Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce for a game-winning touchdown in overtime as the Kansas City Chiefs reached the AFC Championship game for the fourth straight season beating the Buffalo Bills 42-36 on Sunday.

The Bills thought they had wrapped up the victory when quarterback Josh Allen found Gabriel Davis for his record-breaking fourth touchdown to lead 36-33 with 17 seconds left.

But the Chiefs rallied their way down the field led by Mahomes, getting within field-goal range with Harrison Butker sending it to over-time.

Mahomes was heroic, throwing for 177 yards after the two-minute warning, with three lead changes inside the final two minutes, before Butker's tying field goal.

The composed Chiefs QB, who completed 33 of 44 attempts for 378 yards with three touchdowns as well as 69 rushing yards including a TD, found Kelce in the corner to settle the game 4:15 into overtime after they had won the crucial overtime coin flip.

Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle and Tyreek Hill also scored TDs, the latter restoring the Chiefs' lead in the final two minutes after Allen had combined with Davis.

Allen completed 27 of 37 passes for 329 yards and four touchdowns, while wide receiver Davis had eight catches for 201 yards and four TDs. Running back Devin Singletary scored the Bills' other TD.

The Chiefs will host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead on Sunday.

The Kansas City Chiefs will be without Travis Kelce for their clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers after he failed to clear COVID-19 protocols.

Kelce - missing his first game of the season - is joined by Nick Bolton, Lucas Niang, Harrison Butker and Tommy Townsend in being ruled out, while coaches Mike Kafka, Greg Lewis and Corey Matthaei are also under coronavirus protocols.

The tight end had been pre-emptively activated in the hope that he would be cleared to play, but he must now sit the match out as the Chiefs chase the AFC West title - which they would clinch with victory over the Steelers if the Los Angeles Chargers also fail to win - without him.

The Chiefs will feel Kelce's absence particularly keenly after his career-best performance in the 34-28 victory over the Chargers last time out, catching 10 passes for 191 yards and scoring the game-winning touchdown.

He is set to be replaced in the side by Blake Bell, who has just returned from the COVID list himself.

Travis Kelce was among the first five players named to the 2022 Pro Bowl on Monday but also appeared on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The Kansas City Chiefs tight end caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Thursday's overtime win against the Los Angeles Chargers.

That was one of two scores as Kelce had a career-high 191 receiving yards on 10 catches.

Only three other players this year have had more receiving yards in a game, while that display ranked joint-seventh among tight ends since 1960.

This level of performance showed why Kelce joined four others, including record-breaking 15-time Pro Bowler Tom Brady, in being recognised as an all-star yet again.

But Kelce's immediate focus is on the Chiefs' push for the number one seed in the AFC.

The 32-year-old's appearance on the COVID list prompted concern, although the player is vaccinated and so will have the opportunity to test out of NFL protocols before Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Kelce was one of a host of NFL players to test positive for coronavirus on Monday – reported to be around 50, a single-day record.

Kansas City's AFC West rivals the Chargers confirmed Joey Bosa was among them and would not return in time to play the Houston Texans in Week 16.

Tom Brady is to become the first player in NFL history to feature in 15 Pro Bowls after being among the first five participants named for this season's game.

The first Pro Bowlers of the 2021 season were revealed on billboards in Las Vegas, which will host the annual NFL all-star game on 6 February at Allegiant Stadium.

The other confirmed players to feature are Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams), Cooper Kupp (Los Angeles Rams), Jonathan Taylor (Indianapolis Colts) and Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs).

Brady will overtake Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzalez, Bruce Matthews and Merlin Olsen, who all featured in 14 Pro Bowls.

The legendary quarterback has guided the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 10-4 record and first place in the NFC South, with just one more victory needed to secure the division title. Brady currently boasts the best 2021 numbers in most major passing categories, including yards (4,348), attempts (602), completions (404) and touchdown passes (36).

The 44-year-old has won more Super Bowls than any other player in history (seven) and also holds the record for most Super Bowl MVP awards (five).

