KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSNT) — The Kansas City Chiefs hung on to win 22-17 against the Cleveland Browns, clinching a spot in the AFC Championship game Jan. 24.
A scary sight for all of Chiefs Kingdom occurred late in the third quarter, when quarterback Patrick Mahomes was hit hard and taken to the locker room, Mahomes would later be ruled out. Backup Chad Henne would take the reigns of the offense for the remainder of the game.
Mahomes and the Chiefs came out hot in the first quarter, striking gold on their first possession. The former MVP walked into the endzone for an easy six points after finding wide receiver Tyreek Hill for a 26-yard pickup near the start of the drive.
Cleveland would answer on their first possession with a season long 46-yard field goal from kicker Cody Parkey.
Kansas City extended their lead 13-3 to start the second quarter after tacking on a touchdown thanks in part to a 20-yard reception from tight end Travis Kelce. Kelce has now logged at least one touchdown in his last five appearances.
The Browns looked as if they would convert late in the second quarter to close the gap, but after a forced fumble from safety Daniel Sorensen which resulted in a touchback, the Chiefs would regain control.
Although the offense provided heavy production for the Chiefs, the defense wasn’t lacking. Sorensen ended the second quarter on a high-note with a forced fumble and safety Tyrann Mathieu picked up right where they left off in the third — snagging an interception, his 7th of the season. Unfortunately, the drive ended on a missed field goal from Butker.
Browns receiver Jarvis Landry made an attempt to bring his team back, picking up a short four yard touchdown reception with minutes remaining in the third quarter. Then in the fourth, former Chief Kareem Hunt would score bringing the Browns deficit to five (22-17).
The Chiefs go on to win following a 14-yard run from Chad Henne and a short completion to Hill, claiming the first down with seconds remaining.
The No. 1 seeded Chiefs will face off with the No. 2 seeded Buffalo Bills in Arrowhead Stadium at 5:40 p.m. on Jan. 24 for the AFC Championship.