The Chiefs got down early against the Titans, but much like last week against the Texans, Patrick Mahomes had no trouble pushing his offense to its best, as they beat won 35-24 to move on to their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1969 season, when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 in Super Bowl IV.
The Titans looked good for much of this Championship matchup, as they got off to a 10-0 lead with the help of Derrick Henry’s bruising ability and play-action passing by Ryan Tannehill. Henry took in the first touchdown on a direct snap which he rank four-yards for the score. But Mahomes and company struck back, as the reigning NFL MVP had no need for the run game, completing 6-of-8 passes for 68 yards, ending in an eight-yard touchdown to Tyreek Hill. It was a drive where Mahomes showed the Chiefs don’t need huge chunk plays or the running game to steadily move the ball down the field.
But, the Titans came right back with a massive 15-play, 75 yard drive for a touchdown, as they took over nine-minutes off the clock. It was a drive that showed how the Titans could keep Mahomes and Kansas City’s offense off the field while also putting up a touchdown to push the lead back up to ten-points at 17-10 with six-minutes left in the half.
Unfortunately for the Titans, six minutes is still way too long to give the Chiefs, especially when they get the ball to start the second-half. Two-and-a-half minutes later, the Kansas City was in the end zone with a Mahomes’ 20-yard touchdown to Hill, his second of the game. That gave the Titans four-minutes of their own before half, but Tennessee went three-and-out, giving Mahomes another two-minutes to work with, which, as we know, is again too much time.
Mahomes ended up in the end zone himself this time, scrambling for a 27-yard touchdown, running for an actual total of 64-yards to get there just before halftime. That gave Kansas City a 21-17 lead at half; a lead which they would not relinquish the rest of the game.
The Titans never gave up, but the Chiefs are a team you have to match touchdown for touchdown. Punts on Tennessee’s first two drives while the Chiefs scored twice on their first three drives of the second half put the Titans too far down at 35-17 with 4:21 left in the game.
Mahomes dazzled, as he completed 23-of-35 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns and rushed six times for 56 yards and another touchdown on the ground. His main targets were Hill and Sammy Watkins, with Hill catching 5-of-7 passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns and Watkins catching 7-of-10 targets for 114 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown catch.
The Chiefs head to Miami to take on either the San Francisco 49ers or the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl LIV. Whichever team makes it will have to find some way to slow down Mahomes, which will be a tall task.