The Kansas City Chiefs are AFC West champions for the seventh season in a row.
They clinched the division crown Sunday with a 30-24 overtime win over the Houston Texans in a game that was much closer than many expected.
The home team actually took a 21-16 lead into the fourth quarter after Davis Mills found Jordan Akins for a touchdown. The 1-12-1 Texans also prevented Kansas City's formidable offense from running away with the game and put the pressure on Patrick Mahomes with a game-tying field goal with just more than five minutes remaining.
Naturally, the MVP candidate moved his team into scoring position using his legs—only for Harrison Butler to miss a potential game-winning field goal from 51 yards out after previously missing an extra point.
Yet the Chiefs still escaped with a win after the defense forced a turnover in overtime and Jerick McKinnon scored on a 26-yard run on the ensuing play. That led to plenty of reaction on social media:
NFL On Prime Video @NFLonPrime
.<a href="https://twitter.com/PatrickMahomes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PatrickMahomes</a> and the <a href="https://twitter.com/Chiefs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Chiefs</a> winning the AFC West for the seventh year in a row like<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ChiefsKingdom?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ChiefsKingdom</a> <a href="https://t.co/pro3N4gr0L">pic.twitter.com/pro3N4gr0L</a>
Ryan Clark @Realrclark25
Man, we have to start appreciating <a href="https://twitter.com/PatrickMahomes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PatrickMahomes</a> more. Dude has to carry the Chiefs this year. He's the Fricking reason we can speak about this team every week! Sheesh. He has the best tight end in ball in <a href="https://twitter.com/tkelce?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@tkelce</a> but Patrick has to fight like hell!
Field Yates @FieldYates
Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon over the past two weeks: <br><br>Week 14: 6 rushes, 22 yards; 7 catches, 119 yards, 2 TD. The highest-scoring RB in fantasy (32.4 points) <br><br>Week 15: 10 rushes, 52 yards, TD; 8 catches, 70 yards, TD. The highest-scoring RB in fantasy (34.2 points).
Michael David Smith @MichaelDavSmith
The Chiefs have clinched the AFC West for the seventh straight year.<br>After all the offseason talk about how the Chargers, Broncos and Raiders were making moves and gaining on the Chiefs, Kansas City actually clinched the division earlier in this season than they did last season.
The game was close, but the end result of a division crown isn't surprising. The Chiefs are a modern-day dynasty when it comes to the AFC West and arguably have the league's best quarterback in Mahomes.
However, a division crown didn't seem to be such a foregone conclusion at the start of the season.
After all, the AFC West was under the spotlight thanks to a number of marquee moves, including the Denver Broncos' addition of Russell Wilson and the Las Vegas Raiders' trade for Davante Adams.
There was speculation that all four teams could compete for playoff spots with Mahomes, Wilson, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr at quarterback, but the Chiefs did have some question marks since they lost one of their big names when so many around them were adding.
Kansas City traded Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins, breaking up one of the best quarterback-receiver combinations in the league.
It is a credit to Mahomes' ability that the offense is still functioning at a high enough level to be on the short list of realistic Super Bowl contenders without such a dynamic playmaker. Instead, he has been throwing to the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justin Watson.
Of course, it also helps to have a perennial All-Pro at tight end.
Travis Kelce is enjoying another incredible season and entered Sunday's game with 81 catches for 1,039 yards and 12 touchdowns. He gives the Chiefs a major matchup advantage every time he takes the field, and his presence creates more space for the wide receivers. The 33-year-old had 10 catches for 105 yards against Houston.
As long as the running game and defense are simply solid, Kansas City could take home the Lombardi Trophy with Mahomes and Kelce leading the way. Such an accomplishment would mark the third Super Bowl trip and second championship in the last four years.
The Chiefs took the first step in that journey Sunday by clinching a playoff spot.