The Kansas City Chiefs won their first AFC title in 50 years by using the usual “suspects” (fantasy football stars) to beat the Tennessee Titans, 35-24, in the AFC Championship game Sunday,
Head coach Andy Reid and his talented Chiefs staff should be praised for the balanced attack they used to defeat Tennessee. They proved the best way to beat the Titans was don’t let running back Derrick Henry run the ball. Henry carried the ball 19 times (well below average) for 69 yards (also below his average) and one touchdown and spent most of the second half watching the Chiefs control the clock and the game.
The championship game was almost a perfect balance in time of possession (29 minutes and 50 seconds for the Chiefs to the TItans’ 30 minutes and 10 seconds). And Kansas City ran the ball 27 times and attempted 35 passes.
Though the Chiefs fell behind 17-7, they scored the next 28 points thanks to usual suspects Patrick Mahomes, Damien WIliams and Tyreek Hill scoring touchdowns. The play that most exemplified Kansas City’s determination to claim the AFC crown was Mahomes’ 27-yard run for a touchdown to wrap up the scoring in the first half.
he play that sealed the victory was a 60-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Watkins, who had not caught a touchdown pass since week #1 of the season, led all Chief receivers with seven catches for 114 yards.
Who would have expected Mahomes to do as much damage with his legs as his passing arm? He led the Chiefs’ rushing attack with eight carries for 53 yards. He also completed 23 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns.
Kansas City running back Damien Williams made the ground game work by rushing for 45 yards on 17 carries and running for a touchdown. He also caught five passes for 44 yards.
Chief wide receiver Tyreek Hill caught five passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns, while tight end Travis Kelce had a quiet three catches for 30 yards.
For Tennessee, quarterback Ryan Tannehill played as well as could be expected by completing 21 of 31 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. The Titans QB tossed the ball to eight different receivers.
Now the Kansas Chiefs will return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1970.