Death, taxes and the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
Kansas City beat Jacksonville 27-20 today in the divisional round, advancing to the AFC Championship for the fifth consecutive season.
It was an impressive performance by the Chiefs especially because Patrick Mahomes suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter. He was replaced by Chad Henne in the second quarter and then returned in the second half. Mahomes played fairly well down the stretch, but was obviously hobbling, and his status for the AFC Championship Game will be one of the biggest stories in the NFL in the week ahead.
Chiefs backup quarterback Chad Henne did an impressive job running the offense while Mahomes was out, leading a 98-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass from Henne to Travis Kelce. But the Chiefs badly want Mahomes to be ready to go next week.
For the Jaguars, it brings to an end a season in which they had one of the most impressive turnarounds in NFL history: Last year they had the worst record in the NFL, and this year they made it to the divisional round of the playoffs.
But that turnaround ended today with two costly fourth quarter turnovers, a Jamal Agnew fumble deep in Chiefs territory, and a Trevor Lawrence interception to Jaylen Watson that ended the Jaguars’ last, best chance of a comeback.
Now Kansas City’s attention turns to Sunday’s Bengals-Bills game. If the Bengals win, the AFC Championship Game will be in Kansas City. If the Bills win, the game will be on a neutral field in Atlanta. Either way, the biggest question is whether or not Mahomes will play, and whether he’ll be at or near 100 percent healthy.