Playing in snowy conditions, the win buried their playoff demons and ended a six-game losing playoff streak for the Chiefs at Arrowhead. The last playoff win for the Chiefs was back in January 1994 when Joe Montana was the team’s quarterback. They buried it early by rushing to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter.
It was a big game for the Chiefs defence, who has typically been the team’s weak link this season, ranking 31st in the league. It was undoubtedly their best defensive performance of the season, forcing the Colts to go three plays and punt on each of their first four possessions.
The Chiefs have made some recent defensive line-up changes that are working for them. They had been previously plagued by defensive penalties most of the season but against the Colts they had just one, being a pass interference call against Chavarius Ward with 41 seconds remaining.
MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes threw for a total of 278 yards with a touchdown to match. Elsewhere Tyreek Hill totalled over 100 yards and Damien Williams ran for 129 yards and a score as the Colts proved no competition for the Chiefs.
The Colts did have chances to get back into the game. A Sammy Watkins fumble at the Kansas City 20-yard line gave the Colts some apparent life late in the third quarter. But after Andrew Luck fumbled just two plays later. The Chiefs recovered and were never again seriously threatened.
Arguably every time the Colts did something positive – such as the blocked punt, the Watkins fumble and their fourth-quarter touchdown – the Chiefs replied straight away. They scored a touchdown of their own after each of the Indianapolis touchdowns.
“We played a great team football game,” said Mahomes.
“There was a lot of excitement here. The fans were awesome. Defence played amazing and the offence did enough to get the win in the end.”
With the impressive win the Chiefs are one game away from the Super Bowl, keeping their hopes alive of a first since 1969. They will host the AFC Championship game, for the first time, against the New England Patriots who beat the LA Chargers on Sunday.
The big question for Kansas City will be whether their defence will be able to turn out that kind of performance for another two games. They will face a tougher test when the Patriots arrive to Arrowhead, but having a home game at Arrowhead will certainly be encouraging.