The Kansas City Chiefs have broken an incredible home hoodoo to move within one win of the Super Bowl in Atlanta.
The Chiefs last won the Super Bowl in 1969, the last time they made the Championship match.
It’s a 50 year break from the biggest game of the NFL season and has something to do with the terrible playoff record at home.
It had been 25 years between home wins in NFL playoff games until today’s 31-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts to book a place in the AFC Championship game against the winner of the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers game tomorrow morning AEDT.
To put it in context, Patrick Mahomes, who starred in today’s match, was still almost two years from being born the last time the Chiefs won a playoff match.
MVP favourite and second year player Mahomes was incredible for the Chiefs.
He threw for 278 yards with a rushing touchdown and despite not throwing an touchdowns in the match, had a huge impact on the match.
At halftime, former NFL star and coach Tony Dungy said Mahomes was incredible in the first half.
Mahomes threw 195 yards with his touchdown in the first half as his side led 24-7 at the break.
“He was lights out,” Dungy said of Mahomes.
“We were wondering how his first playoff experience would be and he passed the test with flying colours especially after that blocked punt.”
Two-time Super Bowl champion Rodney Harrison agreed.
“He looked like the veteran quarterback, Andrew Luck looked like the second year player,” he said.
Social media was enthralled by the performance of Mahomes.
Mahomes has stunned throughout the season, setting a series of league and team records for the Chiefs.
He was the first player to throw for over 3,000 yards in his first ten games, threw the most touchdown passes in his first three games with 10, most TD passes in his first eight career games with 22, the youngest quarterback to thrown six touchdown passes in a game at 22 years, 364 days, fastest player to 4000 passing yards and more than 40 touchdown passes, which he did in 13 games.
He also threw the most consecutive 300-plus passing yard games, tied at eight.
With more than 5000 passing yards and 50 touchdowns, he also set franchise records for the Chiefs.
While the Chiefs ran away with the game in the first half, the Colts launched a comeback raid in the second half but key misses from all-time leading kicker Adam Vinatieri hurt the side’s chances.
The 46-year-old had never missed kick for an extra point in a playoff game but missed a key kick in the second half.
Alongside the shortest field goal miss of his career at 23-years, it was a night to forget for the NFL record holder.
Some even through it may be the end for his.
The Chiefs defence answered their chorus of critics with a stout performance.
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 defence played amazing and the offence, we did enough to get the win in the end,” Mahomes said.
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 defence that nearly shut-out the Texans a week ago. Mahomes and Co. scored on their first three possessions, then again just before halftime.
For the Colts, the lone bright spot came when Zach Paschal recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown.
Even when the Colts caught a break and Sammy Watkins fumbled the ball to them late in the third quarter, they were quick to give it back.
— with AP
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