NFL

NFL Playoffs: Mahomes, Chiefs to face Brady's Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV

By Sports Desk January 24, 2021

Patrick Mahomes and reigning champions the Kansas City Chiefs will face Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV after beating the Buffalo Bills 38-24.

The Chiefs reached the showpiece for the second straight season after an impressive performance at Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

Mahomes – who entered concussion protocol last week before proving his fitness – completed 29 of 38 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns as Tyreek Hill (172 receiving yards) and Travis Kelce (118 and two TDs) both had big games.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen was 28 of 48 for 287 yards and two touchdowns, while he rushed for 88 yards, but he was intercepted once and sacked four times.

Allen was also unable to get much going with Stefon Diggs, who finished with just 77 yards on six receptions.

The Bills made the perfect start, Allen combining with Dawson Knox on a short pass after Mecole Hardman fumbled a punt as Buffalo took a 9-0 lead.

Hardman quickly redeemed himself after a three-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes before his 50-yard run put the Chiefs in position, Darrel Williams rushing over to give them the lead.

Kansas City capitalised on their period of dominance as Clyde Edwards-Helaire strolled in to complete a nine-play, 77-yard drive as the Chiefs took a 21-12 advantage into half-time.

After the teams traded field goals, the Chiefs extended their lead, Mahomes delivering an underhand TD pass to Kelce after a mesmerising run from Hill set the hosts up.

Allen was intercepted by Rashad Fenton early in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs stretched their lead when Mahomes connected with a wide open Kelce for another TD.

Allen found Isaiah McKenzie for a score for Buffalo as the Bills continued to push, but it was far too late.

 

Turning point – Chiefs turn Hardman's game around

Hardman's fumble cost the Chiefs early, but Kansas City helped turn the wide receiver's game around.

Mahomes connected with him for a touchdown and Hardman also reeled off a 50-yard run, quickly redeeming himself for the early error as the Chiefs took the lead and restored the 22-year-old's confidence.

Kelce and Hill dominate

Kelce and Hill combined for 290 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a dominant performance as reigning Super Bowl MVP Mahomes also starred.

With 13, Kelce set the record for most receptions in a conference championship game in the Super Bowl era, surpassing Michael Irvin (1994), as per NFL Research.

Kelce also surpassed Rob Gronkowski (1,585 in 2011) for most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season in NFL history.

What's next?

The Chiefs will head to the Super Bowl again. Led by Mahomes, they face a Buccaneers side who are the first in NFL history to play a Super Bowl at home.

For Buffalo, meanwhile, a promising season came to an end, but they are sure to be in contention again moving forward.

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    "And then, records are always meant to be broken. You can never say never for any record. At one point we said that Big O's [Oscar Robertson's] triple-double record would never be broken and Russ [Westbrook] did it, and now looks like Joker [Nikola Jokic] and Luka [Doncic], they're doing it every night.

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