The Kansas City Chiefs developed a defense and signed a backup quarterback that were good enough to protect a win.
Now, are they good enough to win by themselves?
The Chiefs, who lost Patrick Mahomes to a concussion in the 3rd quarter of Sunday’s divisional-round win over Cleveland, might need to learn with their hopes of back-to-back AFC titles and a Super Bowl repeat on the line.
CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
Mahomes remained in the league’s concussion protocol Monday and coach Andy Reid declined to hypothesize on when he’ll be cleared.
” Since of the protocol it’s a no-brainer,” Reid discussed of the decision, which rests not in his hands however those of team physicians and outside specialists. “You don’t even have to think about it. You just go forward. You have a response if he’s there and if he’s not there. I can’t tell you a response from a medical perspective. I just don’t understand.”
If Mahomes is unable to play, 35- year-old journeyman Chad Henne would begin versus Buffalo in Sunday’s AFC title video game.
Henne took control of when Mahomes sustained the concussion with the Chiefs leading 19-10, and he finished the drive by leading Kansas City to a field goal. More remarkable will be the two plays he made in the fourth quarter, when the Chiefs were attempting to hold onto a 22-17 lead and run out the clock on the win.
On third-and-14 in his own territory, Henne scrambled to his left and discovered some open area, then compromised his body by diving for the first-down marker. Henne turned up simply short, and when Reid chose to go all out instead of punt, the coach put the game in his hands by calling a short pass play to Tyreek Hill that provided Kansas City a first down.
” I thought Chad played with great composure, particularly for that circumstance,” Reid said, “and to come down to that last series, that big run was gravy. He cleaned off those old legs, got them moving a bit, turned up a hair short, came back and made a great throw to Tyreek to clinch it.”
That toss would not have been possible without a big stand by the Kansas City defense.
After allowing the Browns to transform their own 4th down with 5: 30 to go, they packed Nick Chubb and required Baker Mayfield to toss an incompletion. And when they dealt with Kareem Hunt for a loss on the occurring third-down pass play, the Browns were forced to punt with 4: 23 left in the game.
They never ever got another chance with the ball.
” They have trust in each other to get that done,” Reid said. “I ‘d rather not have it need to be that way, bigger leads, but the bottom line is you try to win the football game, and you do it the very best method you can versus the very best competition in this league. Sometimes you have to reach down, reach a little much deeper, and really, whatever the term is, to act and use that intestinal perseverance to get you over the hump.”
CLICK ON THIS LINK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The pass game kept humming even when Mahomes left the game. Henne was 6 of 8 for 66 backyards, though he did make a bad choice on an interception in the end zone. It assists to have tight end Travis Kelce (8 catches, 109 lawns and a TD) and Tyreek Hill (eight catches, 110 yards and the video game’s crucial first down) assisting him out.
WHAT REQUIRES ASSISTANCE
The Chiefs will need to get more pressure on the Bills’ Josh Allen than they did on Mayfield, who delighted in standing tall in a comfortable pocket most of the game. The only sack that Kansas City got came from L’Jarius Sneed on a cornerback blitz.
The Chiefs intended to have Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the first time given that he sustained a high-ankle sprain in Week 15, however he was unable to go. Darrel Williams got the slack, bring 13 times for 78 lawns versus a stout Browns front.
Harrison Butker got blended reviews for his kicking performance. He missed out on an extra point on the Chiefs’ first goal, then missed out on a chip-shot field goal later in the video game– four points that would have taken a lot of the pressure off the final minutes. But he also set a franchise playoff record by hitting a 50- yarder right before halftime.
Mahomes wasn’t the only gamer to sustain a concussion Sunday. Leading cornerback Bashaud Breeland left the game in the 2nd half, and with backup Rashad Fenton out with an ankle injury, the Chiefs’ depth is limited in the protective backfield.
16– Reid moved into a tie with Chuck Noll for the fifth-most postseason wins by a coach in NFL history. 2 more wins would move him past Joe Gibbs for fourth place, leaving only Costs Belichick, Tom Landry and Don Shula ahead of him.
The Chiefs have Tuesday off prior to returning to practice Wednesday, at which point they hope to have a clearer picture of whether Mahomes will be offered against Buffalo on Sunday.