone against his former team to make it 22–17 to 11:07. .
It remained with Cleveland when Karl Joseph removed Hayne in the end zone just minutes later, but lead defenseman Nick Chubb forced an incompletion in the first place, and was eventually cleared away by Cleveland.
The Browns never had a second chance with the ball.
Stephansky made his playoff head coaching debut after missing from last week’s game in Pittsburgh due to COVID-19. Pro Bowl OL Joel Bitonio and CBs Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson were also back with their illnesses.
Brown: LT Jedrick Wills Jr. left in his first offensive game with an ankle injury. His backup, Kendall Lam, was left with an elbow injury, forcing Blake Hynes to make his second NFL appearance.
Main: RB Clyde Edwards-Hellier (ankle) was inactive after returning to practice this week for the first time since mid-December. CB Bashaud Brightland left with Concern in the fourth quarter.
The chiefs start preparing the bills next Sunday. They beat them 26–17 in Week 6 at Buffalo.
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