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Chiefs advance to AFC Championship Game with Jaguars win


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs in all probability do not wish to make a behavior of this, however they received a playoff recreation Saturday with Patrick Mahomes on the bench for a good portion of time due to a proper ankle damage.

Backup Chad Henne was in for only one possession, not counting a kneel-down on the finish of the primary half. He made it rely, main a franchise playoff document 98-yard landing drive within the second quarter that helped the Chiefs keep in entrance in an eventual 27-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars within the divisional spherical.

Mahomes returned to the sport within the second half and was efficient, so it’s anticipated that he can be obtainable to play in subsequent week’s AFC Championship Game towards Buffalo or Cincinnati. But the Chiefs have purpose to imagine they’d function effectively if Henne has to play.

Kansas City Chiefs

Describe the sport in two phrases: Tough break. Not a literal break, however the Mahomes damage got here on the worst attainable second for the Chiefs: within the playoffs.

Pivotal play: Isiah Pacheco’s 39-yard run within the second quarter occurred with Henne within the recreation and Mahomes on the sideline and was the large play on the 98-yard landing drive led by the backup quarterback. The play led to the rating that put the Chiefs forward 17-7.

Eye-popping Next Gen stat: Pacheco acquired to a prime pace of 20.97 mph on his 39-yard run, the highest pace of his profession in keeping with NFL Next Gen stats. The 39-yard achieve was 36 yards over anticipated.

Under the radar stat that issues: Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker was simply 3-of-7 through the common season on area objectives of fifty yards or extra. But he made two of fifty yards towards the Jaguars. — Adam Teicher

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t able to compete with the AFC’s elite groups — but. But they’re nearer than they’ve been in 5 years. Winning the AFC South in Week 18 was a shock — helped considerably by the Tennessee Titans’ late-season swoon — and it put the Jaguars within the playoffs a 12 months or two sooner than most anticipated. But the loss in Kansas City on Saturday evening highlighted the weaknesses the Jaguars have to handle earlier than they’ll constantly compete — and beat — the Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals for AFC supremacy.

The Jaguars acquired some key defensive stops and massive performs through the second half of the season, similar to Rayshawn Jenkins’ interception return for a landing towards Dallas in addition to his strip sack and Josh Allen’s fumble restoration for a landing towards the Titans, however the Jaguars had been unable to give you one towards the Chiefs. They pressured Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes within the first half however had been unable to get to him within the second half when he was clearly struggling. They additionally allowed tight finish Travis Kelce to just about roam the sector untouched till after he caught a go.



Chiefs’ D thwarts Jags’ drive with purple zone fumble restoration

The Chiefs get better Jamal Agnew’s fumble close to the purpose line to stifle the Jaguars’ drive.

Describe the sport in two phrases: Missed alternatives. All week the Jaguars talked about capitalizing on alternatives as a result of they did not try this within the first assembly towards the Chiefs. There was no larger alternative Saturday than Mahomes hobbling round for your complete second half, however the protection gave up a 98-yard landing drive to backup QB Henne and could not power Mahomes right into a turnover. The Jaguars additionally missed on three vital performs within the first half, all of which might have led to factors.

Linebacker Foye Oluokun was unable to catch a ball deflected by defensive deal with DaVon Hamilton contained in the Kansas City 30-yard line, operating again JaMycal Hasty dropped a third-down go that might have put the Jaguars in place to attempt an extended area purpose and receiver Christian Kirk dropped a deep throw that might have given the Jaguars the ball contained in the Kansas City 15-yard line. The Jaguars ultimately acquired a area purpose on the drive the place Kirk dropped the go, however that is a possible 10 extra factors (not less than) they left on the sector.

Pivotal play: The Jaguars dedicated two fourth-quarter turnovers that doomed their comeback try. Jamal Agnew fumbled after a catch on the 3-yard line and quarterback Trevor Lawrence underthrew a go to Zay Jones that acquired intercepted. Agnew’s fumble was the workforce’s first purple zone turnover since Week 8. The Jaguars had been trailing by 10 factors every time they turned it over and ran out of time to finish what would have been their eighth come-from-behind victory this season.

Silver lining: The Jaguars’ offense completed tenth in yards and factors per recreation in 2022, and there is optimism issues might be even higher subsequent season with the arrival of receiver Calvin Ridley, particularly if the workforce re-signs tight finish Evan Engram. The Jaguars traded for Ridley in November and if he is cleared from his suspension for playing in February, then he can be a part of the workforce when the offseason program begins in April. Ridley will give the Jaguars a No. 1 receiver to pair with Kirk, who is without doubt one of the league’s higher slot receivers, and Jones. — Michael DiRocco

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