Reid has been to the conference championship game five times before, though none with the Chiefs and none since 10 years ago with the Eagles. He’s 1-4 in those games, and that’s another itchy part of his legacy that he’d surely love for people to stop bringing up. Next Sunday, Reid’s Chiefs are going to take on a team that beat them this year -- be it the Patriots or the Chargers. It’s not going to be easy, in part because nothing is easy for the Chiefs or Reid at this time of year. But this might be the year that changes.
Patriots at Chiefs (-3), O/U 57.5
Yes, that’s right. The Patriots are underdogs. Despite a dominant performance against the Chargers on Sunday, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady get to deliver the “no one believed in us” card one more time, with Vegas giving them three points on the road in the AFC Championship Game.
New England will move on to face the Kansas City Chiefs, with whom they tangled in a classic Sunday-night shootout in Week 6. It seems like ages ago, but with Sunday’s performance considered, could be an indicator of what’s to come.
”It’ll be a good game, they’re a good team,” Patriots quarterback Tom Bradytold CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson after the win Sunday. “We played them earlier this year and I know everyone thinks we suck and you know, can’t win any games. So we’ll see. It’ll be fun.”
Mahomes sauntered off the field while his family celebrated. His dad held an arm aloft, giving his son the thumbs up. Mahomes nodded, happy but not done. There’s more history to make next week. “He pushed the guy in,” his father said. “Now I’ve seen him do everything.” He shook his head and walked into the night.
Mahomes is the favorite for the league MVP and boasts one of the strongest arms in the NFL. He uses creative arm angles and can slip out of the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield to find targets who may have raced past coverage. Brady, on the other hand, is masterful in the pocket and – despite many claiming that his demise was coming soon – was clinical in a divisional-round thumping of the Chargers. They have different styles, but this matchup – in some ways – is a representation of what happened this year throughout the NFL: Several young passers flourished, but they still need to get past experienced mainstays to reach the next level in the league.
Perhaps New England’s soul-sucking run will continue next week against the Chiefs, who they attacked with a strong running game in their win in Week 6. The only thing in between us and Brady and Belichick’s ninth Super Bowl is Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes II, which is to say that our only hope is Mahomes. Please, save us Mahomes.
“I can’t believe it’s all happening, he’s only 23 years old, and Kansas City has had him a year and he’s just done great up there,” said Martin. “I just wish they had more billboards like they have in Kansas City here in Tyler, because Patrick is a Whitehouse kid, he hadn’t changed and he’ll always be Patrick.”
Allen tweeted early Sunday morning that his car got stuck in the snow before the Chiefs’ playoff game against the Colts on Saturday and that a man named Dave helped him get unstuck without realizing he played for the Chiefs. Allen failed to get the man’s contact information, however, so he put out an APB on Twitter to try to track him down so he could give him tickets to next week’s game.
Around the league
What has become clear over the last couple of months of the season is that Michel is the X-factor on this edition of the Patriots. Against Los Angeles, he carried the ball 24 times for 129 yards and three touchdowns. “I really love Sony as a person and for his commitment to the team,” Brady said. “He’s been a lot of fun to be out there with. He’s making a lot of hard yards and he had a great game today.”
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that Rankins is believed to have suffered a torn Achilles tendon, per a source informed of the initial diagnosis. If so, Rankins’ season would be over.
It’s a future that Foles wasn’t ready to address yet after the Eagles lost to the Saints 20-14 and were eliminated from the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.
“You know, I’m not really going to worry about it right now,” Foles said. “I think I’m just going to do what I can to enjoy this flight back home with my teammates, and we’ll see what happens. I do know that we went out there and gave it everything we had tonight, and that’s where everyone has to keep their heads held high because that’s what it’s about.”
The fact that a quarter of the league was searching for a new head coach this month, while only one team made a general manager change (and even that was nominal as Jon Gruden barely spoke to anyone before hiring Mike Mayock out of the TV booth), garnered plenty of attention as this process began.
Thomas was hired in 2015 and was already the league’s first female full-time official.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
The Chiefs defense played like champions on Saturday. They dominated the Colts from their first offensive snap and never eased up. Some of the numbers in the box score might not look impressive — they Chiefs allowed 6.2 yards a carry on the ground — but because they dominated the game so thoroughly in the first half, it didn’t matter.
Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and his staff put together a fantastic game plan against the Indianapolis Colts. First, the personnel decisions. Following the Chiefs’ Week 16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, I couldn’t fathom the decision to suddenly put cornerbacks Charvarius Ward and Tremon Smith and safety Jordan Lucas into the lineup.
With surprising reliance on a defense that kept the Indianapolis Colts offense out of the end zone during the first half, the Kansas City Chiefs soundly defeated the Colts 31-13 to advance to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1993 — and the first time ever at Arrowhead Stadium
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