Kelce scores twice and Chiefs beat Bills 27-24 to advance to face Ravens in AFC championship
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Travis Kelce caught two touchdown passes from Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs advanced to their sixth straight AFC championship game with a 27-24 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night.
Isiah Pacheco scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 4-yard run 40 seconds into the fourth quarter in a game the teams traded leads five times. The Chiefs 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.
The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs (13-6) move on to Baltimore to face Lamar Jackson and the conference’s top-seeded Ravens, who beat Houston 34-10 on Saturday.
“There’s no weakness there,” Mahomes said of the Ravens. “It’s going to take our best effort. Defense, offense, special teams, they do it all. It’s always a great challenge and that stadium’s going to be rocking, so we’re excited for the challenge.”
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 the Chiefs have 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.
“First of all, this is a great environment, man,” Mahomes said of Buffalo. “It really is. We did hear it all week, man, about playing a road game, and we’re here to prove a point and show that we can play anywhere.”
The Bills (12-7) had their third consecutive postseason end in the divisional round, following losses to Cincinnati last year and the Chiefs in 2021. And the Chiefs 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.
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Buffalo Bills wide receiver Khalil Shakir (10) reacts after making a touchdown catch against the Kansas City Chiefs during the third quarter of an NFL AFC division playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates with tight end Blake Bell (81) after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter of an NFL AFC division playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter of an NFL AFC division playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)