The Kansas City Chiefs erased an early 24-point deficit to advance to the AFC title game after beating the Houston Texans, 51-31. The Chiefs will host the Tennessee Titans in the AFC championship game next Sunday.
The Chiefs began the divisional-round playoff game with a sluggish start after the Texans scored three touchdowns in the first quarter. The Texans, led by quarterback Deshaun Watson, capitalized on the Chiefs' weak secondary and special teams turnovers to make it 21-0 by the end of the first quarter.
But the second quarter — and the rest of the game — belonged to Kansas City. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdown passes, one to Damien Williams and three to tight end Travis Kelce, in a 10-minute span. Mahomes become just the second player in the NFL to throw four touchdowns in one postseason quarter, behind Doug Williams in Super Bowl XXII.
Texans kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn missed the 51-yard attempt to close out the first half trailing the Chiefs, 28-24. The Chiefs became the first team in NFL history to lead at halftime after trailing by 24 points or more, according to ESPN.
The Chiefs continued their momentum in the second half, with Williams finding the end zone twice more in the third quarter. Watson ran into the end zone at the end of the third quarter to cut the Chiefs' lead to 10, but Mahomes and the Chiefs offense would not be denied, ending the high-scoring matchup, 51-31.
Mahomes and the Chiefs will host Ryan Tannehill and the Titans at Arrowhead Stadium, with the winner of that game advancing to the Super Bowl.
In the NFC, Aaron Rodgers' Green Bay Packers defeated the Seattle Seahawks and will play the San Francisco 49ers in pro football's other semifinal contest.
The Tennessee Titans pulled off a huge upset Saturday night, knocking out the No. 1-seed Baltimore Ravens, 28-12. Ravens quarterback and potential league MVP Lamar Jackson threw two interceptions, lost a fumble and was stopped on two crucial fourth-and-one plays, while Titans running back Derrick Henry rushed for 195 yards and threw a touchdown.
The Titans have not been to the AFC title game since their 2003 loss to the Oakland Raiders.
As for the Chiefs, this will be their second consecutive AFC championship game. Last year, the New England Patriots beat the Chiefs in an overtime thriller and went on to win the Super Bowl.