The Kansas City Chiefs locked up the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs with a dominant 31-13 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday.
This marks the third time in five seasons with Patrick Mahomes as the starting quarterback that Kansas City will be the top seed in the AFC playoffs.
nick wright @getnickwright
Patrick Mahomes, record by year, playoffs & regular season:<br><br>2017: 1-0<br>2018: 13-5, #1 seed, AFCCG Appearance<br>2019: 14-3, #2 seed, Super Bowl Champion<br>2020: 16-2, #1 seed, Super Bowl Appearance<br>2021: 14-6, #2 seed, AFCCG Appearance<br>2022: 14-3, #1 seed, Playoffs TBD
Head coach Andy Reid had his team ready to go right out of the gate. The Chiefs went 75 yards in five plays on the opening drive, with Mahomes capping it off with a shovel pass to Jerick McKinnon for a touchdown.
No call from Reid was more celebrated than what will now be known as the "Ring Around the Rosie" play that would have resulted in a Kadarius Toney touchdown if not for a holding penalty. Toney scored on an end-around on the next play.
Reid was fully in his bag throughout this game. He had Khalen Saunders, a 324-pound defensive tackle, lined up in the backfield on first down from the Raiders' 2-yard line and running a route designed to get him a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Saunders was unable to get open, resulting in a Mahomes incompletion, but these are some of the many tricks Reid has up his sleeve at all times with this offense.
Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy were particularly fond of attacking the Raiders run defense. The Chiefs had 168 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Mahomes played well, but his final state line with 202 yards and one touchdown doesn't stand out by his standards.
Kansas City's win Saturday means it can relax during Wild Card weekend to see who its opponent will be in two weeks.
Even though the Chiefs will be recognized as the top seed with a 14-3 record, they aren't assured of home-field advantage in the AFC Championship Game.
The owners approved the NFL's plan to host the AFC title game at a neutral site if the Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots on Sunday and the Chiefs and Bills reach the conference championship game.