New England collapse boosts Chiefs' Super Bowl hopes
Entering the final week of the NFL's regular season Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs needed a miracle in order to vault to the No. 2 seed. and receive a coveted first-round playoff bye.
Two things needed to happen for this scenario to become reality. The Chiefs needed to handle business at home against the Los AngelesChargers, and the Miami Dolphins, 16.5 point underdogs, needed to defeat the New England Patriots in Foxborough
With the games taking place simultaneously, the Chiefs broke open a close contest on the strength of a pair of Damien Williams touchdown runs, including an 84 yard romp late in the third quarter, en route to a 31-21 victory.
Late in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs-Chargers clash CBS play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan unexpectedly delivered a dramatic account of the Patriots-Dolphins game.
Trailing 24-20 late in the fourth quarter, journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick engineered a 13-play, 75 yard drive, punctuated by a 5-yard TD toss to tight end Mike Gesicki with 24 seconds remaining in regulation.
Trailing 27-24, and with all three timeouts remaining, NE quarterback Tom Brady failed to get the Patriots into field goal range prior to time expiring. The mammoth upset allowed the Chiefs to leapfrog from the AFC's No. 3 seed to the No. 2 seed, while relegating New England to Wild Card weekend for the first time since 2009.
The reversal of fortune could set up a rematch of last year's AFC championship game showdown between KC and NE at Arrowhead — if the Patriots are able to derail the red-hot Tennessee Titans on Wild Card Saturday. If Tennessee prevails, the Chiefs will then get the winner of the Texans vs. Bills matchup.
If the Chiefs do win their divisional playoff game, slated for 2:05 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, it remains a good possibility they will have to get past the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens on the road to advance to Super Bowl 54 in Miami.
That will be no easy task as the 14-2, Lamar Jackson-led Ravens are considered a heavy favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
The two squads did match up in Week 3 in Kansas City, with the Chiefs eking out a 33-28 victory. The Ravens were upended the following week by the lowly Cleveland Browns, but have since reeled off 12 consecutive victories.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, concluded 12-4 overall and AFC West champs for a second consecutive season.
See a future edition for more on the Kansas City Chiefs