BALTIMORE — Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce have been at their magnificent finest within the first half, and Kansas Metropolis’s protection delivered one other masterpiece in opposition to Lamar Jackson and Baltimore, serving to the Chiefs attain the Tremendous Bowl for the fourth time in 5 years with a 17-10 victory within the AFC championship sport Sunday.
Kelce caught 11 passes for 116 yards and a landing, and now the large query at subsequent month’s Tremendous Bowl in Las Vegas is whether or not his girlfriend Taylor Swift will be capable of make it there in the midst of her tour. The pop star was readily available once more Sunday, and the 34-year-old Kelce was at his finest.
“The Chiefs are nonetheless the Chiefs,” stated Kelce, who broke Jerry Rice’s profession file for receptions within the postseason. “And consider it — you’ve received to struggle in your proper to social gathering! Consider it, child, we’re going to Las Vegas.”
Kansas Metropolis (14-6) will face both San Francisco or Detroit on Feb. 11, and a win would make the Chiefs the primary group to win all of it in back-to-back seasons because the New England Patriots 19 years in the past.
Swift’s presence has turned the Chiefs into much more of a glamour group than they already have been, nevertheless it’s been extra of a blue-collar efficiency on the sphere this season. Other than Kelce, Mahomes hasn’t had the receiving playmakers he’s loved in years previous.
As a substitute, the protection has been an enormous a part of why Kansas Metropolis received the AFC West and finally prevailed in two straight street playoff video games in opposition to Buffalo and Baltimore to win the convention.
“It’s been a heck of a 12 months. We’ve been underdogs the previous couple of video games,” Mahomes stated. “We by no means really feel like underdogs. We’ve received lots of guys on this group that know find out how to win. When the playoffs get round, they’re right here to make it occur. And now we’re within the Tremendous Bowl. The job’s not carried out.”
The Chiefs led 17-7 at halftime, and Justin Tucker’s 43-yard subject purpose with 2:34 to play was the one scoring of the second half. Baltimore kicked deep after that, and on third-and-9, Mahomes linked with Marquez Valdes-Scantling — certainly one of his most-maligned receivers — on a 32-yard cross that sealed the sport.
Mahomes went 30 of 39 for 241 yards and a landing.
Jackson might win his second MVP after main Baltimore to the league’s finest file and level differential through the common season. Nonetheless, the Ravens allowed touchdowns on the primary two Kansas Metropolis possessions and appeared a bit panicky at occasions after that.
Baltimore (14-5) made undisciplined errors all sport, whereas Kansas Metropolis seemed the a part of the group making its sixth straight look within the convention title sport.
With the Ravens down by 10 within the third quarter, rookie Zay Flowers caught a 54-yard cross to the Kansas Metropolis 10 — then was flagged for taunting after the play. Moments later, he fumbled close to the purpose line and the Ravens ended up with no factors.
That was certainly one of a number of irritating moments for Baltimore followers, whose metropolis was internet hosting an AFC championship sport for the primary time since January 1971, when the Colts beat the Oakland Raiders.
Jackson went 20 of 37 for 272 yards and a landing, however Baltimore by no means actually exploited its perceived benefit on the bottom. Jackson raced underneath certainly one of his personal tipped passes within the first half for a 13-yard reception, however he additionally turned the ball over twice, together with a pressured cross into heavy protection that was picked off in the long run zone with 6:45 left within the sport.
Jackson fell to 2-4 as a starter within the postseason regardless of having twice been the highest seed within the AFC. He made just a few sensational particular person performs, however the Ravens had bother transferring the ball in any other case.
Mahomes, in the meantime, accomplished his first 11 cross makes an attempt, and though the Ravens largely shut Kansas Metropolis down after that, the injury was carried out on a wet day in Baltimore.
There was some chippy habits earlier than the sport, which included Ravens defensive again Arthur Maulet and a bunch of Kansas Metropolis gamers having to be separated.
Then the Chiefs pressured a three-and-out on the sport’s first drive and went 86 yards for th e opening landing. Kelce caught a 13-yard cross from Mahomes over the center on fourth-and-2. Then the star tight finish beat All-Professional security Kyle Hamilton for a 19-yard landing to make it 7-0.
Jackson answered in his personal spectacular means. He broke free for a 21-yard run when Baltimore went for it on fourth-and-1 from its 34. Then the star quarterback ducked out of a near-sack by Leo Chenal, retreated a bit farther again and threw a 30-yard scoring strike to Flowers, who celebrated with teammates by doing the “swag surf” dance that Swift and Chiefs followers did at a current sport.
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Kansas Metropolis was unbothered. Mahomes drove his group 75 yards in 9:02 — with the assistance of an acrobatic diving catch by Kelce on one third down toss — and Isiah Pacheco capped the 16-play march with a 2-yard landing run.
The Chiefs missed possibilities to increase their lead. A sack by Charles Omenihu pressured a fumble by Jackson that gave Kansas Metropolis the ball on the Baltimore 33. However Kelce was marked simply brief on a 3rd down catch, and Pacheco was stopped on the following fourth down on the 13.
After a few private fouls on Baltimore helped Kansas Metropolis cross midfield late within the half, the Chiefs have been flagged for back-to-back holding calls, the second of which worn out a 33-yard display screen cross to Rashee Rice for what would have been a landing.
A 9-yard cross to Kelce put Kansas Metropolis in place for Harrison Butker’s 52-yard subject purpose, making it 17-7.
Omenihu left with a knee harm, and star defensive deal with Chris Jones was shaken up within the fourth quarter for the Chiefs.
Chiefs: Kansas Metropolis might face a rematch with a Detroit group it misplaced to 21-20 within the season opener. The Chiefs haven’t confronted the 49ers this season.
Ravens: Baltimore is aware of it may possibly win lots of video games with Jackson and his gifted supporting solid, however getting previous the Chiefs looks as if an particularly daunting job now.