KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs ended their playoff agony in epic style.
Patrick Mahomes performed with the poise of a veteran in his first postseason begin, working for a landing and executing the offense to near-perfection on two different scoring drives whereas the much-maligned Kansas Metropolis protection made Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts look as dangerous as they did initially of the season in a 31-13 victory Saturday afternoon. It was solely the Chiefs’ second win of their final 12 playoff video games and first at Arrowhead Stadium for the reason that days of Joe Montana and Marcus Allen.
Chiefs followers would have been taken a playoff victory in any style. That it got here towards the Colts, who’ve been accountable for a lot of their postseason distress, made it that a lot sweeter.
Kansas Metropolis was 0-Four towards Indianapolis within the playoffs, together with that implosion within the 2013 wild-card recreation after the Chiefs blew a 28-point lead within the second half.
However there could be no heroics from Luck this time. The Chiefs, who had the NFL’s second-worst protection through the common season, by no means let him get in a rhythm. The Colts didn’t get a primary down till the ultimate possession of the primary half. At one level, Kansas Metropolis had as many first downs (12) because the Colts had yards.
So, yeah, the Chiefs and their followers will savor this one for some time. And after the best way they appeared Saturday, it’s not such a stretch to think about them going all the best way to the Tremendous Bowl. The Chiefs will host both the Los Angeles Chargers or New England Patriots in subsequent weekend’s AFC Championship Recreation.
Right here’s what else we realized within the divisional spherical recreation:
1. Younger gun
Mahomes has been dazzling all season, his first as a starter, and this recreation was no completely different.
He made it clear within the opening drive that he wasn’t going to be fazed by the massive stage, going 3-for-3, together with a phenomenal 34-yard completion to Sammy Watkins that introduced the Chiefs to the Indianapolis 10. Damien Williams obtained the landing on the following play, however that drive was all Mahomes and it set the tone for the afternoon.
He made one jaw-dropping throw after one other all through the afternoon, altering his arm angle or throwing throughout his physique with laser-like precision. He completed the day 27 of 41 for 278 yards with no interceptions.
The Chiefs obtained a little bit of a scare when Mahomes appeared to tweak his proper knee and obtained up limping early within the second quarter. However he regrouped two drives later with a 4-yard scamper for a landing, and didn’t look hampered the remainder of the sport.
2. Run recreation
If there was a knock on the Chiefs’ playoff probabilities – moreover their woeful historical past – it was their run recreation.
They waived Kareem Hunt on Nov. 30 after video surfaced of the working again shoving and kicking a girl, and there have been doubts the Chiefs had anybody who may step up and make up for his absence. However Damien Williams confirmed he might be loads harmful, ending with 129 yards and a rating on 25 carries.
Tyreek Hill additionally was a menace as soon as once more, ripping off a 36-yard TD run within the first quarter that put Kansas Metropolis up 14-0.
3. Not so automated
Adam Vinatieri is human, in spite of everything.
The Indianapolis Colts’ ageless kicker missed a chip-shot subject objective and an additional level Saturday. With the snow flying, no much less.
“Now he misses within the snow,” Charles Woodson stated on Twitter after Vinatieri missed a 23-yarder on the finish of the primary half.
Woodson was referring to Vinatieri’s 45-yard subject objective throughout a blizzard that helped carry the New England Patriots to a win over the Oakland Raiders within the 2001 divisional spherical.
Earlier than the miss, Vinatieri had been 97-of-97 on subject objective makes an attempt of 23 yards or much less, in line with ESPN. He additionally had been 70-of-70 on postseason PAT makes an attempt previous to his slip-up Saturday.
Observe Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.