The Kansas City Chiefs are just one game away from the Super Bowl after an incredible 51-31 comeback win over the Houston Texans.
The Texans appeared ready for a blowout win after jumping out to a 24-0 lead, but the Chiefs stormed back with four second-quarter touchdowns to grab the lead before halftime.
Patrick Mahomes stayed sharp after halftime as part of a stretch of 41 unanswered points, with Kansas City scoring touchdowns on seven straight possessions.
In a battle of exciting young quarterbacks, Mahomes stole the show with five touchdown passes, outdueling Deshaun Watson on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. It was enough to get the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game for the second straight season.
Watson finished with 388 passing yards, but it wasn't enough to pull off the upset on the road.
- Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC: 23-of-35, 321 passing yards, 5 TDs, 53 rushing yards
- Travis Kelce, TE, KC: 10 catches, 134 receiving yards, 3 TDs
- Damien Williams, RB, KC: 12 carries, 47 rushing yards, 2 catches, 21 receiving yards, 3 TDs
- Deshaun Watson, QB, HOU: 31-of-52, 388 passing yards, 2 TDs, 37 rushing yards, 1 TD
- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU: 9 catches, 118 receiving yards
- Will Fuller V, WR, HOU: 5 catches, 89 receiving yards
Patrick Mahomes Incredible in Comeback Effort
A 24-point deficit is a significant one, unless you have Mahomes at quarterback.
The 2018 NFL MVP looked the part Sunday, leading his team back from the dead with four touchdown passes in the second quarter.
Although we have seen Mahomes do impressive things in the past two seasons, he was particularly spectacular against the Texans, including throwing three touchdown passes in a span of three minutes and 18 seconds.
Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats
Patrick Mahomes by Quarter [At the Half]: ➤ 1st Qtr: 4/10, 43 yards (-30.9% CPOE) ➤ 2nd Qtr: 8/12, 95 yards, 4 TD (+6.2% CPOE) Mahomes has been more successful in the 2nd quarter despite targets averaging 2.4 yards of separation (1st Qtr: 3.7 yards) #HOUvsKC | #ChiefsKingdom https://t.co/7MfRJ8MsDe
Travis Kelce was also at his best with 10 catches for 134 yards, also becoming the first player in the Super Bowl era with three receiving touchdowns in a quarter of a playoff game, per NFL Research.
The second half was more of the same as the Chiefs eventually made it 41 straight points to take control of the game.
Damien Williams scored two rushing touchdowns, and the offense was simply unstoppable, scoring on eight straight drives.
It all came after a nightmare start, featuring uncharacteristic mistakes.
Ultimately, this will go down as one of the most stunning comebacks in NFL history:
Instead of folding under the pressure, Kansas City showed great resolve to fight its way back into the game and eventually come away with the win.
Bill O'Brien's Decisions Don't Pay Off As Texans Squander Big Lead
The start of the game couldn't have gone better for Houston, which scored two touchdowns on huge plays in the first five minutes.
A 24-0 lead through the first 20 minutes of game action made Texans coach Bill O'Brien look great.
However, he was overly conservative by kicking a field goal on 4th-and-1 in opposing territory and then overly aggressive on the next possession with a fake-punt attempt.
When the Chiefs grabbed momentum back, the decisions weren't received fondly.
Of course, the players also unraveled from there with mistake after mistake.
A fumbled kickoff and a missed field goal were key miscues in the second quarter. In the second half, the defense couldn't get any stops that would've given the offense a chance at a comeback.
Giving up four first downs from penalties also never helps.
Watson did nearly everything he could to keep Houston in the game, making plays with his arms and legs.
Still, it wasn't enough to keep up with Mahomes on the scoreboard.
The Chiefs will host the AFC Championship Game next Sunday at 3 p.m. ET and play the Tennessee Titans, who are a legitimate threat after upsetting the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens the last two weeks.