Road to Super Bowl LIV: Kansas City Chiefs

Leigh Copson:

It has taken 50 years, but the Kansas City Chiefs are finally heading back to the Super Bowl. Here is how Patrick Mahomes & Co. made it to Miami for a mouth-watering Super Bowl LIV showdown with the San Francisco 49ers.

READ MORE: Get our free Super Bowl tips for San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs.

Week 1: Chiefs 40 Jacksonville Jaguars 26

Having come up short in the AFC Championship Game earlier in the year, much was expected of Kansas City coming into their season-opener. They lived up to expectations in this one as Patrick Mahomes hit Sammy Watkins for a 68-year score less than two minutes into the game, and they never looked back as they kick-started their season in the best possible fashion with a convincing win on the road.

Week 2: Chiefs 28 Oakland Raiders 10

The Chiefs were back out on the road again in Week 2, but there would be no repeat of the previous week’s lightning fast start and the found themselves 10 points down at the end of the first quarter in Oakland. Their response was emphatic though. Mahomes threw four second-quarter touchdowns, with a combined yardage of 152 yards, as they Chiefs improved to 2-0 despite failing to score a single point after half-time.

Week 3: Chiefs 33 Baltimore Ravens 28

Would this prove to be a dress rehearsal for the AFC Championship Game. Baltimore had blasted out of the blocks and posed a real threat to the Chiefs in the first game of the season at Arrowhead, but Kansas City were not about to be upstaged on their home turf. For the second week running they failed to score in the first quarter before binging on points in the second, but this time there were able to add to the scoring after the break as they fended off a fourth-quarter fightback by the Ravens.

Week 4: Chiefs 34 Detroit Lions 30

The Kansas City Chiefs celebrate the last-gasp game-winning touchdown against Detroit. (Photo by USA TODAY Network/SIPA USA/PA Images).

This was expected to be a straightforward win for the now 3-0 Chiefs, but it proved to be anything but. Yet again Kanas City failed to put any points on the board in the first quarter, but they did get off the mark in the second as the two teams went into halftime locked at 13-13, and 100-yard fumble return early in the third quarter saw them take the lead for the first time. It did not last long though, and when Kenny Golladay hauled in a six-yard touchdown pass with two-and-a-half minutes remaining the Chiefs were staring a first defeat in the face. However, those 151 seconds were all Kansas City needed as Mahomes drove them downfield and Darrel Williams went in from the one.

Week 5: Chiefs 13 Indianapolis Colts 19

Kansas City had narrowly avoided a first defeat of the season in Week 4, but they would not be so fortunate a week later as they fell to a surprise defeat at home to Indianapolis. The Chiefs finally managed some first quarter points in this one, but they failed to get their run game going despite the return of Damien Williams, and Mahomes was under duress from the Colts pass rush all night long. For the first and only time this season KC were held to less than 23 points, and Indianapolis took full advantage as veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri booted them to victory.

Week 6: Chiefs 24 Houston Texans 31

The Chiefs needed to issue an immediate response to their first defeat of the season when they welcomed Houston to Arrowhead a week later, and they made the best possible start as they put up 17 first-quarter points to race out to a healthy lead. The wheels came off in the second though as Houston scored 20 unanswered points to come roaring back, and although Tyreek Hill was able to restore Kansas City’s lead with a six-yard TD in the third, it was the Texans who came out on top as Deshaun Watson went in from a yard out and then hit DeAndre Hopkins for a two-point conversion.

Week 7: Chiefs 30 Denver Broncos 6

The Madden Curse’ has become the stuff of NFL legend over the past couple of decades so Kansas City fans must have been fearing the worst when cover star Mahomes suffered a dislocated kneecap against Denver in Week 7. The Chiefs were able to snap their losing skid with backup Matt Moore at the controls on offense, but the result was not the talking point postgame. The big talking point was just how long would Mahomes be sidelined and had his injury destroyed their Super Bowl quest?

Week 8: Chiefs 24 Green Bay Packers 31

Mahomes would be missing for the Week 8 visit of Green Bay but the good news prior to the matchup was that the superstar QB would only be sidelined for a matter of weeks. His absence clearly hurt them here though as they tasted defeat for the third time in four games. Moore was unable to keep pace with Aaron Rodgers, as the veteran Packers QB tossed three touchdown passes to lead his team to victory at Arrowhead.

Week 9: Chiefs 26 Minnesota Vikings 23

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker celebrates after kicking the game-winning field goal against Minnesota (Photo by Elizabeth Flores/Zuma Press/PA Images).

Moore would remain at quarterback one week later as the Chiefs again played host to NFC North opposition, but on this occasion Mahomes’ stand-in was able to lead the team to victory, with the help of Damien Williams. The Chiefs running back went on a mammoth 91-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and although that would not secure the victory, it did help put Harrison Butker in the position to boot the Chiefs to the ‘W’. Having converted from 45 yards in the third, Butker struck from 54 with 186 seconds remaining and then converted the game-winning from 44 with just three seconds left on the clock.

