Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Chiefs rally past Buffalo 42-36 in OT in wild playoff game | Ap

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a showdown between two of the NFL’s best teams and two of its bright young quarterbacks, the Bills and Chiefs played a classic Sunday night game, with one of them calling Tails and the other making him pay.

Josh Allen’s decision to toss the coin in overtime was his only mistake for Buffalo all night.

Patrick Mahomes promptly followed, marching Kansas City down against the NFL’s ranked but exhausted defense, then finding Travis Kelce in the corner of the end zone from 8 yards and giving the Chiefs a memorable 42-36 win — and never his nascent one take advantage of an opportunity with the ball.

“It worked out well for us this time,” said Mahomes, who is playing his team in their fourth straight AFC title game. “When two teams go back and forth, it stinks when you don’t see the other go. But all you can do is play the rules the way the rules are explained, and we’ve done that.”

Did it perfectly too, setting up a showdown against Cincinnati next Sunday for another trip to the Super Bowl.

“The boys didn’t flinch,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid. “They call it an epic game, well, that’s how the players took it. They had tremendous respect for Buffalo and knew it was going to be a fight and they pushed on.”

What was Reid’s advice for Mahomes on the track?

“If it’s gloomy, be the Grim Reaper and get it,” Reid said. “He made everyone around him better.”

The lead changed hands three times in the last two minutes of regulation and 25 points were scored at this distance. Harrison Butker, who previously missed a field goal and an extra point, drilled a 49-yarder after time was up to force the extra session, and when the Chiefs won the coin toss, Mahomes took care of the rest.

He finished the game with a 378-yard pass and three touchdowns, including a 64-yarder against Tyreek Hill in the tense final minutes of regulation and the clutch throw against Kelce that had players pouring off the bench.

“We have great leaders on both sides of the ball, whether it’s offense, defense or specialty teams,” Hill said. “Nobody panicked. No one said, ‘Oh, it’s game over, there’s 13 seconds left.’ We only did plays.”

Allen did everything he could to prevent another season-ending loss at Arrowhead Stadium. He threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis with 1:54 in the rule, then another to Davis – his fourth TD catch of the game in the playoffs – with 13 seconds left in the rule.

Allen’s only mistake? His coin toss call.

He finished with 329 yards passing and Davis with eight catches for 201 yards as the Bills lost their ninth straight playoff game – a streak that includes last year’s loss to Kansas City in the AFC title game.

“It’s just hard, you know? To be in that moment again,” Allen said. “It sucks how it happened, you know? We wanted to win this game. We had chances. Just, yeah, absorb it all, hold on to that feeling and make sure we don’t feel the same way again – years in a row in the same place. It is difficult to understand.”

All in all, Mahomes and Allen each threw at least 300 yards and three touchdowns, completed at least 70 percent of their passes without interception, and — you know — led their teams with at least 65 yards rushing.

No other quarterback in NFL history has accomplished these feats in a game, regular season, or postseason.

“The Chiefs are a good football team. We knew it was going to be a big effort to get out of here,” said Bills coach Sean McDermott, “and I thought the guys put that effort in us, starting with Josh and all the way down. But these guys are hurt, we’re disappointed – we’re all disappointed, we’re all sick. You keep going and trying to learn from it, but it stings. It stings. I won’t sugarcoat it. It’s burning.”

It was a playoff game for

the history books, but few will remember the first 58 minutes.

Few will forget the final two minutes and extra time.

The Chiefs led 26-21 when Allen, who had been playing almost perfectly all night, came into contact with Davis for the third time in the game – a fourth and a 13-darter finished a 17-play drive for 75 yards and gave the bills the lead.

Not to be outdone, the Chiefs responded when Mahomes found Hill over the middle. The fleet-footed wide receiver ran past cornerback Levi Wallace for a 64-yard touchdown that gave Kansas City the right lead.

Then it was the Bills’ turn again: Allen threw Davis a 28-yard pass, hit him again for 12 yards, and then found Emmanuel Sanders on the touchline to give McDermott’s team a chance with 17 seconds on the clock.

Allen hit Davis right between the numbers, her 19-yard drive giving him the postseason record — but not the win.

That’s because Mahomes wasn’t done conjuring up playoff magic. He found Hill for 19 yards and then beat Kelce for 25 more in a schoolyard-style play, giving Butker a chance to attempt a 49-yarder in a light, cool breeze when time was up.

Of course it split the posts.

A fitting end to a Division Rounds weekend of last-minute heroics.

“Yeah, obviously not the way we wanted to end our season,” said Bills safety Jordan Poyer. “Man, the offensive did everything it had to do. Defense, we had to get out there and stop, didn’t make it. It’s just a hard feeling, man. Just a really hard feeling, hard to put into words. It sucks. We have to live with that.”


Bills: CB Micah Hyde left the team with an undisclosed injury sustained in the regulation’s final game.

bosses: Tyrant Mathieu left the opening drive with a concussion after the Pro Bowl safety was hit by teammate Jarran Reed’s knee. … CB Charvarius Ward was injured trying to tackle Allen with 51/2 minutes remaining in the game.


The Chiefs will have a visit from Cincinnati next Sunday, becoming the first franchise in NFL history to host four consecutive conference championship games. The 49ers play the Rams for the NFC title in the nightcap.

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