Patrick Mahomes was the star of the show as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Buffalo Bills 38-24 to claim the AFC Conference Championship. They will go on to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday February 7 in Super Bowl LV.
WE’RE GOING BACK TO THE SUPER BOWL!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/fVfCJNQhkr
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 25, 2021
It was vindication for the Chiefs quarterback, who was only declared fit to play on Friday, as he led his team back from a 0-9 deficit at the start of the second quarter to a 31-15 lead at the end of the third.
It was a lead they would not lose again as a further touchdown in the fourth put the game well beyond the Bills and ensured that the current Champions would go on to defend their crown in a couple of weeks’ time.
Despite being hampered by a Turf Toe injury, which saw Mahomes limited to just five rushing yards, the quarterback hooked up with key receiving duo wide receiver Tyreek Hill and Tight End Travis Kelce.
Hill had nine receptions for 172 yards, while Kelce had 13 receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Mahomes threw for three touchdowns and 325 yards to lead his team to victory.
Well protected by his offensive line, who kept the Bills defense at bay, Mahomes has now set up another clash with Tom Brady, this time with the Super Bowl on the line.
Bills Struggle To Make A Lasting Impact
The Chiefs have been slow starters in a number of post season games but seem to awaken themselves in the second quarter of matches. That was the case here once again as the Bills raced out to an early 9-0 lead in the first quarter.
However, once Mahomes had found his rhythm, he picked apart the Bills defense with ease. The Bills defense were unable to cope with the multi-faceted ground and air attack that has made the Chiefs such a difficult offense to scheme against.
Josh Allen didn’t play badly, throwing for 287 yards and two touchdowns, plus one interception. He also rushed for 88 further yards as the Chiefs defense largely held the Bills running game in check.
The combination of the Bills offense being unable to convert on third down (they were just 5/14 in the game, compared to 6/10 for the Chiefs), plus the fact the Chiefs were able to pressure Allen (he was sacked four times) were key elements in the result.
It was a season we’ll never forget, in a year that was challenging for all of us.
You were with us every step of the way, #BillsMafia. Thank you for being the best there is.
We’ll be back. pic.twitter.com/oOvMKKQYOj
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 25, 2021
Up until the 4th quarter, with the Chiefs well in front, the Bills only touchdown had been gifted them in the Chiefs redzone by a Mecole Hardman punt return fumble. While the Chiefs offense receives most plaudits, their defense was a key element of this win too.
Most of the Bills offensive yards came in this garbage time at the end of the game.
The GOAT V The Future GOAT?
The Chiefs victory sets up an enticing prospect of 43-year-old Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time, lining up against the man many see as his successor and who could even go on to become the greatest quarterback of all time at some point in the future, Patrick Mahomes.
In addition, Mahomes could become the first quarterback since Brady himself to lead his team to back-to-back Superbowl victories.
To do that, he will have to overcome the fact that not only is he up against the most decorated quarterback of all time, but he will be facing Brady at Tampa Bay’s home; Raymond James Stadium. No quarterback has ever tried to win a Superbowl on the home ground of their opponent.
Don’t Forget The Defense In Amongst The Stellar Offense
Both teams are packed with offensive threat and both have managed to score plenty of points during the course of the season and also in the post-season. However, it may well be how well their defense plays that will potentially decide the outcome of Super Bowl LV.
The Bucs defense has been stellar in the post-season and the Chiefs defense certainly stepped up a notch or two in performance in their win over the Bills. Whoever can carry that form on against the opposing offense may well have more of a say in who wins the game than either quarterback.
*Featured Image Courtesy of U.S. Air National Guard Master Sgt. Michael Crane – Public Domain in the United States