The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Houston Texans, 51-31, in an instant classic of a postseason game on Sunday afternoon as the Chiefs fought back from a 24-point deficit to tally the greatest comeback in franchise history.
Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 23-of-35 passes for 321 yards and five touchdowns in the victory, finding tight end Travis Kelce for three scores. Tailback Damien Williams also tallied three overall touchdowns in the victory.
It all helped Kansas City record the fourth-largest comeback in postseason history.
Houston raced out to an enormous lead, scoring 24 unanswered points to begin the game. The Texans capitalized on a blocked punt and a fumble to build their advantage, putting Kansas City in an early hole.
The tide began to turn early in the second quarter, however, as return man Mecole Hardman brought the Texans’ kickoff back 58 yards deep into Houston territory. Mahomes then found tailback Damien Williams on a 17-yard score for the Chiefs’ first points of the afternoon.
The Texans then ran a failed fake punt on their ensuing drive, turning the ball over on downs to set Kansas City up in great field position, and the Chiefs didn’t waste it as Mahomes connected with Kelce for a 5-yard scoring strike.
Momentum was building in the Chiefs’ favor following the early struggles, and that was just the beginning of it.
On the following kickoff, safety Daniel Sorensen forced the ball free from Texans’ return man DeAndre Carter and into the arms of Chiefs’ tailback Darwin Thompson, again providing Kansas City with optimal field position while robbing the Texans of a possession.
Mahomes connected with Kelce yet again just three plays later on a 6-yard touchdown, pulling the Chiefs within a field goal and marking a 21-point explosion in under four minutes of game time.
The defense then held on Houston’s ensuing possession, and despite starting at their own 10-yard line, Kansas City completed the comeback as Mahomes found Kelce for a third time on a five-yard touchdown to finish off an eight-play, 90-yard scoring drive.
In total, Kansas City’s 28-point output was tied for the third-most prolific second quarter in postseason history. After trailing by 24 points with 10:54 left in the second quarter, the Chiefs carried the lead into halftime.
Kansas City just kept it coming as the second half got underway, too.
Williams rushed for a pair of scores in the third quarter, with the latter making it 41 unanswered points for the Chiefs after initially falling behind by 24 points to begin the game. Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson tried to muster a rally with a 5-yard touchdown late in the third quarter, but Kansas City responded with 10 more points to essentially seal the game.
The Chiefs’ defense tallied five sacks on the afternoon and stopped Houston on fourth down three times in the second half, preventing the Texans from ever crawling back in the game. Defensive end Frank Clark, in particular, recorded three sacks all by himself.
Kelce finished the game with 10 catches for 134 yards and three touchdowns, tying the NFL postseason record for receiving scores in a single game while becoming the third player in postseason history to record 10+ catches, 130+ yards and 3+ touchdowns in a single outing, joining Jerry Rice and Rob Gronkowski.
It was a complete team effort that culminated in the greatest comeback in the 60-year history of the Chiefs while sending Kansas City to a second-straight AFC Championship Game for the first time in franchise history.
The Chiefs will now take on the Tennessee Titans next Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium for a berth in the Super Bowl.