Chiefs roll into AFC fi­nal

K.C. earns 1st con­fer­ence ti­tle game berth since ’94 after end­ing skid vs. Indy

Albany Times Union (Sunday) - - NFL -

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.

Ed Zurga / As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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