The full reveal of the AFC and NFC teams for this year's Pro Bowl will take place on Wednesday.

Patrick Mahomes says Travis Kelce proved he still has the ability to run past people after the duo combined to secure a dramatic overtime win for the Kansas City Chiefs over the Los Angeles Chargers.

It was a night to remember for Kelce, who finished with 191 receiving yards – a career high for the 32-year-old – and had tied up the game when he caught a seven-yard touchdown pass with one minute and 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Kelce then completed a 34-yard pass from Mahomes, collecting the ball at the 30, side-stepping two tackles and making it to the end zone where he was engulfed by team-mates as the Chiefs earned a 34-28 triumph and a seventh straight win.

Superstar quarterback Mahomes revelled in the game-winning moment and paid tribute to his team-mate.

"I don't think I've ever been part of a walk-off touchdown or anything like that, so to be in that moment, find him underneath and him making such a dynamic play where, I mean, he cut back, ran by people," said Mahomes.

"You think he's old. He can't run by people. But he's still running by people. And he got in the end zone."

Mahomes himself impressed with a season-high 410 yards off the back of 31 of 47 passing, while he had three touchdowns and an interception.

That interception left the Chiefs in a bit of a pickle as it led to the Chargers scoring for a 21-13 advantage in the fourth quarter.

"Obviously it [doesn't feel good] in the moment," he added. "I mean, I promise you I felt as bad as anyone about that throw and that situation, and knew how bad it looked. 

"But you will get another chance and you better be ready for that moment."

Five of Kelce's 10 catches for 142 yards occurred in the fourth quarter and overtime, while his 69-yard reception then resulted in Tyreek Hill's one-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion that left the teams level at 21-21.

Head coach Andy Reid said Kelce proved he still has the speed to mix it with the best in the league.

"Everybody is talking about him losing a step, he looked fast to me," Reid said. 

"His endurance down the stretch for an elder statesman — he's not over the hill — his acceleration is something."

Travis Kelce scored a stunning walk-off touchdown and Patrick Mahomes made history as the streaking Kansas City Chiefs topped the Los Angeles Chargers 34-28 in overtime on Thursday.

Kelce and star quarterback Mahomes combined for a 34-yard touchdown to lift the AFC West-leading Chiefs (10-4) past the Chargers (9-6) in the additional period for their seventh straight victory.

Mahomes – who finished 31-of-47 passing for 410 yards, three touchdowns and an interception – took his tally to 152 touchdowns in 60 NFL games, the former MVP becoming the fastest player to reach 150 combined rushing and passing TDs after eclipsing Hall of Famer Dan Marino (61 games).

The Chiefs rallied in Los Angeles, where the Chargers were fuelled by Justin Herbert – who threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to put the hosts 14-10 ahead at half-time.

After Kansas City's Harrison Butker's field-goal made it a one-point game in the third quarter, the two teams traded touchdowns in a wild fourth period.

The Chargers led 21-13 and 28-21, but the Chiefs responded on both occasions – Mahomes throwing touchdowns passes to Tyreek Hill and Kelce as Kansas City forced overtime.

That Mahomes-Kelce combination proved decisive with less than nine minutes left on the clock in OT after the latter weaved his way through the Chargers' defence to spark wild celebrations.

Hill and Kelce became the first wide receiver/tight end duo in NFL history to each have at least 10 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown in the same game, per Stats Perform.

When the Kansas City Chiefs have won this season, it has often been ugly, the defending AFC champions finding a way to eke out a victory even if they did not play their best. 

That was not the case on Sunday, as the Chiefs went to Las Vegas and rolled over their division rivals the Raiders 41-14 behind five touchdown passes by Patrick Mahomes. 

It was the third consecutive win for the Chiefs (6-4), who kept pace in the impossibly tight AFC West, where all four teams now stand between 6-4 and 5-5. 

