Kelce, Mahomes power Kansas City past Buffalo, into 6th straight AFC title game

Travis Kelce caught two touchdown passes from Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City advanced to its sixth straight AFC championship game with a 27-24 win over the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday night.

Goff throws 2 TDs as Lions beat Buccaneers to reach 1st NFC title game in 32 years

A men's football player runs past a defender while his quarterback looks on in the background.
Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce (87) makes a catch to score a touchdown against Bills cornerback Dane Jackson during a 27-24 Kansas City playoff win in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Travis Kelce caught two touchdown passes from Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City advanced to its sixth straight AFC championship game with a 27-24 win over the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday night.

Isiah Pacheco scored the go-ahead touchdown on a four-yard run 40 seconds into the fourth quarter in a game where the teams traded leads five times. Kansas City then clinched the win by running out the clock after Buffalo's Tyler Bass was wide right on a 44-yard field goal attempt with 1:43 remaining.

Defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City (13-6) will move on to face the conference's top-seeded Baltimore Ravens, who beat Houston 34-10 on Saturday.

Kansas City is 0-1 in the playoffs against the Ravens, following a 30-7 loss in the 2010 wild-card round. Baltimore defeated Kansas City 36-35 in their most recent regular-season matchup in Week 2 of the 2021 season.

Kansas City has never lost in the divisional round since Mahomes took over as starter in 2018, and Kansas City has now won five consecutive playoff games since a 27-24 overtime loss to Cincinnati in the AFC championship game during the 2021 season.

Mahomes, a two-time NFL MVP, can also check off another first on his record by winning his first road start in the playoffs — not counting Super Bowls — and improving his postseason mark to 13-3.

The Bills (12-7) had their third consecutive postseason end in the divisional round, following losses to Cincinnati last year and Kansas City in 2021. And Kansas City ended Buffalo's season for the third time in four years, including a 38-24 decision at Kansas City in the 2020 season AFC championship game.

It was another disappointing finish for a Bills team that won its fourth consecutive AFC East title, and was on a six-game roll since a 20-17 win at Kansas City on Dec. 10.

Lions set up clash with 49ers

Jared Goff threw two touchdown passes and the Detroit Lions beat the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-23 in a divisional-round playoff game on Sunday, lifting the long-suffering franchise into the NFC championship for the first time in 32 years and just the second time in franchise history.

The Lions (14-5) won two playoff games in a season for the first time since 1957, the last year they won the NFL title. They will play at San Francisco, the NFC's top seed, next Sunday for a spot in the Super Bowl — a game they have never played in.

Jahmyr Gibbs ran through a huge hole for a tiebreaking, 31-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and Goff made it a two-TD lead when he connected with Amon-Ra St. Brown for a nine-yard score with 6:22 left.

Baker Mayfield threw three TD passes for Tampa Bay (10-9), including a 16-yard toss to Mike Evans that got the Bucs within one score with 4:37 left. Detroit couldn't run out the clock on offence, giving Tampa Bay one last chance, but Mayfield's pass over the middle was intercepted by linebacker Derrick Barnes, the quarterback's second pick of the day.

The Lions kneeled to run out the clock as their fans stood, screamed and twirled white towels.

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