NFL play-offs: Kansas City Chiefs beat Houston Texans after coming back from 24-0 down
The Kansas City Chiefs staged a thrilling comeback from 24-0 down to beat the Houston Texans 51-31 and advance to the AFC Championship game.
Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes threw for four touchdowns in the second quarter to overhaul the Texans’ early lead.
Kansas City, who will now host the Tennessee Titans, scored 41 unanswered points and dominated the second half.
Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers reached the NFC Championship game with a 28-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
Davante Adams starred for Green Bay, who will visit the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers to decide who will progress to Super Bowl 54 from the National Football Conference after they beat the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday.
“Adams had an unbelievable night,” said team-mate Aaron Rodgers, who threw two touchdown passes to Adams. “He carried us on offense. His route running ability was incredible.”
‘Chiefs just had to keep fighting’
The Chiefs now face the Tennessee Titans, who beat the Baltimore Ravens in the other American Football Conference divisional game, for a place at the Super Bowl on Sunday, 2 February.
“We didn’t start the way we wanted to – we just had to keep fighting, just go one play at a time,” quarterback Mahomes said.
“We know the Titans are a tough team. We will have to play our best and find a way to win.”
On tight end Travis Kelce, who finished the game with a hamstring injury after taking three touchdown passes, Mahomes said: “Travis was amazing, man he’s a monster.
“The way he came through with an injury and was still making plays all day long – he’s a special football player.”
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson connected with Kenny Stills and Darren Fells, and Lonnie Johnson ran in a blocked punt as the visitors raced into a 21-point first-quarter lead.
But Damien Williams scored the first of his three touchdowns five minutes into the second quarter to spark a Chiefs resurgence, with Mahomes finishing with five touchdown passes, 321 passing and 56 rushing yards.
The Texans stopped the rot with the Chiefs leading 41-24 in the third quarter as Watson scored a five-yard rushing touchdown to get the margin within 10.
But the Chiefs extended their lead, Blake Bell adding another touchdown, to leave them one game away from their first Super Bowl appearance since 1970.