KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two days after being cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol, Patrick Mahomes guided the Kansas City Chiefs to another Super Bowl.
Mahomes led the Chiefs back from an early 9-0 deficit to a 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs will try to win their second straight NFL championship, against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in two weeks in Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida.
“The Super Bowl is the Super Bowl. Being able to go up against one of the greats, if not the greatest QB of all time, in his 150th Super Bowl, it’s going to be a great experience for me,” Mahomes, cracking a sly smile, said of facing Brady. “To go out there and have a chance to repeat and get to do it against the best is special, and I’m excited for the opportunity.”
Mahomes, who was knocked out of last week’s divisional-round win over the Cleveland Browns with symptoms of a concussion, wasn’t cleared to play against the Bills until Friday. He also entered the game with a toe injury. He showed no effects of either, going 29-of-38 for 325 yards and three touchdowns.
“He stayed positive. Whether it was his toe, whether it was his head. … He worked his way through it,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.
The Chiefs, after their early deficit, ran off 21 straight points to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. It was their fourth straight postseason game with a run of at least 21 consecutive points, including their Super Bowl LIV win over the San Francisco 49ers last year.
This comeback was among the most impressive. The Bills had won eight straight games, including seven by at least 10 points.
But the Chiefs’ response included two of their longest plays of the season, one being a 71-yard pass from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill.
“I’m the old guy who has seen a couple of quarterbacks, and this guy seems to amaze me a little bit more every game,” Reid said of Mahomes. “I’m proud of the way that he handles it most of all. … He’s about the team. He works his tail off and he does it the right way. Which is important for the longevity of his career and success for the Kansas City Chiefs and obviously now for the Super Bowl.”
The Chiefs in the fourth quarter lost starting left tackle Eric Fisher due to an Achilles injury and nickelback L’Jarius Sneed, who entered the concussion protocol.