The Kansas City Chiefs survived an almighty scare after losing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to concussion, but managed to beat the Cleveland Browns 22-17.
The Chiefs will host the AFC Championship game for the third straight year, with the No 2 seed Buffalo Bills travelling to Arrowhead Stadium, but the build-up to that mouthwatering game will be dominated by news of the health of Mahomes.
‘He got hit in the back of the head and kinda knocked the wind out of him and everything else with it,’ Chiefs head coach Reid said after the game.
‘He’s doing great right now which is a real positive as we looked at this. Passed all the deals that he needed to pass so we’ll see where it goes from here.’
Kansas City Chiefs beat the Cleveland Browns despite an injury to key man Patrick Mahomes
It appeared to be business as usual for the defending Super Bowl champions, who shrugged off any fear of rust and raced into a 13-3 lead.
But Baker Mayfield recovered from an interception early in the second half to lead put together an eight-play, 77-yard touchdown drive which culminated in Jarvis Landy’s 4-yard grab.
With Kansas City up 19-10, they drove downfield midway through the third quarter. Superstar quarterback Mahomes, 25, who had been struggling with a left foot injury, put the ball under his arm and ran to his right on an option play on third and one.
He was hit hard by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson and landed awkwardly after being thrown to the ground. During a worrying few moments, a visibly unsteady Mahomes had to be helped to his feet by team-mates and was escorted off the field. He duly walked to the locker room.
Mahomes (No 16) was hit hard by Browns lineback Mack Wilson and received a concussion
Mahomes was replaced by veteran Chad Henne, who shrugged off an early interception and helped the Chiefs extend their lead to 22-10 with a field goal. Scenting blood, the Browns narrowed the lead further after Kareem Hunt’s touchdown.
Yet after taking a leaf out of Mahomes’ playbook and rushing for 13 yards on third and 14, Henne held his nerve to seal the game with a gutsy throw to wideout Tyreek Hill on 4th and 1.
‘#HenneThingIsPossible,’ Mahomes said on Twitter straight after the win. ‘Everybody has full confidence in him. I mean, you saw how the team reacted on that run. We thought we had it,’ said Reid of his 35-year-old backup.
‘I thought it was a heck of a throw the second play. We go through all of those Saturday night with the quarterbacks and those situations, fourth-and-1 to win the game. What do you want? And that play happened to be there.’
The 2018 NFL MVP had to be helped to his feet by team-mates and staff members from his side
In a fierce, bitter wind which made points tough to come by, Buffalo’s defence stymied Lamar Jackson, reducing the current MVP to 162 yards in the air and 34 on the ground during a gutsy 17-3 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
In front of 6,772 fans and with the score 3-3 at half-time, the game was effectively over in the third quarter, such was the Bills’ dominance and mastery of conditions.
After taking a 10-3 lead thanks to Stefon Diggs’ three-yard touchdown, Bills cornerback Taron Jackson intercepted namesake Jackson to score a 101-yard pick six. At the end of the quarter, the Ravens quarterback left with a concussion.
Mahomes recovered well enough to later be seen running off the pitch, surviving the scare
‘Taron Johnson’s is a play that people are going to remember for a long time here in Buffalo, potentially a franchise-altering play,’ said Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
There is hope for success-starved Buffalo — who reached four straight Super Bowls under head coach Marv Levy between 1991-94 and lost them all.
The team believe the current crop can finally win a Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Bills have a swagger befitting a team who have won eight games in a row and 11 of their last 12.
Elsewhere, the Green Bay Packers are into their second straight NFC Championship game after beating the LA Rams 32-18. They will host the New Orleans Saints or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Source: Daily Mail |World News