‘That’s what dreams are made of’

Chiefs gaze ahead to first AFC ti­tle game since Jan­uary 1994

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - NFL PLAYOFFS - BY DAVE SKRETTA

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.”

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