The Kansas City Chiefs held on to win an absolute thriller of a game on Sunday afternoon as the Chiefs defeated the Cleveland Browns to advance in the postseason despite losing quarterback Patrick Mahomes midway through the third quarter.
Cleveland rallied late, but backup quarterback Chad Henne made a pair of gutsy plays in the closing seconds of regulation to seal the victory and send Kansas City to a third-consecutive AFC Championship Game.
Here are 10 interesting notes and facts about the game.
1. Chad Henne became a franchise legend.
Clinging to a five-point lead and facing a 3rd-and-14 with two minutes remaining in the game, Henne scrambled for 13 yards to set up a pivotal fourth down decision. The Chiefs could punt and give the Browns the chance, or they could go for it and end the game with a conversion.
Head Coach Andy Reid opted for the latter and surprised just about everybody by dialing up a passing play, trusting Henne to roll to his right and fire a dart to wide receiver Tyreek Hill to lock up the victory.
The two-play sequence was just about as gutsy as it gets with the season on the line, and what made it all the more remarkable was that Henne – at 35 years old – had never played in a postseason game before Sunday.
2. Patrick Mahomes was outstanding before exiting the game.
Mahomes' injury is rightfully the focus at the moment, but it's worth pointing out that the reigning Super Bowl MVP put together another stellar postseason performance before departing the game.
He completed 21-of-30 passes for 255 yards and two total touchdowns (1 passing, 1 rushing) in less than three quarters of work, securing the franchise career postseason marks for passing yards (1,729) and completions (136) in the process.
Mahomes also joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young by becoming just the second player in NFL history with a rushing and passing touchdown in consecutive playoff games.
3. Tyreek Hill had another big game.
Hill led all receivers with 110 yards on eight receptions - none of which were bigger than his game-sealing catch at the end. The electric Hill also caught Henne's second completion of the game with a brilliant, acrobatic 23-yard reception.
His 110 yards were Hill's most in a playoff game, surpassing his 105 yards in Super Bowl LIV.
4. Travis Kelce's consistency is ridiculous.
Kelce hauled in eight grabs for 109 yards, marking his ninth-consecutive game with at least seven catches. The All-Pro tight end is now just the second player since 1950 to tally 7+ receptions in nine-straight games (including the playoffs) during a single campaign, trailing only Antonio Brown's streak of 12 straight in 2014.
Additionally, Kelce matched Dave Casper and Vernon Davis for the second-most touchdowns by a tight end in postseason history on Sunday, hauling in the seventh score of his career. Only Rob Gronkowski (12) has more in the playoffs.
5. Tailback Darrel Williams stepped up in a big way.
Williams had his number called with starting tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire unavailable, and he delivered. The three-year veteran was in for 79 percent of the Chiefs' offensive snaps and racked up 94 yards from scrimmage on 17 touches.
Perhaps his biggest play came in a critical moment, too. Immediately following Mahomes' exit from the game, Williams converted a fourth down at midfield to move the chains and maintain possession of the ball. The Chiefs turned that drive into three points a bit later and salvaged some momentum following Mahomes' departure.
6. Tyrann Mathieu had a fantastic game.
Mathieu was flying all over the place on Sunday, leading a defensive effort that held Cleveland's high-powered attack to just 17 points. According to Pro Football Focus, Mathieu didn't allow a single positive yard in his 40 coverage snaps. In fact, the Browns actually lost yards when he was targeted (6 times), as Mathieu yielded -5 yards in his coverage.
The veteran safety also notched his first career postseason interception on Sunday, picking off Mayfield early in the third quarter. It marked Mathieu's seventh interception this year.
7. Rookie safety L'Jarius Sneed also had a game to remember.
It will likely be overlooked when the story of this game is told, but don't forget about Sneed's two-play sequence on Cleveland's opening drive that held the Browns to just a field goal.
Cleveland appeared to be rolling, marching right down the field and all the way to the Chiefs' 20-yard line, but Sneed blew up a short pass to wide receiver Jarvis Landry for a loss of three yards on first down. He then came flying in a snap later, sacking Mayfield for a loss of eight.
That sequence totally disrupted the rhythm of the Browns' drive, holding a once promising possession to just three points. When considering what happened later on, that made a major difference in the outcome.
8. The Chiefs' final defensive stand demonstrated what makes this group so special.
The Browns had all the momentum in the world with six minutes remaining in the game. They had just completed an 18-play scoring drive a series prior, and on the Chiefs' ensuing possession, Henne threw an interception in the end zone. Cleveland had just converted a fourth down on their next drive and had an opportunity to take the lead with plenty of time left, but the Chiefs' defense shut the door.
Following that fourth down conversion, the Browns' next three plays combined for a gain of just one yard. Kansas City remained disciplined and didn't let the emotions of the moment hinder their performance, and it played a crucial role in the outcome.
9. Coach Reid earned the 16th postseason victory of his brilliant career.
Reid tied Chuck Noll for fifth all-time in terms of playoff victories by a head coach on Sunday, earning his 16th career win in the playoffs. Overall, it marked Reid's 237th overall win – also the fifth-most in NFL history.
10. The Chiefs are set to host a third-straight AFC Championship Game.
Kansas City will be the site of the AFC Championship Game yet again on Sunday, which is historically significant. The Chiefs are the first team in AFC history to host three consecutive conference championship games, and they're just the second team in NFL history to do so.
Remarkably, the only other team to accomplish that feat – the 2002-04 Philadelphia Eagles – were also coached by Reid.
It's a truly incredible run of success, and now with the AFC Championship Game coming to Kansas City once again, the Chiefs are just 60 minutes away from Super Bowl LV.