The Kansas City Chiefs dominated on both sides of the ball on Sunday night, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers to move on to the Divisional Round of the postseason.
Here are some quick notes from the game.
1. The Chiefs' defense was absolutely tremendous.
The conversation surrounding Sunday's game will largely center around the Chiefs' offensive explosion, but it should be noted that while Kansas City struggled to move the ball early, it was the defense that kept them in the game.
Pittsburgh punted on seven straight possessions to begin the contest, mustering just 44 yards of offense and two first downs in the first half. Kansas City forced a three-and-out on five of those seven possessions, consistently stopping the Steelers before they could get anything going offensively. In fact, those two first downs allowed were the fewest in the first half of a postseason game since 2018.
Kansas City also managed to tally a takeaway, as linebacker Willie Gay Jr. punched the ball free from Steelers' tailback Najee Harris, and defensive end Frank Clark scooped it up. It was the first fumble of Harris' career despite a league-most 395 touches this season. That play was a continuation of a big game for the Chiefs' defense against Harris, who recorded just 28 yards from scrimmage.
2. Patrick Mahomes put together another all-time performance.
These kinds of games are becoming commonplace for Mahomes, but it's important to point out how utterly ridiculous and unique performances like Sunday night are. Mahomes completed 30-of-39 passes for 404 yards and five touchdowns in the contest, becoming just the 11th quarterback in NFL history (regular or postseason) to throw for 400+ yards and 5+ touchdowns with less than 10 incompletions in a single game. Mahomes is the only player to do so in the playoffs.
It was Mahomes' fourth-career outing with 400+ passing yards and 5+ touchdowns, which are the most such games for any player in NFL history. For context, since Mahomes became the full-time starter in 2018, that feat has only been accomplished four other times by the rest of the NFL combined.
3. Travis Kelce made some NFL history.
Kelce was a beast on Sunday night, hauling in five grabs for a team-leading 108 yards and a touchdown. He now has 88 career receptions in the postseason, which ranks fifth in NFL history behind only Jerry Rice (151), Julian Edelman (118), Rob Gronkowski (94) and Reggie Wayne (93). Kelce also now has the second-most 100-yard games for any player in playoff history (7), trailing only Rice (8).
To make matters even more impressive, Kelce added to his stat line with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Byron Pringle early in the fourth quarter. The 2-yard toss made Kelce the only player in NFL history to catch a touchdown, throw a touchdown and record 100+ yards receiving in a postseason game.
4. Kansas City scored five touchdowns in record time.
Mahomes and Kelce helped lead the Chiefs to an offensive explosion in the blink of an eye between the second and third quarters. In fact, after Steelers' edge-rusher T.J. Watt recovered a Chiefs' fumble for a go-ahead touchdown midway through the second quarter, Mahomes proceeded to lead Kansas City on six consecutive scoring drives, five of which took place in less than 12 minutes of game time. It was eleven minutes and 31 seconds, to be exact, marking the quickest span that any player has thrown 5+ touchdowns in postseason history.
Following Watt's touchdown, Mahomes went on to complete 24-of-27 passes for 359 yards and five scores.
5. Jerick McKinnon had a night to remember.
The Chiefs' backfield was banged up heading into Sunday's game, as Clyde Edwards-Helaire (shoulder) didn't play, and Darrel Williams was limited due to a toe injury. That provided McKinnon with an opportunity to take on an increased workload that the veteran didn't waste.
McKinnon racked up 142 yards from scrimmage in the game – the most for any player in the postseason so far through Sunday's matchups – while becoming just the fifth player in the last nine seasons to record 60+ rushing yards and 60+ receiving yards in a playoff game. He was nothing short of excellent.
6. Offensive lineman Nick Allegretti found the end zone, and it was awesome.
Amidst all the scoring for Kansas City was a big-man touchdown, as Mahomes found Allegretti for a 1-yard score early in the third quarter. Allegretti is the second offensive lineman to catch a touchdown for Kansas City since 2013, joining Eric Fisher (2020).
Allegretti played only two offensive snaps on Sunday night, with both resulting in touchdowns. He also came in on Kelce's touchdown pass to Pringle a bit later in the game.
7. Byron Pringle and Tyreek Hill combined for three touchdown grabs.
Pringle, who found the end zone twice in Kansas City's Week 16 victory over Pittsburgh, replicated that performance on Sunday with another two-touchdown game. The latter performance made Pringle just the second player in franchise history to tally multiple receiving touchdowns in a single playoff game, joining Tyreek Hill.
Speaking of Hill, he was busy on Sunday, too, with five catches for 57 yards and a 31-yard touchdown. The speedy Hill now has eight postseason games with at least 50 receiving yards since 2017, which are the most such performances of any player in that span.
8. The Chiefs have now won five consecutive playoff games at home.
There was a time in the not so distant past when Kansas City hadn't won a playoff game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in 25 years. Those days are over. Sunday's victory marked the Chiefs' sixth postseason win at home since 2018, and their fifth in a row. Those six wins are the most home playoff victories for any team in that span and three victories more than the next closest team.
9. Kansas City is moving on to the Divisional Round for a fourth straight season.
The Chiefs are playing in the second round of the postseason for a fourth-straight year, making them the only team to accomplish that feat in every season since 2018. Kansas City has advanced beyond the Divisional Round in each of the previous three years, hosting the AFC Championship Game in every postseason during that span. If the Chiefs can defeat Buffalo on Sunday, they'll make it four in a row.
10. It marked Coach Reid's 18th career playoff victory.
All the postseason victories are adding up for Coach Reid, who moved past Joe Gibbs for sole possession of fourth all-time in terms of playoff wins. Only Bill Belichick (31), Tom Landry (20) and Don Shula (19) have more.
It was a fun one for Kansas City on Sunday, and now with another trip to the AFC title game on the line, the Chiefs will take on Buffalo this upcoming weekend.