AFC North

Kansas City Lights up Pittsburgh

Travis Kelce and the Chiefs celebrate in the endzone. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

After a slow start in the first quarter, the Chiefs turned a corner. The offense caught fire the rest of the game in potentially the last game ever for “Big” Ben Roethlisberger. After not scoring in the first 24 minutes plus of the game, Mahomes took charge. Patrick Mahomes went on to throw five touchdowns, as the Chiefs moved on to face Buffalo at Arrowhead next Sunday. Even in a slow start, Kansas City lights up Pittsburgh 42-21.

SLOW START

The Chiefs slow start Sunday night had fans across the Red Kingdom concerned. After coming out stagniant on offense, Kansas City fans across the nation held a collective breath. And then Andy Reid and offensive coordinator threw out a curve ball. The Chiefs lined up Mecole Hardman at quarterback, and he handed the ball off Darrel Williams. The play was over with before it started. A bad play turned worse when Cameron Heyward punched the ball out of Williams’ grasp, and Watt ran in back for a touchdown. Despite being overwhelming favorites, the Chiefs found themselves down 7-0 with 10:41 to go in the second quarter. A change needed to happen, and happen fast.

CATCHING FIRE

Something about that sluggish spark lit a fuse under the Chiefs. Maybe it was the same thing that sparked the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run 2 years prior. Whatever it was, it was enough to inspire a quick and awe-striking change. After Watt ran in a Williams’ fumble for a touchdown, Kansas City responded. The Chiefs took the ensuing drive 76 yards to the house, capitalized by a crisp underhand toss for a touchdown from Mahomes to running back Jerick McKinnon. McKinnon proved his worth, totaling 142 yards on 18 touches against the Steelers. This was the start of something never before seen in NFL Playoff history. Mahomes proceeded to throw 5 touchdowns in just ten minutes and thirty seconds of game time.

BEST IN THE BUSINESS

Some think George Kittle is the best tight end in football. Others say it’s Mark Andrews or Darren Waller. Tonight’s performance proved why Travis Kelce is the best there is. Not only did Kelce catch 5 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown, he also threw for one. Kelce wasn’t satisfied with showing his dominance as a receiver, he wanted to show off something more. Going back to his roots as a quarterback at Cleveland Heights High School and his early days playing at Cincinnati, Kelce shifted to quarterback near the goal line. After taking a step forward to read the defense, Kelce threw a bullet to Byron Pringle for a touchdown. Despite his doubters, Kelce proved once again he is not only the most versatile, but also the best tight end in football.

DEFENSE DOMINATES THE FIRST HALF

With Kansas City’s offense struggling through the opening minutes of the game, the defense needed to show up. The defense heard and responded to this message. In all the Steelers’ offense was only able to gain 40 offensive yards in the first half. A large part of this was due to the Chiefs swarming defense. It seemed that wherever Najee Harris ran the ball, multiple Chiefs defenders were there. Wherever Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball, the Chiefs swarmed to the ball. Paired with a few crucial drops by Pittsburgh’ s receivers, the Steelers offense was shut out for thirty minutes.

Patrick Mahomes leaps into the air, throwing an acrobatic pass against the Steelers. (Photo by Travis Heying/Associated Press)

PLAYOFF PAT

There has been a lot of speculation around Patrick Mahomes II this season. Some said that he is broken. Others said that the offense wasn’t the same without the big plays down the field. Those doubters felt confident in their beliefs for the majority of the first half of this game. But Patrick Mahomes II had the last laugh. After a rocky start, that included an interception, Mahomes found his groove. And Mahomes finding his groove should be an unsettling sign for the remainder of the playoff field. With his 5 touchdown and 400+ yards passing, he became the only quarterback to ever have 4 such games in a career.

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH

The Chiefs will welcome a familiar foe back to Arrowhead next week. After dispatching the Bills 38-24 in the 2021 AFC Championship game, the Chiefs will once again face Buffalo in the postseason. Last year it took a 9-0 deficit for the Chiefs to wake up. They went on to win the game 38-24, advancing to their second straight Super Bowl. The two teams will face off for the third time in exactly one year next Sunday at 5:30 local time at Arrowhead.

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  1. Pingback: Top Three Candidates For Dolphins Head Coach - Championship Sports Media

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