After a pair of short Mahomes touchdown passes to Tyreek Hill helped give Kansas City a 17-7 half-time lead, Derek Carr needed less than three minutes to bring the Raiders (5-4) back within a field goal as he hit Bryan Edwards for a 37-yard score early in the third quarter. 

That was the last highlight of the evening for Las Vegas, though, as the Chiefs reeled off 24 unanswered points to close the game with Mahomes finding the end zone three more times. 

Mahomes threw for 406 of Kansas City's 516 total yards, while the Raiders managed just 299 in total as they went one of nine on third-down conversions. 

It was the third time Mahomes has compiled at least 400 passing yards and five passing touchdowns in a game, tying an NFL record shared by Hall of Famers Peyton Manning, Dan Marino and Joe Montana. 

Sunday was also the second time Mahomes has thrown for 400-plus yards with five or more touchdowns and no interceptions in a game. According to Stats Perform, he is the only quarterback in NFL history to have two such games in his career.

Kansas City had a pair of receivers top the century mark, as Darrel Williams caught nine passes for 101 yards and Travis Kelce had 119 yards on nine receptions. 

Tom Brady made more history, the most successful player in NFL history claiming a seventh Super Bowl crown after sensationally leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV.

In a blockbuster showdown pitting 43-year-old great Brady against reigning Super Bowl MVP Mahomes – the face of NFL's new generation – it was the veteran quarterback who came out on top in a masterclass on Sunday.

Brady – already the record-holder with six previous Super Bowl victories – threw three touchdown passes, including two to trusted team-mate Rob Gronkowski, after completing 21 of 29 throws for 201 yards and no interceptions as the Buccaneers claimed their first Lombardi Trophy since the 2002 campaign.

With the memorable victory in his first season with the Buccaneers, Brady joined MLB first baseman Johnny Mize (1950s New York Yankees) and NHL goaltender Johnny Bower (1960s Toronto Maple Leafs) as the only players to win four championships aged 37 or older. 

Brady also followed in the footsteps of Hall of Famer Peyton Manning as the only players in NFL history to win Super Bowls with two different teams.

It was a night to forget for Mahomes and the Chiefs after the Kansas City signal-caller finished 26-of-49 passing for 270 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions and three sacks, Tampa Bay's defense stifling Andy Reid's men.

There were plenty of storylines in Tampa – Brady featuring in his fifth Super Bowl since turning 37, tying the most appearances in a championship game/series by any player in any major North American sport, alongside NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and MLB great Roger Clemens, while he is only one of three athletes in North American sport to make three championship appearances aged 40 or older.

Led by Mahomes, the Chiefs were looking to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since Brady and the New England Patriots in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Sarah Thomas also made history as the NFL's first female Super Bowl official at Raymond James Stadium, where the Buccaneers became the first home team to stage a showpiece and Brady overcame an early sack in the first quarter.

Mahomes came close to throwing a touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill, instead a field goal getting the Chiefs on the board before Brady and the Buccaneers took control.

Brady led an impressive eight-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a TD pass to a familiar face – Gronkowski – with 37 seconds remaining in the opening quarter as the pair surpassed Joe Montana and Jerry Rice (12) for the most touchdowns by any quarterback-receiver combo in postseason history with their 13th.

It also marked the first time in 10 Super Bowl appearances that Brady's team scored a touchdown in the opening period.

Brady and the Buccaneers – leading 7-3 after one quarter – were purring against a defensively poor Chiefs – the veteran QB thought he had another touchdown pass, but a desperate Anthony Hitchens made a TD-saving play on Joe Haeg in the endzone early in the second period.

Kansas City's defense came up big to thwart the red-hot Buccaneers, stopping Tampa Bay just short of the endzone on fourth down, but Mahomes lacked support offensively as Travis Kelce also dropped a catch.

As the penalties piled up for the Chiefs, the Buccaneers capitalised – Brady delivering a laser pass to Gronkowski in the endzone before Antonio Brown benefited from another throw to extend Tampa Bay's lead to 21-6 on the stroke of half-time.

