Chiefs, Mahomes control Colts, advance to AFC title game

EditorsNote: Adds quotes; tweaks second and fifth grafs; several other changes

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 278 yards and ran for a score Saturday as the Chiefs ended a six-game home losing streak in the postseason by stomping the Indianapolis Colts 31-13 at snowy Kansas City, Mo.

The AFC playoff victory was the first in a quarter-century for the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, dating back to Jan. 8, 1994, when Joe Montana was the quarterback. It was the Chiefs’ first game as the No. 1 seed since 1997.

“We played a great team football game,” Mahomes told reporters after the game. “There was a lot of excitement here. The fans were awesome. Defense played amazing and the offense did enough to get the win in the end.”

More than a half-foot of snow socked Kansas City before kickoff. Light snow also fell during the game.

Kansas City host the AFC Championship Game next Sunday against the winner of Sunday’s divisional-round game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers.

Running back Damien Williams had career bests with 25 carries for 129 rushing yards. He scored one touchdown.

Tight end Travis Kelce led the Chiefs with 108 receiving yards on seven catches, while wideout Tyreek Hill added eight catches for 72 yards and a 36-yard rushing TD. Mahomes finished 27-for-41 passing and didn’t throw an interception.

Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston had two sacks and recovered a fumble off a strip-sack by Dee Ford.

The turnover thwarted a huge opportunity for the Colts after they took over at the Chiefs’ 20-yard line late in the third quarter on a fumble that was forced and recovered by linebacker Darius Leonard.

“They were red hot, but so was our defense and so was our offense and we wanted to keep that going,” Ford said afterward.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck could never get into a rhythm, passing for 203 yards while going 19 for 36. The Colts, who had won 10 of their previous 11 games, including five straight, were dogged by 10 penalties for 70 yards and finished 0 for 9 on third downs.

Kansas City dominated the first half, generating 18 first downs before Indianapolis moved the chains for the first time during a two-minute drill to end the half.

The Colts stormed downfield on that march, but kicker Adam Vinatieri, playing in his 32nd postseason game, missed a 23-yard field-goal attempt off the left upright as time expired. Vinatieri also missed a PAT attempt in the second half.

The 24-7 lead the Chiefs took into the break was achieved with 195 yards passing from Mahomes, who also rushed for a 4-yard TD with 1:40 left. Williams scored on a 10-yard rush and Hill on a 36-yard reverse to cap the first two Kansas City drives.

Indianapolis went three-and-out on each of its first four possessions.

Najee Goode broke through to block a punt that teammate Zach Pascal recovered in the end zone with 5:56 left for the Colts’ only first-half score.

–Field Level Media

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