Dynasty meets dynamo for title
With Super Bowl on line, it’s Brady vs. Mahomes
The Kansas City ChiefsNew England Patriots AFC championship is set. Some contrasts couldn’t be sharper.
The Patriots are playing in the title game for the 16th time in franchise history — the 13th time in the era of quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick, including eight in a row.
The 1993 season marked Kansas City’s previous trip to the AFC title game, the Chiefs’ only appearance there since the NFL and AFL merged in 1970.
Brady is the NFL’s best postseason quarterback with five Super Bowl rings and eight AFC titles.
Patrick Mahomes, who has passed for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns this year, makes the title game in his first season as a starter.
CBS commentators Jim Nantz and Tony Romo framed the game as the “legend versus the phenom.”
The teams met in the regular season each of the past two years. In Week 6 this season, the Patriots beat the Chiefs, 43-40.
Down 24-9 at half, the Chiefs took a lead in the third quarter and made it 4040 with three minutes left before Brady rallied the Patriots for a winning field goal on the final play.
Mahomes passed for 352 yards and four touchdowns. Brady had 340 yards. They will be the game’s big story.
Brady, 41, showed no signs of slowing Sunday with 343 passing yards and a touchdown.
In Saturday’s 31-13 win against the Indianapolis Colts, Mahomes passed for 278 yards, helping the Chiefs to their first playoff victory since 2015 and the first win at Arrowhead Stadium since 1993.
The Patriots will be looking for their first road playoff win since the 2006 season. They have lost three in a row to Peyton Manning teams. They’ll seek redemption in a place where their most recent visit didn’t end well. In 2014, the Chiefs handled the Patriots, 41-14.
“That was a pretty crappy loss that night,” Brady said after Sunday’s game.
Starting with that contest, the teams have played four games. The Chiefs have scored 40 points three times.
Brady expects to get the Chiefs’ best shot. “Kansas City’s had a helluva year,” he said.
“They gave us everything we could handle in October. I’m sure it will be the same. They’re well-coached with a good offense and their defense played well against the Colts. It’s going to be fun to play them in the championship game.”