KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Hey, Kansas City Chiefs, you are looking LIV.
Fifty years after their only Super Bowl victory, the Kansas City Chiefs are headed back.
Led by the phenomenal play of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and a defense that hardened like ice, the Chiefs secured their spot in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday with a 35-24 victory over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at a frigid-but-rollicking Arrowhead Stadium.
The temperature at kickoff was 17 degrees, with a wind chill of 5.
The Chiefs lifted the Lamar Hunt Trophy — named for their founder — and now are in the hunt for the Lombardi.
Kansas City's lone Super Bowl win came over the Vikings in January 1970.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid is 0-1 in the Super Bowl, with his Philadelphia Eagles losing to New England 15 years ago.
"I mean, it's amazing. It really is," said Mahomes, who had 294 yards passing and three touchdowns. "To be here, to be a part of Chiefs Kingdom and to be able to do it here at Arrowhead, these people deserve it. And we're not done yet."
The same team that fell behind 24-0 to Houston last week before a devastating scoring spree, fell behind again in the AFC title game.
With a steady diet of carries by Derrick Henry, the Titans built a 10-0 lead in the first quarter — Henry turning a direct snap into a 4-yard touchdown run — then pushed that to 17-7 on a trick play. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw a 1-yard scoring pass to 6-foot-8 reserve tackle Dennis Kelly, who had lined up at fullback.
The Chiefs stayed in the game with a pair of touchdown passes to the blistering-fast Tyreek Hill, first on a jet sweep (ruled a pass) that covered 8 yards, then a 20-yard strike down the seam.
But by the end of the first half, Mahomes seized control with an unforgettable moment.
The signature play of the game — and maybe the Chiefs' season — came with 23 seconds remaining in the half and Kansas City down 17-14.
Mahomes took a shotgun snap, dropped back to the 35 and surveyed his options. He didn't see anyone open so he darted left and began a run that could lead the club's all-time highlight video. Tennessee linebacker Derick Roberson made a futile dive at his feet at the 32, then the quarterback twisted away from linebacker Rashaan Evans at the 29.
Dashing up the sideline, with his left foot coming within three inches of the chalk boundary, Mahomes did a tightrope act to stay inbounds. At the 10, he veered to his right, spun away from a strip attempt by cornerback Tramaine Brock at the five, and plunged into the end zone under a last-gasp tackle attempt by defensive end Matt Dickerson.
The Chiefs had their first lead, and Arrowhead erupted. Even fellow Chiefs seemed stunned by the playmaking ability of Mahomes, with receiver Demarcus Robinson waving his arms at him as if fanning a fire.
"Very excited and very emotional to win the trophy that has my dad's name on it," Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said. "Yeah, 50 years were too long, but we're going to another Super Bowl.
"Chiefs Kingdom, we are going to the Super Bowl."