The Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) beat the Houston Texans (9-7) by a score of 30-0 Saturday afternoon at NRG Stadium in Houston in the first round of the 2015 NFL Playoffs.
Here are 10 observations from the game:
1. That's 11 straight wins for the Chiefs—the only streak that now matters
For the first time since 1994 and spanning eight straight attempts at this, the Chiefs won a playoff game, and they did it in convincing fashion, shutting out the Texans 30-0 in the AFC Wild Card game. It was the first shutout in a playoff game in more than a decade.
The Chiefs mission was to dominate on Saturday afternoon and that's exactly what they did. They forced 4 first-half turnovers and 5 in total by the Texans offense, got pressure from everywhere on Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer and raced out to an early lead from, quite literally, the opening kickoff.
It was the day Chiefs fans deserved and it left them with plenty of moments to cheer and celebrate throughout the entire game.
Enjoy this Chiefs Kingdom, you deserve it.
2. Opening kickoff for a touchdown
It started with all of the members of Chiefs Kingdom in NRG Stadium yelling "Home of the Chiefs" at the end of the National Anthem.
It was audible. It was fantastic.
Moments later, the game escalated quicker than anyone might have expected.
Knile Davis took the opening kickoff 106 yards the other way for the touchdown and gave the Chiefs a 7-0 lead just 11 seconds in the game.
It's the second-longest kick return in NFL postseason history (Jacoby Jones, Baltimore Ravens, 108).
3. Eric Berry started the takeaway party for the Chiefs
On first down, linebacker Josh Mauga beat his block and tackled Texans running back Alfred Blue for no gain. On second down, Dontari Poe beat his block and that led to a gain of just 2 yards, which set up a third-and-8 for Hoyer and the Texans offense.
As he dropped back to pass, Hoyer had a pretty clean pocket but hesitated on his throw across the middle and that was all the time Berry needed to step in front and intercept the pass before it hit the ground.
Berry's story just keeps getting better and better, somehow.
Just a few days ago, it was announced that Berry won the Walter Payton Man of the Year charity challenge with more than 94,000 votes, despite trailing the month-long competition 70,000 to 36,000 with just 48 hours remaining in the contest.
Thanks to Nationwide, Berry will receive $20,000 for his foundation.
4. Allen Bailey gets the sack and the fumble was recovered by Poe—Bailey shoved OL back into Hoyer
Late in the first quarter and with the Chiefs holding a 7-0 lead, Hoyer dropped back to pass and didn't have much time before his own lineman was shoved back into him and the ball popped loose.
The reason that lineman was shoved back into him?
Allen Bailey living up to his nickname of "The Hulk" and taking Texans left tackle Chris Clark for a ride as Bailey got up underneath his pads and drove him back into Hoyer.
Bailey came off the right edge and displayed an impressive amount of strength to make a key play for the Chiefs defense.
Dontari Poe recovered the ball and the Chiefs had their 2nd takeaway of the game.
5. Cairo Santos gets his name in the history books
Cairo Santos didn't hit one, but two 49-yard field goals in the first half to give the Chiefs an early 13-0 lead over the Texans.
They are the longest field goals for a Chiefs kicker in postseason history, and he did it twice.
6. Josh Mauga's red zone interception changed everything
Just a few plays after J.J. Watt attempted a Wildcat-type of direct snap run from inside of the 5-yard line, which netted a loss of a yard, Mauga stepped in front of a pass intended for Blue across the middle of the field and intercepted Hoyer near the goal line for the defense's 2nd interception of the day.
At the time, this was the best opportunity for the Texans to get points on the board.
Hoyer was once again throwing off his back foot on the play because Poe had put a nice swim move on the Texans offensive lineman who didn't have much of a chance. Poe showed the kind of feet that aren't normally associated with a guy weighing 330-plus pounds on the play.
Mauga returned it 20 yards and the Chiefs had their 3rd takeaway of the first half.
7. Marcus Peters gets tested deep and wins
He picked off 8 passes in the regular season, which tied him for the NFL lead and should have given opponents pause before testing him too many times, but on a second-and-9 pass just after the 2-minute warning in the second quarter, Hoyer needed to make a play and tested Peters as the Texans trailed 13-0.
Peters did what he does.
The rookie playmaker picked off the pass deep down the field and stymied the Texans offense once again.
Late in the game, Sean Smith joined the takeaway party and snagged the 4th interception for the defense off of Hoyer. It was a thoroughly dominating defensive performance by the Chiefs.
Hoyer finished the game 15 of 32 for 156 yards and 4 interceptions, and the Texans finished with just 226 yards of total offense.
8. Long touchdown drive in third quarter was huge
The Chiefs went 94 yards on 11 plays and took 5:23 off the clock as they were holding on to their 13-0 lead, and just a few plays after Jeremy Maclin left with a knee injury, rookie Chris Conley stepped up and caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Smith to give the Chiefs a 20-0 lead late in the third quarter.
The Chiefs only faced one third down on the drive, and the third-and-3 pass was completed to Travis Kelce for a gain of 16 yards. They even overcame a penalty on a 64-yard run from Smith that was called back. They didn't let that bother them and they continued to plug away.
After the game, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that Maclin has a knee strain but will have an MRI on Sunday.
9. Travis Kelce steps up with another big game
It was the biggest game of Kelce's season, and it came on the biggest stage.
Kelce finished the game with 8 catches for 128 yards and had 4 receptions of at least 16 yards, picking up chunk plays on what always seemed like the most important moments.
Only one time in the regular season did Kelce gain at least 100 yards receiving, and that was Week 1 against the Texans, against whom Kelce finished with 6 catches for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns.
10. Chiefs Kingdom took over NRG Stadium at the end
"The Chop" was audible for all of the members of Chiefs Kingdom that were in attendance during the final few minutes of the game.
Most of the Texans fans had already left the stadium, and all of the Chiefs fans had moved down to get as close to the field as possible.
It was a beautiful observation and one that all of the players talked about in the locker room after the game
What a day.