Chiefs Defeat Titans, Advance to Their First Super Bowl in 50 Years

Patrick Mahomes guided the Kansas City Chiefs to a 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday for the AFC Championship. The Chiefs advance to their first Super Bowl berth in half a century.

The Chiefs last played in the big game at Super Bowl IV in 1970, when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.

Super Bowl LIV will be Sunday, February 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida. Kansas City will face the winner of Sunday evening's NFC Championship between the Green Bay Packers at the San Francisco 49ers.

The Tennessee Titans jumped out to a 10-0 lead after Titans running back Derrick Henry took a direct snap and bolted ahead 4 yards for a score. It was the second-consecutive week Kansas City fell behind by double digits in the first quarter.

Then, just like last week against the Houston Texans, Mahomes guided the Chiefs' high-flying offense to a comeback win. The Chiefs capped a 10-play, 74-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill to slice the Tennessee lead to 10-7.

Tennessee put together a 15-play drive that was kept alive by Chiefs penalties, and Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to offensive lineman Greg Joseph, who was an eligible receiver on the play.

But it was the Kansas City Chiefs from then on. Mahomes connected with Hill again, this time for a 20-yard touchdown. That pass put Mahomes at 86 career touchdown passes through his first 35 games—including the playoffs—which puts him first on career passing touchdowns through 35 games, breaking the previous mark set by Dan Marino.

Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts after running for a 27 yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Trailing, 17-14, Mahomes took a snap and scrambled 27 yards for a touchdown. On the play, he dodged two defenders in the backfield, found the left sideline and tightroped it until the 10-yard line, where he darted back inward and broke two tackles as he broke the plane of the end zone. It was the longest touchdown run of Mahomes' young career.

Damien Wiliams scored on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter to put the Chiefs ahead, 28-17. Mahomes threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins on a deep post route to make it 35-17. The Titans tacked on a late touchdown with 4:18 remaining in the game.

Mahomes passed for 294 yards and three touchdowns, and Watkins led all receivers with 114 yards and seven catches. The Chiefs held Henry to just 69 yards rushing on 19 carries after Henry had rushed for more than 180 yards in each of the last three weeks.

The Titans started the season with a 2-4 record before head coach Mike Vrabel benched starting quarterback Marcus Mariota and replaced him with Tannehill. The Titans made a late run to get into the playoffs, and knocked off AFC South champion Houston in the final week of the season to grab the last AFC wild card spot.

The Titans went on the road and defeated the New England Patriots, and then went on the road to beat the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round. The Titans magic ended Sunday in Kansas City.

The Chiefs are 1-1 all-time in the Super Bowl. While a member of the old AFL, they played in the very first Super Bowl, where they lost to the Green Bay Packers, 35-10.