The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Buffalo Bills, 27-24, in an instant classic of a game that came down to the wire on Sunday night.
Here are some quick notes from the win.
1. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes won the 13th playoff start of his career.
Mahomes, who made just the 16th postseason start of his career on Sunday, matched Ben Roethlisberger and Brett Favre for the sixth-most postseason wins among any quarterback in NFL history with the Chiefs' victory over Buffalo. Only Tom Brady (35), Joe Montana (16), Terry Bradshaw (14), John Elway (14) and Peyton Manning (14) won more postseason games (in which they started) in league history than the 28-year-old Mahomes.
Additionally, Sunday's win moved Mahomes past Brady for the most postseason victories by a quarterback before turning 30 in league history.
2. Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce made some NFL postseason history.
Mahomes found Kelce for two touchdowns on Sunday, the latter of which made some all-time NFL postseason history. In fact, the duo of Mahomes and Kelce has now connected for the most playoff touchdowns of any combination in league history with 16, passing Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski (15).
Kelce also owns the second-most receptions (145), receiving yards (1,694) and receiving touchdowns (18) for any player in NFL postseason history, trailing only Jerry Rice in all three categories (151 catches, 2,245 yards, 18 touchdowns).
3. The Chiefs' defense was tremendous when it mattered most.
Kansas City's defense held on to post another strong performance on Sunday, and despite allowing 13 points and 124 rushing yards in the first half, the Chiefs settled down to hold Buffalo to only 58 rushing yards and seven points on four second-half possessions. Specifically, the Bills' final three possessions ended with a turnover-on-downs, a punt and a missed field goal. It continued a trend for the Chiefs' defense, which allowed the fewest second-half points (126) of any team in the NFL this year. Kansas City has now held the league's No. 2 scoring offense (Miami) and No. 6 scoring offense (Buffalo) to a grand total of seven second-half points this postseason.
The Chiefs also did a terrific job of limiting explosive plays. According to Ben Solak from The Ringer, Sunday's game marked just the fourth time in quarterback Josh Allen's career that he was held without a play (either passing or rushing) of 20+ yards.
Overall, the Chiefs have now held the opposition to 24 or fewer points in 18 of 19 games this season, marking the most such games for any team in a single season since the 2013 Seattle Seahawks.
4. Tailback Isiah Pacheco had another strong performance.
Pacheco rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in Sunday's game, averaging 6.5 yards-per-rush. He also chipped in a 14-yard reception, pushing his overall total from scrimmage to 111 yards for the night. Additionally, Pacheco's two runs on the Chiefs' final drive – the latter of which picked up a first down – sealed the victory for Kansas City.
The second-year tailback now has 199 yards from scrimmage during the Chiefs' postseason run.
5. Mahomes continues to climb the all-time charts in numerous categories.
Mahomes now has the sixth-most passing touchdowns (38) of any quarterback in NFL postseason history, trailing only Tom Brady (88), Joe Montana (45), Aaron Rodgers (45), Brett Favre (44) and Peyton Manning (40). He also ranks seventh in passes of 25+ yards (43) and ninth in total passing yards (4,561) despite playing in just 16 career postseason games.
Mahomes has thrown for multiple touchdowns in 12 of his 16 career postseason games, marking the sixth-most of any quarterback in league history.
6. Rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice continued to do damage after the catch.
Rice caught four passes for 47 yards on Sunday, tallying 42 of those yards after the catch. The rookie wide receiver now has 118 yards after-the-catch this postseason, marking the second-most by a rookie in NFL postseason history. Only Ja'Marr Chase, with 180 yards after-the-catch in 2021, owns more than Rice, and he has a chance to top that record this upcoming Sunday.
The former second-round pick has 91 receptions for 1,115 yards and eight touchdowns in 18 games this season.
7. Safety Chamarri Conner stepped up to turn in a tremendous performance.
Conner, who stepped in for the injured Mike Edwards early in the game, played a career-high 99 percent of his snaps in Sunday's victory, logging the top Pro Football Focus grade of any Chiefs' defender.
In terms of traditional statistics, Conner recorded 10 total tackles and a forced fumble in the contest.
8. Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling came up clutch with multiple deep receptions.
Valdes-Scantling hauled in two critical catches during Sunday's game, tallying a 30-yard reception early in the second quarter (which led to a touchdown) and a 32-yard catch on the Chiefs' first possession of the second half (which also led to a touchdown).
It was a familiar postseason performance for Valdes-Scantling, who caught seven passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns between the Divisional and Conference Championship rounds of last year's playoff run.
9. Kicker Harrison Butker remained perfect in the postseason.
Butker connected on both of his field goal attempts (47 yards and 29 yards) in addition to making all three of his extra-point tries, continuing his perfect postseason. The veteran kicker is now 39-of-41 on field goals for the season (including the playoffs) while making all 43 of his extra-point tries.
Butker now has 140 total points in the postseason for his career, marking the sixth-most of any player in NFL history.
10. The Chiefs are headed to the AFC Championship Game for a sixth-straight season.
Kansas City is headed to its sixth-straight AFC Championship Game, passing the 1973-77 Oakland Raiders for sole possession of the second-longest streak of consecutive conference title game appearances in NFL history. Only the New England Patriots, who went to eight-straight conference title games from 2011-18, own a longer streak in league history than Kansas City.
Additionally, that streak coincides with Patrick Mahomes' tenure as Kansas City's starting quarterback. In other words, Mahomes' season has never finished shy of the AFC Championship Game in his six years as a starting quarterback. After this upcoming Sunday, Mahomes will trail only Tom Brady (14) and Joe Montana (7) in career conference title game starts by a quarterback, and keep in mind, Mahomes is only 28 years old.
This is the golden era of Chiefs football, and yet another chapter awaits as the Chiefs take on the Baltimore Ravens this weekend with a trip to Super Bowl LVIII on the line.