The Chiefs won their first home playoff game in 25 years on Saturday and they’ll get a chance at another one next Sunday.
We won’t know who will be on the other sideline until the Patriots and Chargers square off tomorrow, but we do know that the Chiefs will host a conference title game for the first time in franchise history. The top seed in the AFC got out to a 17-0 lead in the first half and watched their defense overwhelm the Colts offense over most of a 31-13 win.
The Chiefs have only played in one AFC title game in their history as both of their Super Bowl trips came when they still called the AFL home. Regardless of which team advances to face them, they looked very capable of making their third visit to the big game against Indianapolis.
Patrick Mahomes was 27-of-41 for 278 yards and ran for a touchdown, Tyreek Hill ran for a score while catching eight passes, Travis Kelce had 108 receiving yards and Damien Williams continued to shine as the team’s top running back. Those headline performances took a backseat to the play of the Kansas City defense for much of the day.
They held the Colts without a first down for more than 28 minutes to open the game and totally shut down the run game despite finishing 27th in run defense during the regular season. They sacked Andrew Luck three times, forced a fumble a couple of plays after a Sammy Watkins turnover and didn’t allow the Colts to convert a third down all night.
A touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton with just over five minutes left got the Indy offense on the board and it looked like they might get another chance to make it a game in the final minutes by forcing a punt, but Najee Goode, who blocked a punt for the first Colts touchdown of the game, was flagged for running into punter Dustin Colquitt.
It was the 10th penalty of the night for the Colts — another big negative for the Colts on a night overstuffed with them — and the Chiefs would add a Darrel Williams touchdown a short time later.
A big night for the defense wasn’t par for the course for the Chiefs this season. It was the high-powered offense that led the Chiefs to this point and the prospect of matching Saturday’s defensive performance to that kind of firepower again next week should warm hearts on a chilly night in Kansas City.