NFL Playoffs

Hobbled Patrick Mahomes Leads Chiefs to Win Over Jaguars in Divisional Round

Mahomes returned from an ankle injury suffered in the first quarter to guide the Chiefs to a fifth straight AFC Championship Game

Patrick Mahomes

The Kansas City Chiefs are headed to the AFC Championship game...again.

And this time, they got there with Patrick Mahomes essentially playing on one leg.

A hobbled Mahomes returned from an ankle injury suffered in the first quarter to help the top-seeded Chiefs close out the No. 4 Jacksonville Jaguars in a 27-20 win in the AFC divisional round on Saturday.

The Chiefs advance to the AFC Championship game for the fifth straight year. They'll play the winner of the No. 2 Buffalo Bills and No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals next weekend.

Mahomes completed 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns. He helped the Chiefs open the scoring by connecting with Travis Kelce on four passes during Kansas City's 12-play opening drive, including an eight-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead with 7:56 remaining in the first quarter.

After the Jaguars tied the score on Trevor Lawrence's 10-yard touchdown pass to Christian Kirk, Mahomes suffered an ankle injury when he was hit while releasing the ball by Arden Key, who landed on Mahomes right leg, causing it to bend awkwardly. Mahomes initially limped to the sideline before running back out onto the field for the next snap.

Mahomes was examined by the medical staff after the first quarter and had his ankle retaped. He returned to finish the drive, which ended with a 50-yard field goal by Harrison Butker early in the second quarter for a 10-7 Chiefs lead.

Mahomes angrily threw his jacket to the ground before going back into the locker room.

Mahomes returned to the sidelines with around eight minutes remaining in the half and was ruled questionable to return

The 37-year-old Henne, former starting quarterback for the Jaguars and Miami Dolphins, took over on the next Chiefs drive, which began at their own two-yard line. He completed five of seven passes during a 12-play, 98-yard drive that was highlighted by a 39-yard run by Isiah Pacheco to bring the Chiefs to the Jags' four-yard line. Henne soon found Kelce for a one-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 17-7.

Jaguars kicker Riley Patterson converted a 41-yard field goal with 27 seconds remaining in the half to cut the Kansas City lead to 17-10 at the break.

Mahomes returned for the opening drive of the second half. He scrambled for four yards to give the Chiefs a first down but was limping after. The Chiefs and Jaguars each punted on their first two possessions of the third quarter. Butker hit another 50-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the third to increase the Kansas City lead to 20-10.

The Jaguars responded with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that was capped with a four-yard touchdown run by Travis Etienne to pull Jacksonville within 20-17 with 11:49 remaining.

The Chiefs marched right back down field, with Kadarius Toney's 14-yard run setting up Mahomes' six-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 27-17 advantage.

The Jaguars got back into the red zone but Jamal Agnew fumbled after a reception on first down, giving the ball back to the Chiefs at the three-yard line. The Jaguars defense forced a quick three-and-out, but Lawrence was intercepted by Jaylen Watson on a deep pass down the sideline as the Chiefs took over at their own 16 with 3:48 left.

The Jaguars got the ball back and made it a one-possession game on Patterson’s 48-yard field goal with 25 seconds left. The ensuing onside kick was then recovered by Toney, sealing the win for Kansas City.

Kelce finished with 14 catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns and Pacheco had 12 carries for 95 yards to lead the Chiefs back to the AFC Championship game.

If the Bills defeat the Bengals on Sunday, they’ll face the Chiefs at the neutral site of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. If the Bengals upset the Bills, it will set up a rematch of last year's AFC title game in Kansas City.

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