On Saturday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs advanced to their fifth consecutive AFC Championship game with a 27-20 Divisional Round victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
After holding the Jaguars’ offense to just three plays on its opening drive, quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City offense on a methodical, 12-play, six-minute drive to take a 7-0 lead on an eight-yard pass to tight end Travis Kelce.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Jacksonville’s JaMycal Agnew came up with a 63-yard kickoff return to start the Jaguars at the Kansas City 39-yard line. Four plays later, quarterback Trevor Lawrence found Christian Kirk for a 10-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at 7-7.
Five plays into their next drive, the Chiefs had crossed midfield with a pass to Blake Bell — but quarterback Patrick Mahomes came up limping after rolling his ankle. Refusing to have his ankle taped up until the quarter ended, Mahomes stayed in until the Chiefs took a 10-7 lead with a 50-yard Harrison Butker field goal early in the second quarter.
The Kansas City defense managed to get the Jaguars off the field, but punter Logan Cook’s punt was downed at the Chiefs’ 2-yard line. So now with Chad Henne under center, the Chiefs’ offense (helped by a roughing-the-passer call against Jacksonville) worked its way past midfield. Then running back Isiah Pacheco broke free for a 39-yard scamper that put Kansas City on the Jaguars’ 4-yard line. After another short gain, Henne found Kelce for a 1-yard touchdown reception to give the Chiefs a 17-7 lead — but on the Jaguars’ next drive, a field goal narrowed the lead to 17-10 at halftime.
Mahomes returned to the field for the opening drive of the third quarter — even running awkwardly while scrambling for a first down. But a Pacheco run for no gain and consecutive incompletions led to a Kansas City punt — the first of four consecutive third-quarter punts by both teams. But with seconds remaining in the third, Butker made another 50-yard field goal to make the score 20-10.
The Jaguars responded with a seven-play, 80-yard drive that led to a four-yard rushing touchdown by Travis Etienne that trimmed Kansas City’s lead to 20-17 with just under 12 minutes left in the game. On the next Kansas City drive, big catches from Kelce and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster kept the drive going — and Kadarius Toney turned in a 14-yard run to give the Chiefs first-and-goal at the Jacksonville 3-yard line. A touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling moved Kansas City back to a 10-point lead with just over seven minutes left.
Once again Jacksonville’s JaMycal Agnew came up with a big kickoff return; Butker made a shoestring tackle at the Jacksonville 45-yard line to save a touchdown. This time, the Kansas City defense kept putting the Jaguars in third-and-longs — and Jacksonville kept converting them as they drove down the short field. Finally, Lawrence found Agnew at the Kansas City 6-yard line — and Agnew fumbled. Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton fell on the ball with 5:36 remaining, essentially ending the game. The Jaguars managed a 48-yard field goal with 30 seconds remaining to make the score 27-20 — but then couldn’t recover the ensuing onside kick.