In the 2023 AFC Championship at M&T Stadium, the AFC’s No. 1 seed hosted the defending world champions for the right to represent the conference at Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on February 11. And the Kansas City Chiefs’ dream of back-to-back NFL championships remained alive with a 17-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
On the Ravens’ first drive, the Chiefs forced a three-and-out — and the Kansas City offense went right to work. After Baltimore stuffed a third-and-2 run, quarterback Patrick Mahomes converted with a 13-yard pass to tight end Travis Kelce. A defensive holding call put Kansas City into the red zone. On the next play, the Chiefs took a 7-0 lead on a 19-yard pass to Kelce.
On the next Ravens’ drive, Kansas City held on on third-and-1 before giving up a 21-yard run by quarterback Lamar Jackson to convert the fourth down. One play later, Jackson evaded a sack to hit wide receiver Zay Flowers with a 30-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 7-7. The Chiefs responded with a 16-play drive that took more than nine minutes off the clock and included three third-down conversations — and ended with a 2-yard Isiah Pacheco touchdown run that gave Kansas City a 14-7 lead with 11 minutes left in the half.
Baltimore picked up a first down — but on the next play, defensive end Charles Omenihu collected a strip-sack of Jackson that teammate George Karlaftis recovered at the Ravens’ 30-yard line. Kansas City drove to the Ravens’ 13 — but then failed to pick up a fourth-and-1, giving Baltimore the ball with 6:18 left in the half. The Chiefs got another stop after batting three Jackson passes in five plays — and then the teams exchanged three-and-outs.
Getting the ball at their own 11 with 1:46 left, the Chiefs drove to the Ravens’ 23 before back-to-back third-down holding calls on right guard Trey Smith (one of them that wiped out a touchdown pass to Rashee Rice) pushed them out of field goal range. A pass to Kelce got them back into range — and Butker’s 52-yard field goal made the halftime score 17-7.
As the second half began, both defenses stood tall. A total of five drives ended in punts. On the first play of the next drive, Jackson found Flowers wide open for a 54-yard gain to the Kansas City 10-yard line — which was moved back to the 25 after Flowers was called for taunting. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Flowers caught an 8-yard pass — and then fumbled the ball into the end zone, where the Chiefs recovered.
The Chiefs drove to midfield, but couldn’t recover from the Ravens’ first sack of the game, which lost nine yards on first down. Kansas City downed Tommy Townsend’s punt at the Baltimore 1-yard line. Starting their next drive with 10:35 left, the Ravens managed a first down before converting another on fourth-and-3. Jackson found Nelson Agholor for a 39-yard gain to get well into Chiefs territory. One play later, Kansas City’s Deon Bush intercepted Jackson in the end zone — and then the Ravens forced a three-and-out.
After a good punt return, Baltimore started at their own 46 with five minutes remaining, overcoming a Karlaftis sack of Jackson before the drive petered out at the Kansas City 25-yard line. Justin Tucker’s 43-yard field goal reduced the Chiefs’ lead to 17-10 with 2:34 left.
The Chiefs found themselves in a critical third-and-9 at their own 46 with 2:19 remaining — and Mahomes found Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 32-yard reception that iced Kansas City’s 17-10 victory, sending it to Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII.