‘That’s what dreams are made of’
Chiefs gaze ahead to first AFC title game since January 1994
Nobody in the Kansas City Chiefs locker room is more keenly aware of the franchise’s heartbreaking playoff history than Xavier Williams, who grew up a short drive away from Arrowhead Stadium.
He was just a toddler when his hometown team lost in the AFC title game in January 1994, the last time they were on the cusp of playing in a Super Bowl. He endured the childhood disappointments, and the playoff losses while he was starring in high school and at Northern Iowa.
So when the Chiefs finally punched their ticket back to the AFC championship game with a 31-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, there was nobody better to put it into perspective.
“I think if you’re not from here, you don’t know,” Williams said. “People have been waiting for a long, long time. You could just feel how electrifying it is around the city, from the start of the season until now, tonight. A blizzard going on and the crowd sold out. It’s something.”
The Chiefs certainly gave them a reason to brave the weather.
Patrick Mahomes threw for 278 yards while running for a touchdown. Damien Williams ran for 129 yards and a score against a Colts defence that had not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. Tyreek Hill also had a touchdown run, while Travis Kelce topped 100 yards receiving.
The Chiefs’ defence, which was so maligned all season, shut down Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis offence in helping Kansas City to its first playoff win over the Colts in five tries.
“Everybody grows up talking about playing for the hometown team,” Williams said. “I mean, it’s a great opportunity we’ve got. And now we’ve got an even bigger opportunity, a chance to bring a Super Bowl to your hometown. That’s what dreams are made of.”
Standing in the way: the New England Patriots, who rallied in the final seconds to beat the Chiefs in a 43-40 barnburner at Gillette Stadium in Week 6.
“We don’t care who we’re going against. We can be going against brick walls and will find a way to beat them,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said. “We’re peaking at the right moment.”