Kansas City Chiefs Overcome 24-Point Deficit, Advance to AFC Championship

What started out as the Houston Texans’ show in the first quarter quickly became the Kansas City Chiefs’ show by the end of the second quarter. As the Chiefs overcame the 24-0 hole they found themselves in going into the second quarter, they ended up scoring 41 unanswered points. This is the 11th time such a feat has occurred in a playoff game, and the 2002 Jets were the last team to accomplish this feat.

In the first quarter, the Chiefs appeared to not be able to catch a pass or keep the Texans from driving down the field and scoring. Kansas City dropped four passes, and the coverage by the defense on the Texans’ first touchdown was a prime example of blown coverage. Throw in a blocked punt and a fumble by Tyreek Hill on a punt return, and you have a recipe for what was a disastrous opening quarter. The Texans appeared to have complete control of the game and its outcome. Despite the panic fans may have felt, the Chiefs kept doing what they do best, which was playing their game and not trying to force anything to happen.

With about 11 minutes left in the second quarter, something appeared to click for the Chiefs’ offense and defense. It is almost as if a switch was flipped somewhere in Arrowhead Stadium that had accidentally been turned off. By the end of the first half, the Chiefs held a 28-24 lead over the Texans and they never relinquished the lead.

They ended up outscoring the Texans, 51-7, over the final three quarters.

The Chiefs scored touchdowns on seven consecutive drives and a field goal on the eighth. If you believe that every comeback like this has a spark, Mecole Hardman was the guy for the job. His kickoff return to near-midfield helped set up the Chiefs’ first touchdown of the game. Travis Kelce added to the fire with scoring three of those four touchdowns in the second quarter despite a knee injury.

Patrick Mahomes completed 23 of 35 passes for 321 yards; keep in mind that six of his 12 incomplete passes were dropped by the intended target. With his performance, Mahomes became only the second quarterback to throw for four touchdowns in a single quarter in the postseason. The first was Doug Williams in Super Bowl XXII.


  1. The Chiefs were lucky they have the players with the skills that allowed them to stage this comeback.
  2. The Chiefs need to learn from the mistakes of the first quarter and not let the Tennessee Titans grab such a lead next week in the AFC Championship game.
  3. Daniel Sorensen was one of the defensive players able to step up in Juan Thornhill’s absence. He made several key plays, such as stopping the fake punt by the Texans, and he forced a fumble on the Texans’ next possession, both of which led to touchdowns for Kansas City.
  4. Mahomes reminded everyone why he was the MVP last year.

A Few Records Broken

While unintentional, during their comeback, the Chiefs and a few of their players smashed records.

  • Damien Williams’ fourth career postseason rushing touchdown set the franchise record for most career postseason rushing touchdowns.
  • The 24-point comeback is tied for the fourth-largest by any team in postseason history.
  • They are the first team to score a touchdown on seven consecutive drives in a postseason game.
  • The Chiefs are the first team to score 50 points in a postseason game after going scoreless in the first quarter.

With the AFC Championship on the line, the Chiefs will learn from Sunday’s game and keep rolling into the game next week against the Titans. Maybe they will be able to smash more records along the way.

Final Score: Chiefs 51, Texans 31

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