Chiefs roll into AFC final
K.C. earns 1st conference title game berth since ’94 after ending skid vs. Indy
Patrick Mahomes picked apart the Colts in his postseason debut, the Chiefs’ defense answered its chorus of critics with a stout performance, and Kansas City rolled to a 31-13 victory over Indianapolis in the divisional round Saturday to end 25 years of playoff frustration.
Mahomes threw for 278 yards while running for a touchdown, and Damien Williams ran through snow and muck for 129 yards and another score, as the Chiefs beat Indianapolis for the first time in five playoff meetings to earn their first AFC title game appearance since January 1994.
“There was a lot of excitement here, the fans were awesome, the defense played amazing and the offense, we did enough to get the win in the end,” Mahomes said.
The AFC West champions will play the winner of Sunday’s game between the divisionrival Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots next weekend for a spot in the Super Bowl in Atlanta.
Andrew Luck was held to 203 yards passing for the Colts, while Marlon Mack was a non-factor on the ground. He had 46 yards rushing before leaving late in the fourth quarter with a hip injury.
With persistent snow turning Arrowhead Stadium into a winter wonderland, the Chiefs waltzed all over a Colts defense that nearly shut out the Texans a week ago. Mahomes and Co. scored on their first three possessions, then again just before halftime, to take a 24-7 lead into the break.
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 23-yard field-goal try off the upright just before halftime. It was the first time in 22 postseason attempts that he’d missed from that close. He later missed an extra point.
Mahomes led the Chiefs on touchdown drives of 90 and 70 yards to open the game, quickly identified a favorite target in Travis Kelce (108 yards receiving), and shook off a banged-up knee to scramble for a touchdown late in the first half to give his team a big cushion.
Of course, the Chiefs didn’t need it the way their defense was playing.
The Colts went three-and-out on their first four possessions, were outgained 185-12 in the first quarter, and Luck didn’t complete a pass until he found T.Y Hilton early in the second.
Dee Ford stripped Luck in the third quarter and fellow linebacker Justin Houston recovered, ruining another red-zone opportunity.
The Colts’ lone bright spot came when Zach Paschal recovered a blocked punt for a score.
K.C. had lost six straight home playoff games but is now one step away from the Super Bowl.
Chiefs receiver tyreek Hill, who had a 36-yard td run and eight catches for 72 yards, gestures as he runs past Colts defenders on Saturday.