Shell-shocked, the Chiefs needed a response in the second half but they did not get it to begin the third quarter after they were exposed defensively again – Leonard Fournette's defensive-splitting 27-yard run making it 28-9 in favour of the hosts.

After four successful extra-point conversions, Ryan Succop nailed a 52-yard field goal to move the Buccaneers further clear late in the third quarter as Mahomes' Chiefs tried unsuccessfully to rally to victory.

Much of the Super Bowl LV build up has understandably focused on the tantalising battle between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.

Brady is eyeing a seventh Super Bowl crown against the NFL's top superstar Mahomes, who looks the most likely candidate to come close to his total in the years ahead.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs have not made it to Sunday's game purely based on their quarterbacks, though.

Stats Perform's NFL research analyst Ethan Cooperson will be in the commentary booth as part of the CBS broadcast crew with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo at Raymond James Stadium.

He has highlighted some of the most interesting data that suggests the Bucs' Mike Evans and Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill have pivotal roles to play.

EVANS RISING TO BRADY CHALLENGE

Brady and Evans have had a few difficult moments over the course of a campaign where the wideout has battled injuries at times.

But his contribution may not have had the credit it deserved for the Bucs' run to the big game.

"The Mike Evans effect is actually underrated," Cooperson said to Stats Perform News. "A little indication of that - Evans, this season, 14 touchdown receptions including the playoffs.

"The only wide receiver in Brady's career to catch more from him in one season is Randy Moss in 2007.

"So of all the years he played in New England with Wes Welker, with Moss, Evans is having the second most productive year in terms of TDs by any wide receiver who has been paired with Brady.

"This is obviously a great talent in Evans, who has had 1,000 yards in every season of his career, an unknown because he played on a team that was never in the playoffs.

"But now that he's with Brady, suddenly he's become, in some respects, a star because now we are realising how good this guy has been for all these years - and Brady's helped bring that out."

Evans is a formidable red-zone weapon when he is targeted. He has had one red-zone catch in each of the past two games, both touchdowns.

Per Stats Perform data, including the postseason, 11 of his 15 TD catches have come in the red zone; both figures are franchise records.

CAN HILL BE STOPPED?

In the AFC Championship Game, Hill (nine catches, 172 receiving yards) and Travis Kelce (13 catches, 118 receiving yards) became the first pair of team-mates all-time with 20+ catches and 280+ receiving yards combined in a playoff game.

The only time any NFL duo reached those numbers during the 2020 regular season was Kelce and Hill in Week 12 when they won impressively at Tampa Bay (21 catches, 351 receiving yards).

The Bucs will need an answer for Hill. In the first meeting, he became the second player in NFL history with 13+ catches, 20+ yards per catch and 3+ touchdowns in a game, joining Jerry Rice (December 18, 1995).

His 269 receiving yards were the most by any player in a game this season and the most ever allowed by Tampa Bay.

Cooperson explained: "Let's see what the Buccaneers do to defend Tyreek Hill.

"Last meeting, Carlton Davis against Hill, Davis allowed 194 receiving yards in that game - 183 to Hill, but 194 receiving yards, the most that any one defender has allowed in any single game all season.

"Clearly, they need to do something different against Hill, that's what this might come down to.

"In that game it was one of one of the better performances by a receiver in a single game in league history, something has to be done differently to try to shut him down.

"But, of course, there's the danger that if you rotate through much of the coverage to him then Travis Kelce's open all day to catch passes and beat the defense that way.

"It is a dilemma for any defensive coordinator with two great weapons like that, it seems like it's almost impossible to stop both of them - so maybe try to stop one of them.

"It's a nightmare to try to try to defend. And clearly they struck out in trying to defend Hill the last time. Recently, no one else has been able to cover both of those receivers.

"I like Hill with the speed. I think he's tougher to bring down in the open field. Some of his runs when he gets into the open field are electrifying and what he can do after the catch is pretty dazzling.

