Tennessee Titans 24-35 Kansas City Chiefs: Mahomes leads Chiefs to first Super Bowl in 50 years
Patrick Mahomes celebrates winning the AFC Championship (Photo: Jamie Squire)

Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl in 50 years after beating the Tennessee Titans 35-24 in the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium

Mahomes completed 23 of his 35 throws for 294 yards and three touchdowns, while also having a team-high 53 yards on the ground and a score. 

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill went 21 of 31 for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Derrick Henry, who had over 180 yards on the ground in his last three games, was held to just 69 yards and a score. 

The Chiefs scored 28 unanswered points to come from behind in the game and will play the San Francisco 49ers in Miami for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

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Titans open up 10-point lead in the first half

The Titans, who won the meeting between the two teams in the regular season, put points on the board on the opening drive. Rookie A.J. Brown had a 37-yard catch-and-run, which set up Greg Joseph’s 30-yard field goal. 

Mahomes was sacked by Kamalei Correa on the second play of the Chiefs’ first drive, which ended in them punting away possession after a quick three-and-out. 

Tennessee found the end zone on their next drive, which was kept alive after a big fourth down completion to Adam Humphries. Derrick Henry rushed into the end zone from four yards after Jonnu Smith’s 22-yard completion on the previous play. 

Kansas City responded with a score of their own when Mahomes handed the ball off to Tyreek Hill, who rushed to the left side for an eight-yard touchdown. 

The Titans then put together a long drive, which took 9:07 off the clock and kept Mahomes and the Chiefs offense off the field. After falling short on a third-down play, the hosts were flagged for a pass interference by Brashaud Breeland on Corey Davis to set up first-and-goal. 

On a trick play, Henry went wide-left, which meant right tackle Dennis Kelly was free to collect Tannehill’s one-yard pass – the Titans went 75 yards in 15 plays.

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Mahomes and Chiefs fight back to lead at half-time

Mahomes led the offense on a five-play drive, which saw the Chiefs reduce the deficit to just three points after the third-year quarterback threw over the middle to Hill for a 20-yard touchdown. 

Kansas City’s defense forced a three-and-out on the next drive, which gave Mahomes just under two minutes to put the Chiefs ahead for the first time in the game. 

The quarterback produced one of the moments of the season with a 27-yard rushing touchdown, which saw Mahomes rush to the left side, tip-toe down the side-line and break three tackles before reaching the end zone. Harrison Butker’s extra point made it 21-17 at half-time after the nine-play 86-yard drive. 

Tennessee’s defense made a big stop at the start of the second-half to ensure their opponents didn’t stretch their lead out further, but were then forced to punt themselves on their next drive. 

The Chiefs weren’t to be denied though, putting together a 13-play drive, which saw Mahomes complete a 15-yard pass to Hill down on the three-yard line. From there, Damien Williams rushed in for the touchdown – his seventh score in four postseason games.

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Chiefs defense rounds game off in style with sack on Tannehill

The momentum was with Kansas City and the Arrowhead crowd knew it. Tanoh Kpassagnon sacked Tannehill for an eight-yard loss on third down, which meant the Titans had to punt the ball away. 

Mahomes produced another moment of sheer brilliance, keeping a third-down play alive with his legs in the fourth quarter. He threw a deep pass down the field to Sammy Watkins, who raced away from the safety for a 60-yard touchdown reception. 

Tennessee faced a fourth-and-long situation, but head coach Mike Vrabel rolled the dice with a fake punt, which saw Brett Kern complete a 28-yard pass to Amani Hooker

Just two plays after Tannehill connected with Davis on a big play, to get into the red zone, the quarterback threw to tight end Anthony Firsker for a 22-yard touchdown to give the Titans a glimmer of hope. 

The Chiefs punted the ball away after five plays on their next drive, but the Kansas City defense finished the game off when Frank Clark sacked Tannehill on a crucial fourth down play. Mahomes and the Chiefs can now look forward to the Super Bowl in Miami on February 2.