KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A drama-filled Divisional round in KC ended with a Chiefs victory on Sunday, January 18. Here are the best and worst moments for Kansas City, captured in photographs.
The game started off with some fireworks, literally and figuratively. Flames were launched into the air as a B-2 bomber ripped across the sky as part of the pregame ceremony. The Chiefs then quickly took the lead with a fast-paced drive down the field. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes ran an option route, opting to cut into the end zone. A missed extra point kept the Chiefs lead to 6-0.
In the second quarter, the Chiefs’ offense kept up the heat. Mahomes connected to tight end Travis Kelce on a 10-yard pass, and Kelce then turned up and leapt into the end zone, crashing his way over the line. An extra point and two field goals later, and the Chiefs extended their lead 19-3.
However, Mahomes didn’t walk off unscathed. Soon after, he was seen with medical professionals on the sideline as they looked at his foot. He would continue to play, but it was clear he was no longer functioning at 100%. It was only the beginning for the quarterback’s troubles.
Then, with just under two minutes left in the 2nd quarter, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield delivered a strike to Rashard Higgins, who dove for the end zone. Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen was there to meet him at the 1 yard line, crashing into him and knocking the ball loose. The football rolled into the end zone and out of bounds. Instead of a Browns touchdown, the play resulted in a touchback, giving the Chiefs the ball at their own 25. The Chiefs drove down the field and kicked a field goal before the half ended.
Then in the third quarter, disaster for the Chiefs. Mahomes, who came out swinging again, was injured on a quarterback option. His head and neck was bent as the crown of his helmet crashed into the ground. His legs wobbled as he struggled to get up, and teammates quickly had to help stabilize. He was then slowly walked off the field. He then ran into the locker room and did not return. He reportedly had a concussion.
Chiefs backup quarterback Chad Henne then stepped up to the plate, finishing the drive by leading the team down the field to a field goal: 22-10.
However, the Browns now had a shot with the Chiefs’ offense hobbled. Empowered, the Cleveland offense answered with a long drive down the field, pushing into the fourth quarter. Former Chief Kareem Hunt would not be denied some revenge, blasting into the end zone with about 11 minutes left, bringing the game within one touchdown. 22:17.
Henne responded with what looked like a promising drive with big-yard connections to Hill and Kelce. However, the Browns intercepted a long bomb into the end zone.
The Chiefs were able to stop the Browns though, giving them one more shot to seal the game. With the clock ticking, Henne was sacked for a loss, setting up third down with 14 yards. That’s when Henne scrambled, making up almost all the yards. However, he was stopped just short.
Andy Reid then made the call to go for it. A quick screen pass out to Tyreek Hill gave the wide receiver room to turn up field. He got the first down and promptly sat down. With no timeouts left for the Browns, the Chiefs had clinched the win.