"He's an effective rusher in addition to being a great pass catcher. In the open field, that's a big part of what makes him so dangerous."

GRONKOWSKI V KELCE

The two star tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Kelce, are also sure to capture plenty of attention and have been subject to many pre-game comparisons.

"To be fair, I don't think Gronk is a great weapon at this point," said Cooperson as he gave his verdict.

"I think he has one catch in the postseason. So he's a great blocker. That's one thing that's not mentioned about him, more than some of the other very good pass-catching tight ends.

"Cameron Brate actually is having a much more productive postseason than Gronk as far as receiving.

"It's essentially a case where Kelce has inherited the mantle from Gronkowski as the game's elite tight end. He has statistically, in terms of receptions and yards, surpassed a lot of what Gronk has done.

"Five straight 1,000-yard seasons - unprecedented for a tight end. Kelce is such a weapon, he's almost a wide receiver playing tight end.

"He's such a weapon in the red zone, he is such a weapon over the middle, he's a weapon on deep throws. There's not much in his game that he can't do.

"And there's not much that they don't use him to do. He's having the best season ever by a tight end and he's destroying the tight end record book.

"His next catch, assuming he gets a catch in the Super Bowl, that will be number 127 of the season, which will be the most ever by a tight end over a regular season and playoffs combined."

History is up for grabs on Sunday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

A mouth-watering clash will see Tom Brady, at the age of 43, seek his seventh Super Bowl title in his first season with the Bucs.

If he succeeds, Bruce Arians' team will become the first ever to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy at their own stadium.

The opposition could not be any tougher, though, as Brady's heir apparent Patrick Mahomes seeks a second straight Super Bowl title with the free-scoring Chiefs.

REGULAR SEASON REMATCH

These two teams have already played this season, with the Chiefs winning 27-24 in Tampa Bay on November 29.

The Week 12 victory was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests, with the defending champions 17 points clear going into the fourth quarter.

However, Stats Perform data shows that history may side with the Bucs in this scenario.

There have been 13 previous Super Bowls between teams that met in the regular season, and the winner of the first matchup is just 6-7 in the rematch.

Mahomes lit up the regular season game, going 37-for-49 for 462 yards (fourth-most in franchise history), adding three touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

He became the first player in NFL history to complete at least 75 per cent of his passes for at least 450 yards and zero interceptions in a road game.

That win means Chiefs coach Andy Reid, dating back to the 2010 Philadelphia Eagles, has won nine straight games played in the state of Florida across the regular season and postseason.

It is the longest such streak all-time by a head coach of a non-Florida team. 

Stakes could not be higher for the rematch, which is also only the second playoff game all-time between starting quarterbacks of the previous two Super Bowl winners.

Brady triumphed in 2018, his penultimate season with the New England Patriots, while Mahomes was Super Bowl MVP last year as the Chiefs fought back to beat the San Francisco 49ers.

The only previous playoff meeting between the prior two Super Bowl winners was the 1983 NFC Championship Game between San Francisco's Joe Montana and Washington's Joe Theismann.

Washington held off a late Montana comeback attempt to win but could not go on to finish the job in the Super Bowl.

BUCS IN RARE COMPANY

Higher seeds have excelled in the playoffs over recent NFL seasons, though this year the Bucs (seeded five) have surged despite being on the road since Wild Card weekend.

Tampa Bay are the fifth team all-time to win three road games in a single postseason, joining the 1985 Patriots, 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2007 New York Giants and 2010 Green Bay Packers. 

The most recent three all won in the Super Bowl in a positive omen for the Bucs, with Brady famously falling to the Giants to conclude that 2007 season after going 16-0 in the regular season.

Aged 68 years and 127 days, Bruce Arians will be the second-oldest head coach in Super Bowl history, behind only the Buffalo Bills' Marv Levy (68 years and 180 days).

