The Kansas City Chiefs secured their first trip to the Super Bowl since 1970 by defeating the Tennessee Titans 35-24 in Sunday afternoon's AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium, and reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes is the trending topic.
Defensive end Frank Clark thinks the Chiefs defense deserves a lot of credit, too, for holding Titans regular-season rushing champion Derrick Henry to 69 yards and one touchdown.
"Cause we're the best defense in the world right now," Clark told NFL Network's James Palmer. "They come in here, they say they're gonna run the ball. I know exactly what they were gonna do, you watching that film, you know what they're going to do."
He added: "Over 200 yards each game. I knew damn well we wasn't going to win the game if we let that happen. They come in here, he runs for 70 yards, they call him the best rusher in the league. We sendin' his ass home early."
Clark doubled down on Twitter:
Clark ended the game by sacking Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill on 4th-and-6 with 1:28 remaining in regulation.
Clark had told NFL Network Friday that he wasn't intimidated by Henry (h/t ESPN):
"He's not hard to hit. He's just a big guy. 240, 245, 250 [pounds]; honestly, he should be running harder at his weight and at his size. I don't see no difficulty in tackling him ... He's just easy to me up front because I don't look at any running back like they can't be tackled. He's not one of the best guys at breaking tackles to me, honestly."
Tennessee's offense was churning early, jumping to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter that included a four-yard Henry touchdown run before extending the lead back to 10 points at 17-7 in the second quarter.
However, the Chiefs entered halftime with a 21-17 lead. Both teams were then held scoreless until Kansas City's Damien Williams punched in a three-yard touchdown. The Titans' four second-half drives resulted in two punts, one touchdown and a game-ending turnover on downs.
While Clark backed up his pregame trash talk, the Chiefs' defensive performance was collectively impressive:
The Chiefs defense has improved dramatically under first-year coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Clark and safety Tyrann Mathieu have proved to be crucial offseason additions, as well.