The Chiefs being in the AFC Championship game would typically come as no surprise, as they entered Sunday as more than a touchdown favorite against the Browns and opened up a 19-3 lead in the first half.
However, after Cleveland pulled to within five points early in the fourth quarter after Patrick Mahomes had been ruled out for the rest of the game with a concussion, things seemed very much trending in the direction of the Browns — particularly after backup Chad Henne threw a rather disastrous interception in the end zone with eight minutes to play. However, the Chiefs defense, which was terrific for much of the game, managed to get the stop the team desperately needed, and gave Chad Henne the football back with four minutes to play and the Browns having just one timeout (thanks to very questionable choices from head coach Kevin Stefanski).
Henne, who had some bright spots and the low of the interception, did what he needed to do against a Cleveland defense that was selling out against the run. Andy Reid trusted his veteran backup to throw the ball in key spots and even on a 3rd-and-14 when the world expected a draw or screen to simply chew up clock and then punt the ball. Instead, Henne was able to take off and get it to 4th and inches on a wild scramble absolutely no one saw coming, and on 4th and inches, he found Tyreek Hill on a quick out for the first down to put the game on ice.
— NFL Brasil (@NFLBrasil) January 17, 2021
Mahomes never returned to the field, but was watching from the locker room or wherever he had been taken after being diagnosed with a concussion, and the superstar QB’s reaction to seeing his backup will Kansas City to the AFC Championship was perfect.
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) January 17, 2021
Mahomes’ status for next week will be determined by how he progresses through the league’s protocol this coming week, but the final drive by the Chiefs will only bolster their belief that, even without their all-everything quarterback they can have a chance against the Bills even with Henne under center.