The AFC Championship game was full of redemption arcs.
The overall story is that the Chiefs beat a team that had beaten them by exactly three points over the last three games. After a week of non stop trash talking from Bengals players, fans, and even the mayor of Cincinnati the Chiefs stepped up to get their ticket to the Super Bowl.
Last Week Mike Hilton renamed Arrowhead “Burrowhead”, their mayor not only repeated the sentiment by insinuating that Joe Burrow is Mahomes’ dad and Eli Apple spent a ton of time on Twitter calling out the Chiefs.
During Mahomes’ on-field interview, Kelce interrupted and shot back at everyone.
“Burrowhead my a**”, Kelce said.
Later on he would say more but specifically called out the Cincinnati Mayor.
“I got some wise words for that Cincinnati mayor,” Kelce said. “Know your role and shut your mouth, you jabroni.”.
Pictures have come out of Chiefs players smoking cigars in the locker room. Punter Tommy Townsend and Safety Justin Reid. This is a dig on the Bengals quarterback who has repeatedly smoked after a big game.
The Chiefs defensive line played aggressively and got pressure all night. The Chiefs totaled 12 quarterback hits, sacked Burrow five times and Chris Jones got two of them.
Jones finally got the monkey off his back by getting a playoff sack. His second one came late in the game to help the Chiefs get the ball back.
Frank Clark continues to improve his all-time playoff sack stand by getting 1.5 in the game. Clark is now third all-time with 13.5 he is one sack behind hall-of-famer Bruce Smith and 2.5 behind Willie McGinest.
An early injury to L’Jarius Sneed forced the young cornerback group to step up and they did. Rookie Jaylen Watson had two interceptions on the day both of them he showed off his athleticism and ball skills. Rookie Trent McDuffie was put one on one with Ja’mar Chase multiple times and held his ground.
Kelce once again moved up in the all-time playoff receiving yards and touchdowns. Kelce now has 1,467. That puts him behind only Jerry Rice. He passed both Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. He caught his fifteenth touchdown tying him with Rob Gronkowski for second place.
Late in the fourth quarter two players got their redemption in less than one minute of football time.
Due to injuries to Mecole Hardman, Kadarius Toney, and Justin Watson not playing due to illness. Sky Moore was put out to return the punt. Despite him struggling all year with returning punts he was able to cleanly catch it and return the ball 29 yards.
Harrison Butker had his redemption arc by kicking the game-winning field goal. With eight seconds left on the clock, Butker nailed a 45 yard field goal. He has received a lot of criticism throughout the year for his struggle to hit field goals, especially longer ones.
The injuries to the wide receiver core led to Marquez Valdes-Scantling becoming the number one option for the Chiefs’ offense. MVS ended the game with 116 yards and a touchdown. This is the first time he has been the leading receiver for KC.
The Chiefs will go to Arizona, where they started the year, to take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the Chief’s third Super Bowl in four years.
The coming game is going to have many storylines including Andy Reid facing his old team. The Kelce brothers are the first pair of brothers to face off in a Super Bowl and the Jalen Hurts Mahomes quarterback combo is the first time both starting quarterbacks are black.