- The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Cleveland Browns 22-17 in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs on Sunday.
- But the Chiefs’ win came at a cost as QB Patrick Mahomes suffered a concussion and left the game in the third quarter.
- Kansas City is a three-point betting favorite heading to next weekend’s AFC title game against the Buffalo Bills.
The Kansas City Chiefs will advance to the AFC Championship game next weekend after defeating the Cleveland Browns 22-17 on Sunday.
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP HERE WE COME!!!!! pic.twitter.com/0Btn8gAXbj
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 17, 2021
Kansas City was off to a fast start behind quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Despite not playing in 21 days, Mahomes hardly missed a beat as he completed 11 out of his first 12 passes while rushing for the Chiefs’ first score of the night and throwing a 20-yard TD pass to Travis Kelce to give the Chiefs a comfortable 19-3 lead at the half.
But them things got interesting when Mahomes left the game with an injury midway in the third quarter.
Tenor of the Game Changed
Mahomes is being evaluated for a concussion after this hit
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 17, 2021
Kansas City ran Mahomes on an option play on third-and-short despite the star QB already dealing with a toe injury. Linebacker Mack Wilson dragged Mahomes down and the Chiefs’ QB stayed down. Mahomes staggered when he got up and teammates had to help him stand up. He was sent to the locker room for concussion evaluation and the tenor of the game changed after Mahomes was ruled out of the game.
Back-up Chad Henne took over and he led the team to a field goal that gave the defending Super Bowl champions a comfortable 12 point lead. But the Browns refused to go away and marched 75-yards in a drive that culminated in a Kareem Hunt rushing touchdown. Suddenly, the Chiefs who seemed to be cruising to victory, found themselves in a real fight with a precarious 22-17 lead with still 11:07 left to play in the game.
Cleveland then threatened after picking off Henne in the end zone. The Browns had the ball and were down by less than a touchdown. Luckily for Kansas City, their defense came up big. The Chiefs got a stop and forced a punt with just over four minutes left in the game. Then with less than two minutes to play at their own 49, Kansas City kept their offense on fourth and inches and Tyreek Hill caught a short pass that sealed the Kansas City win.
Chiefs 3-Point Favorites in AFC Title Game
Chiefs now 3-point favorites over Buffalo in the AFC Championship ? @WilliamHillUS https://t.co/a2yYdeKfOn
— SportsLine (@SportsLine) January 17, 2021
But Chiefs’s win became an afterthought due to Mahomes’ injury. Immediately after the game, Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid said that Mahomes was doing great but that isn’t a guarantee that the former MVP will be ready when Kansas City takes on the Buffalo Bills in the AFC championship game next weekend.
The Chiefs have opened as three-point betting favorites to beat the Bills at William Hill US. According to online sportsbook BetOnline, Kansas City is also a -152 odds on favorite at the moneyline. However, these betting lines could still move during the week, depending on the injury update on Patrick Mahomes.
Kansas City has a reason to be worried but Reid’s statement after the game was a positive sign for the Chiefs. Mahomes is the main reason why the Chiefs have become who they are and it’s hard to imagine 35-year old Chad Henne leading the offense against the surging Bills with a return to the Super Bowl on the line.