The Kansas City Chiefs produced a comeback of epic proportions to erase a 24-0 deficit and end up thumping the Houston Texans 51-31 in a record-breaking victory that takes them one win away from the Super Bowl.
After watching the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens be upset by the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, another shock seemed on the cards when the unfancied Texans raced into a 24-0 lead to stun Arrowhead Stadium into silence.
The volume soon rose those as reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes led a stirring comeback, with the Chiefs scoring touchdowns on their next six straight possessions and scoring 41 unanswered points in an amazing turnaround.
Mahomes threw for 321 yards and five touchdown passes, three of them to Travis Kelce in the second quarter as the Chiefs became the first time to win a play-off game by 20 points after trailing by 20 points in NFL history.
It’s now the Chiefs who will host the Titans next week for the right to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LIV in Miami in February.
Deshaun Watson produced some moments of magic himself as Houston QB, and it looked like he’d be powering into the AFC Championship game as the Texans pounced on two early Chiefs errors to score three quick touchdowns.
Texans coach Bill O’Brien will come under scrutiny after a couple of calls, one when kicking a field goal instead of going for the touchdown when leading 21-0, before opting for a fake punt on fourth down, which failed and resulted in giving Mahomes a short field to get the Chiefs back into the game.
Houston then fumbled on the kick-off return as Kansas City found the end zone three times in just three minutes in a huge momentum swing that ultimately saw them win a game they looked dead and buried in.
Damien Williams also scored three times for the Chiefs in what was their biggest ever comeback win, but he was outrun by Mahomes who topped the rushing charts in the game with 53 yards as the ground attack was forgotten in a whirlwind of high-flying passing offence from both sides.
In a straight shootout though, Kansas City were always going to win given the speed they have at receiver and the arm strength and talent of Mahomes, who produced an MVP performance in leading an incredible turnaround.
Andy Reid’s side now return to the AFC Championship game for the second year running – they came within a play of beating the Patriots last year – and will line up against the surprising Titans.
Tennessee and rampaging running back Derrick Henry will not be so easy to cut through if the Chiefs again find themselves 24-0 down, so they’ll need to start better if they’re to reach their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
NFL play-off schedule/results bracket 2019/20
Saturday January 11
- Minnesota Vikings 10-27 San Francisco 49ers
- Tennessee Titans 28-12 Baltimore Ravens
Sunday January 12
- Houston Texans 31-51 Kansas City Chiefs
- Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers
Wildcard weekend results
Saturday January 4 (AFC)
- Buffalo Bills (5) 19-22 Houston Texans (4) 9.35pm
- Tennessee Titans (6) 20-13 New England Patriots (3) 1.15am (Sun)
Sunday January 5 (NFC)
- Minnesota Vikings (6) 26-20 New Orleans Saints (3) 6.05pm
- Seattle Seahawks (5) 17-9 Philadelphia Eagles (4) 9.40pm
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