Kansas City, Mo. –The Kansas City Chiefs won 51-31 against the Houston Texans in the AFC divisional round to host the conference title game for the second consecutive year. The Chiefs came back from a 24-0 deficit.
Houston had the ball, up by 21 points, at the Kansas City 13-yard line facing fourth-and-1. Bill O’Brien initially chose to go for it, but Deshaun Watson couldn’t get the playoff, so the Texans called a timeout. Rather than going for it, they opted to kick a field goal with 10:58 to go in the half.
Kansas got a 58-yard kickoff return from MeCole Hardman to the Texans’ 42. Two plays later, Mahomes hooked up Damien Williams for a 17-yard touchdown with 10 minutes left to make it 24-7.
On the next possession — up by 17 points — O’Brien tried a fake punt, which failed when Daniel Sorensen tackled the runner in the open field.
The Chiefs scored in four plays. The score was 24-14 before you could sneeze well.
Kansas City led 28-24 at halftime, making them the first team to lead at the break after trailing by at last 24 points, according to Elias. They continued to pour it on until the game’s final moments, becoming the first playoff team to win by 20 after trailing by 20 points.
Kansas City went on to score 41 unanswered points in 20:16 of game time.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes had five touchdowns, and after an early miscue, Travis Kelce came alive in the second quarter. Damien Williams scored three touchdowns — just as he did in last’s season’s AFC title game.
“I think we definitely have to coach better. We didn’t do enough to put our guys in good enough positions to make plays. We’ve gotta do a better job of coaching.” O’Brien said.
Houston now faces a long offseason with some difficult personnel decisions and almost no draft picks of relevance. Meanwhile, Kansas City will host the Tennessee Titans for the chance to go to Super Bowl LIV.