Chiefs freeze out Andrew Luck, Colts to become AFC Championship Game hosts

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs ended their playoff agony in epic fashion.

Patrick Mahomes played with the poise of a veteran in his first postseason start, running for a touchdown and executing the offense to near-perfection on two other scoring drives while the much-maligned Kansas City defense made Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts look as bad as they did at the start of the season in a 31-13 victory Saturday afternoon. It was only the Chiefs' second win in their last 12 playoff games and first at Arrowhead Stadium since the days of Joe Montana and Marcus Allen.

Chiefs fans would have been taken a playoff victory in any fashion. That it came against the Colts, who have been responsible for so much of their postseason misery, made it that much sweeter.

Kansas City was 0-4 against Indianapolis in the playoffs, including that implosion in the 2013 wild-card game after the Chiefs blew a 28-point lead in the second half.

But there would be no heroics from Luck this time. The Chiefs, who had the NFL’s second-worst defense during the regular season, never let him get in a rhythm. The Colts didn’t get a first down until the final possession of the first half. At one point, Kansas City had as many first downs (12) as the Colts had yards.

So, yeah, the Chiefs and their fans will savor this one for a while. And after the way they looked Saturday, it’s not such a stretch to imagine them going all the way to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs will host either the Los Angeles Chargers or New England Patriots in next weekend’s AFC Championship Game.

Here’s what else we learned in the divisional round game:

1. Young gun

Mahomes has been dazzling all season, his first as a starter, and this game was no different.

He made it clear in the opening drive that he wasn’t going to be fazed by the big stage, going 3-for-3, including a beautiful 34-yard completion to Sammy Watkins that brought the Chiefs to the Indianapolis 10. Damien Williams got the touchdown on the next play, but that drive was all Mahomes and it set the tone for the afternoon.

He made one jaw-dropping throw after another throughout the afternoon, altering his arm angle or throwing across his body with laser-like precision. He finished the day 27 of 41 for 278 yards with no interceptions.

The Chiefs got a bit of a scare when Mahomes appeared to tweak his right knee and got up limping early in the second quarter. But he regrouped two drives later with a 4-yard scamper for a touchdown, and didn’t look hampered the rest of the game.

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