Arians has the chance to become the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl, with Bill Belichick (66 years and 293 days) the current record holder after he and Brady saw off the Los Angeles Rams with the Pats two years ago.

The Bucs are the 11th team all-time to score at least 30 points three times in a single postseason. Nine of the previous 10 won the Super Bowl; the only team that did not were the 2008 Arizona Cardinals. 

No team has ever scored at least 30 points four times in a single postseason, but Arians and Brady likely need to do so if they are to prevail, due to the Chiefs' firepower.

MAHOMES IS COMEBACK KING

Mahomes has done wonders for Reid's legacy – the head coach now has seven playoff wins with the Chiefs (7-5), one shy of the combined total of all other coaches in franchise history (8-14).

If the Bucs take an early lead, they will know they must keep their foot on the gas.

Kansas City trailed the Bills 9-0 in the AFC Championship Game before rallying to win 38-24. 

It was the fourth time Mahomes has rallied from a two-score deficit to win a playoff game by two or more scores. No other QB in NFL playoff history has done so more than once.

Indeed, Mahomes has won 25 of his past 26 starts (including postseason), only the third QB to ever go on such a run (after Jim McMahon and Brady).

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce comes into the game in form. He has eight TD catches in his past six playoff games - only Jerry Rice (11) and Larry Fitzgerald (nine) have more in a six-game postseason span.

The Bucs, meanwhile, have been spreading the ball around - six different players have caught a TD this postseason, one shy of the most by any team in a single postseason all-time (1999 Rams). 

None of those six are Rob Gronkowski. But the tight end will still need to be watched closely – his 12 career postseason TD catches are tied with John Stallworth for second all-time behind Rice's 22.

Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce said the reigning NFL champions are not focused on "legendary" Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady heading into Super Bowl LV.

The Chiefs will be looking to claim back-to-back Super Bowl honours when they face Brady's Buccaneers in the NFL showpiece in Tampa on Sunday.

No player has won more Super Bowl titles or appeared in more NFL showpieces than six-time champion Brady, who has more playoff wins since turning 35 (17) than any other quarterback has in his entire career, per Stats Perform.

It will be Brady's fifth Super Bowl since turning 37 – tying the most appearances in a championship game/series by any player in any major North American sport, alongside NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and MLB great Roger Clemens, while he is only one of three athletes in North American sport to make three championship appearances at age 40 or older.

Chiefs tight end Kelce was asked about facing Brady and Rob Gronkowski, and the six-time Pro Bowler told reporters on Thursday: "When you're going up against a great quarterback like Tom Brady is, how legendary he's been in games like this, you just have to be able to control what you can control.

"That's what we do on the offensive side of the ball. We preach situational football, taking care of the football, winning the turnover battle. Things like that are things we can control as an offense.

"Going up against a high-powered offense like that, that's the key, you have to put up six points more than you're putting up three but at the end of the day, putting points on the board so you give yourself a chance in the fourth quarter."

The Buccaneers will be the first team to host a Super Bowl on home soil, but as big of an advantage as Arrowhead Stadium can be for the Chiefs, they have won 12 consecutive away games – one of the longest such streaks in NFL history, only behind the New England Patriots (15 between 2016-17) and San Francisco 49ers (21 between 1988-1990).

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid could also become the seventh coach to win back-to-back Super Bowls, and could also move into fourth place for all-time playoff victories – he is tied for 17 with Joe Gibbs, and behind leader Bill Belichick (31), Tom Landry (20) and Don Shula (19).

The Chiefs are also trying to become the eighth NFL franchise to claim the Lombardi trophy in consecutive seasons.

"I'm aware of it because the media, and I'm old, so I've heard it and seen it before with my own eyes," Reid said when asked about the milestones.

"But when you're in the middle of it, I don't think you appreciate it as much. Maybe when you're doing with the whole thing and look back on it, you can appreciate it more.

"But we're just scrambling from one drill to another drill, to a meeting, another meeting, making sure we are taking care of our media obligations."

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