Week 10: Chiefs 32 Tennessee Titans 35

Kansas City welcomed Mahomes back for the trip to Nashville and he wasted no time in making up for lost time, throwing touchdown passes to Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman as he attempted to lead his team to back-to-back victories for the first time since late September. He appeared to have been successful in his mission when Butker gave the Chiefs a five-point lead with little over three minutes remaining, but the Titans had other ideas and stunned the visitors when Ryan Tannehill hit Adam Humphries for the game-winner with 29 seconds to go.

Week 11: Chiefs 24 Los Angeles Chargers 17

The Chiefs were in desperate need of some consistency when they travelled to Mexico for a Week 11 showdown with the Los Angeles Chargers, and although the result hardly sent shockwaves through the rest of the NFL this would prove to be an important outing for them. Mahomes led the team in rushing as he continued to get back to full health after his knee injury, and the defense picked off Philip Rivers in each of the Chargers’ last two possessions to close out the win.

Week 13: Chiefs 40 Oakland Raiders 9

Kansas City needed to come from behind to win when they visited Oakland earlier in this season, but a victory here was never in doubt as they cruised to their most convincing win of the season. Mahomes’ stat line in this one was not going to earn MVP honours anytime soon, but he threw one touchdown pass and ran in for another to suggest that he was beginning to rediscover the form that made him a star. The defense played their part too, not giving up a point until Daniel Carlson converted a field goal for the Raiders at the start of the fourth quarter.

Week 14: Chiefs 23 New England Patriots 16

Kansas City were starting to roll and that set them up nicely for this meeting with the team who had destroyed their Super Bowl dream back in January. New England boasted one of the best records in the AFC, but it was not unfair to say that they were a shadow of the side that had gone all the way last season. The Patriots struck early, but the Chiefs responded with 23 unanswered points and held a comfortable 23-7 lead in the third. New England did try to stage a fightback, but it proved to be in vain as Kansas City got their revenge to leave Gillette Stadium with a win.

Week 15: Chiefs 23 Denver Broncos 3

The Chiefs cruised to victory when they visited Denver earlier in the season and although the final score here was not as commanding, it was still a convincing win. Hill caught a couple of touchdown passes from Mahomes and Butker converted three field goal attempts as the hosts went in front and never looked back, with a 32-yard field goal from Brandon McManus the only points that an improving defense gave up on the day.

Week 16: Chiefs 26 Chicago Bears 3

For the second week running Kansas City held the opposition to one solitary field goal, and just to rub it in for Bears fans Mahomes put on a show against a team that could have picked him in the 2017 NFL Draft but instead traded up to land Mitchell Trubisky. As dejected Chicagoans (and my family) looked on, Mahomes passed for two touchdowns and ran one in himself at Soldier Field as Bears fans dreamed of what could have been. The Chiefs were now rolling.

Week 17: Chiefs 31 Los Angeles Chargers 21

The Chiefs went into their final regular season finale on their best run of form all season thanks to five consecutive wins, and there was never really any doubt about the chances of them making it six in a row. The Chargers did lead on a couple of occasions thanks to touchdowns from Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon, but a 104-yard kick-off return from Mecole Hardman swung the game firmly in Kansas City’s favour in the third quarter and they never looked back.

Divisional Round: Chiefs 51 Houston Texans 31

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) dives in for a touchdown during the playoff win over Houston (Photo by Scott Winters/Zuma Press/PA Images).

Did the Houston Texans have Kansas City’s number? Could Deshaun Watson upstage draft buddy Patrick Mahomes again? The Texans had toppled the Chiefs during the regular season and looked set to do it again when the two teams renewed acquaintances in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. KC were left shell-shocked as they gave up three touchdowns in the first quarter, and with just over 19 minutes into the game they found themselves trailing 24-0 and facing an embarrassing exit in the face. They had other ideas though and embarked on a record-setting fightback that will live in NFL folklore alongside ‘The Drive’, ‘The Catch’ and other famous postseason stories. Damien Williams sparked the comeback with a 17-yard run and then it became the Mahomes-Travis Kelce show as he hit his tight end for three touchdown passes in less than eight second-quarter minutes. The Chiefs went into halftime with an improbable 28-24 lead, but there would be no repeat of the first half drama as the hosts relentlessly piled up the points to run away with it. Williams went in for two more TDs before a Blake Bell TD catch and Butker field goal wrapped up an amazing victory.

AFC Championship Game: Chiefs 35 Tennessee Titans 24

Did the Houston Texans have Kansas City’s number? Could Deshaun Watson upstage draft buddy Patrick Mahomes again? The Texans had toppled the Chiefs during the regular season and looked set to do it again when the two teams renewed acquaintances in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. KC were left shell-shocked as they gave up three touchdowns in the first quarter, and with just over 19 minutes into the game they found themselves trailing 24-0 and facing an embarrassing exit in the face. They had other ideas though and embarked on a record-setting fightback that will live in NFL folklore alongside ‘The Drive’, ‘The Catch’ and other famous postseason stories. Damien Williams sparked the comeback with a 17-yard run and then it became the Mahomes-Travis Kelce show as he hit his tight end for three touchdown passes in less than eight second-quarter minutes. The Chiefs went into halftime with an improbable 28-24 lead, but there would be no repeat of the first half drama as the hosts relentlessly piled up the points to run away with it. Williams went in for two more TDs before a Blake Bell TD catch and Butker field goal wrapped up an amazing victory.

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