A fantastic defensive display from both sides but Patrick Mahomes brought his A-game, and it was enough to tip the Chiefs over for a massive win for their franchise.
The first quarter began with the fantastic standard that we expected for this matchup. The Chiefs had the first possession of the game and did not waste it. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes led his side up the field before a pass into the endzone was caught brilliantly by his tight end Travis Kelce to give the Chiefs an early lead.
However, as we know the Ravens have been immense of offense this season, and it was not going to be an easy task for the Chiefs' defence to stop them. Lamar Jackson showed exactly why he is in the conversation for MVP this season. After pressure in the pocket, he managed to stay on his feet and threw a 30-yard dime pass to his receiver Zay Flowers to level the score to end the first quarter at 7-7.
The Chiefs went back to work in the second quarter and wasted no time in adding to their score. A long drive up the field ended with a short two-yard run from running back Isiah Pacheco to secure a second Chiefs touchdown.
Jackson looked to respond instantly as the Ravens took over possession again. However, a strong pass rush from the Chiefs saw Charles Omenihu knock the ball out of Jackson’s hands and George Karlaftis was able to recover it and turnover possession back to the Chiefs.
Despite this fantastic defence from the Chiefs, it did not result in a score as they went for a risky play on fourth down but the run from Pacheco was stopped as the Ravens reclaimed the ball for their offense.
Defence was the story of this quarter, as it seemed that every drive in this quarter ended up with a punt for the offensive team. Despite the Chiefs having an opportunity with just under two minutes left in the quarter, a couple of holding penalties against guard Trey Smith saw them have to settle for a field goal which Harrison Butker connected with from 52 yards to give the Chiefs a 17-7 lead at half time.
The second half was yet another story of defensive excellence. The Chiefs continued to stop any offensive progression from the Ravens as they looked to close out this game and send themselves to their second consecutive Super Bowl.
The defensive display was so good from both sides that the third quarter ended with no scores from either side and the Ravens had a massive task in the final quarter to overcome their deficit. Kyle Hamilton was particularly impressive for the Ravens' defence.
The fourth quarter started in possibly the worst way for the Ravens. Jackson lined up from the red zone to make it a three-point game but as Flowers dove into the end zone, the Chiefs defensive back L’Jarius Sneed knocked the ball out of his hands and turned over the ball. A game-changing moment for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs could not convert their offensive drive after a great sack from defensive tackle Justin Madubuike forced the Chiefs into another punt. This left the Ravens with their last chance at a drive up the field in order to bring the game back to just a one-score differential.
However, despite Jackson making some great plays to get his offense into the Chiefs’ territory, a deep throw into the endzone was intercepted by defensive back Deon Bush which all but sealed the victory for Andy Reid’s side.
The Ravens would not give up, as they advanced down the field after another good defensive stop but they were limited to just three points as Justin Tucker converted a 42-yard field goal to make the score 10-17.
With the Chiefs needing just one first down to secure the win, they found themselves in a tough third down and nine situation. However, a risky long throw from Mahomes was caught fantastically by his receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling to get the Chiefs a new set of downs and secure the victory for the Chiefs.
This victory means that the Chiefs have booked their space at yet another Super Bowl and they will travel to Vegas in two weeks time. They are now one game away from securing back-to-back Super Bowl victories.
It is a devastating loss for Lamar Jackson, who is running out of time slowly to secure the Super Bowl victory he so desperately desires. Despite a solid defensive performance from his Ravens side, too many penalties were given up for unnecessary reasons which in the end cost them the victory.
The Chiefs will now wait tonight as they will face the winner of this evening’s NFC Championship game against either the San Francisco 49ers or the Detroit Lions in Vegas on February 11th.
Super Bowl LVIII is now one-half complete, the question is: who will be the team attempting to stop the Chiefs from making history in Nevada?