By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports activities Author
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes picked aside the Colts in his postseason debut, the Chiefs protection answered their refrain of critics with a stout efficiency, and Kansas Metropolis rolled to a 31-13 victory over Indianapolis within the divisional spherical Saturday to finish 25 years of playoff frustration.
Mahomes threw for 278 yards whereas working for a landing, and Damien Williams ran by means of snow and muck for 129 yards and one other rating, because the Chiefs beat Indianapolis for the primary time in 5 playoff conferences to earn their first AFC title sport look since January 1994.
There was a number of pleasure right here, the followers have been superior, the protection performed wonderful and the offense, we did sufficient to get the win ultimately,” Mahomes mentioned.
The AFC West champions will play the winner of Sunday’s sport between the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots subsequent weekend for a spot within the Tremendous Bowl in Atlanta.
Andrew Luck was held to 203 yards passing for the Colts, whereas Marlon Mack was a non-factor on the bottom. He had 46 yards speeding earlier than leaving late within the fourth quarter with a hip harm.
With persistent snow turning Arrowhead Stadium right into a winter wonderland, the Chiefs waltzed throughout a Colts protection that just about shut out the Texans per week in the past. Mahomes and Co. scored on their first three possessions , then once more simply earlier than halftime, to take a 24-7 lead into the break.
If there was any query whether or not this may be Kansas Metropolis’s day, it was answered when Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 23-yard field-goal attempt off the upright simply earlier than halftime. It was the primary time in 22 postseason makes an attempt that he’d missed from that shut.
Not that the Chiefs thought that they had it wrapped up.
They’ve had larger playoff meltdowns in opposition to the Colts.
There was the 10-7 loss during which Lin Elliott missed three discipline objectives when the Chiefs have been the No. 1 seed, and the loss at Arrowhead Stadium in 2003 during which no person punted.
5 years in the past, they blew a 38-10 second-half lead in opposition to Luck and the Colts to spoil Andy Reid’s first season.
Not this time.
Not with this Kansas Metropolis quarterback.
After shattering almost each franchise passing report, Mahomes picked up proper the place he left off in his regular-season finale. He led the Chiefs on landing drives of 90 and 70 yards to open the sport, shortly recognized a favourite goal in Travis Kelce, and shook off a banged-up knee to scramble for a landing late within the first half to present his staff a giant cushion.
In fact, the Chiefs didn’t want it the best way their protection was enjoying.
The Colts went three-and-out on their first 4 possessions, have been outgained 185-12 within the first quarter, and Luck didn’t full a go till he discovered T.Y Hilton early within the second.
Their lone vivid spot got here when Zach Paschal recovered a blocked punt for a landing.
Even when the Colts caught a break and Sammy Watkins fumbled the ball to them late within the third quarter, they have been fast to present it again. Dee Ford stripped Luck and fellow linebacker Justin Houston plopped on the ball, ruining one other red-zone alternative.
The Colts lastly scored an offensive landing with 5:31 left within the sport. However within the good summation of their awful afternoon, their erstwhile star kicker missed the additional level.
By that time, the social gathering within the stands already had begun.
The Chiefs had misplaced six straight residence playoff video games, together with heartbreakers to Pittsburgh and Tennessee the previous two years. However a proud franchise that received its solely Tremendous Bowl title with Len Dawson in 1970, and final performed for a spot behind Joe Montana, is as soon as extra one step away.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid was summoned to the nook of the stadium throughout the two-minute warning within the first half to implore followers to cease throwing snowballs on the sphere. Earlier within the half, one nearly hit Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez whereas he was kicking.
Chiefs: Await the Chargers-Patriots winner within the AFC title sport.