Kansas City, Mo. —Kansas City heads back to the NFL title game for the first time since 1970. The Chiefs won the American Football League championship that year and the winner of that league still played the winner of the NFL Championship.
The Chiefs ended the Titans’ Super Bowl run with a 35-24 win on Sunday to win their first AFC Championship.
Kansas City is set to play the San Francisco/ Green Bay at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., next month for a chance to claim the Super Bowl title.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was 23-for-35 with 293 passing yards, three touchdown passes, and a rushing touchdown.
“I mean, it’s amazing. It really is,” said Mahomes. “To be here, to be a part of Chiefs Kingdom and to be able to do it here at Arrowhead, these people deserve it. And we’re not done yet.”
Sammy Watkins had seven catches for 114 yards and a touchdown catch. Tyreek Hill had five catches for 67 yards and two touchdown catches.
Kansas City defense stepped up big time, stopping Titans running bruiser back Derrick Henry. Henry was held in check with 69 yards rushing – his lowest total since Week 15 and the first time he was held to under 80 yards rushing since Week 9. Henry managed to get into the endzone once in the game.
The Chiefs fell behind the Titans 10-0 before Hill got Kansas City on the board with an 8-yard touchdown catch from Mahomes in the first quarter. He scored again in the second quarter, a 20-yard reception from Mahomes with 4:03 left to go before the half. Hill finished off the first half with four receptions for 52 yards.
“It’s a blessing to be a part of this offense so many weapons and just to have a great mind such as Coach Andy Reid is another blessing,” Hill said. “The way he draws up plays is phenomenal.”
It is the Chiefs’ first Super Bowl since 1970.
Tennessee’s quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw the ball more to get his team back into the game. He had 31 passing attempts in the game – the most since Week 15. He finished 21-for-31 with 209 passing yards and two touchdown passes.
Tannehill hit offensive lineman Dennis Kelly and tight end Anthony Firkser for scores.
After being down 10-0 and 17-7, the Chiefs kept their poise, building a 35-17 lead while controlling the clock with the running game. Mahomes kept the Titans off-balance with his precise passing attack, spreading the ball on short and deep throws. The dagger came with a 60-yard completion to Watkins for the Chiefs’ 28th straight point halfway in the final quarter.
“I mean, it’s amazing. It really is,” Mahomes said. “To be here, to be a part of Chiefs Kingdom and to be able to do it here at Arrowhead, these people deserve it. And, we’re not done yet.”
Adding to the joy of the achievement, coach Andy Reid and owner Clark Hunt accepted the Lamar Hunt Trophy — named after his father — emblematic of the AFC title. It was handed over to them by Chiefs Hall of Famer Bobby Bell, with Mahomes and safety Tyrann Mathieu jumping for joy on the makeshift stage.
The Chiefs lost in 1967 in the first AFL-NFL Championship Game — it wasn’t called the Super Bowl yet — to the Lombardi Packers 35-10. Three years later, one year after the New York Jets shocked Baltimore to claim to the AFL being equal to the long-established NFL, Kansas City was back in it. This time, it was known as the Super Bowl — indeed, Lamar Hunt is credited with coming up with the name — and his Chiefs annihilated Minnesota 23-7 with the West Coast offense and a stingy defense. Those are characteristics that helped carry KC this season.
Next up: Chasing the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Miami.
Chiefs: The Tomahawk Chop will be heard at Hard Rock Stadium in the Super Bowl.