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In an incredible overtime win, the Kansas City Chiefs stun the Buffalo Bills and advance to AFC title game

Colin E. Braley
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates with fans as he walks off the field after an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs won 42-36 in overtime.

As the clock wound down to 13 seconds on one of the most exciting games in Chiefs history, head coach Andy Reid said he told quarterback Patrick Mahomes, "When it's grim, be the grim reaper, and go get it."

After a stunning 42-36 overtime win over the Buffalo Bills Sunday night in the NFL Divisional Playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs will make their fourth straight trip to the AFC Championship and find themselves one victory away from reaching their third straight Super Bowl.

The AFC title game will pit the Chiefs against the Cincinnati Bengals — and like the Bills — another team that handed the Chiefs a regular-season loss. It’ll take take place next Sunday at 2:05 p.m. CST, once again at Arrowhead.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw the game-winning pass to tight end extraordinaire Travis Kelce, who also caught the winning pass in the last overtime game the Chiefs played in Los Angeles on Dec. 16.

Charlie Riedel
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates with teammates after catching an 8-yard touchdown pass during overtime in an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs won 42-36.

A 49-yard field goal by Harrison Butker, who had missed a crucial extra-point attempt earlier in the game, forced the overtime when he kicked it as time ran out in regulation. In 13 seconds, Mahomes led the Chiefs to field goal range after the Bills took the lead, 36-33.

“The one thing I love about this team, it didn’t flinch,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.

The game ended to the delight of mother-daughter Chiefs fans Pat and Natalie Sampson. Pat Sampson, a season ticket holder since 1988, and Natalie attended the Oct. 10 game and left Arrowhead early after the Bills scored 17 points in the second quarter to grab a 24-10 lead.

“That was sad,” said Natalie Sampson.

Chiefs Fans at AFC Divisional
Greg Echlin
Chiefs fan Natalie Simpson (second from left) started attending games with her mom, Pat Sampson (far left), as far back as she can remember. Their group attended the Sunday night game with better hopes after the disheartening loss to the Bills on Oct. 10.

They returned Sunday night with hopes of enjoying the same feelings they did from the Chiefs’ victory over the Bills in the AFC Championship game last year and left seeing one of the most thrilling games in Chiefs history.

“That was the best feelings, but beating the Bills. Period. It’s a good feeling,” said Natalie Sampson before the game. She felt even better after about this one when it ended.

A turnaround player

When the Bills beat the Chiefs, 38-20, in October, the Chiefs were still figuring things out defensively and Melvin Ingram, who doubles as a linebacker and defensive end, had not arrived yet in Kansas City. The Chiefs obtained Ingram, a ten-year veteran, from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 2.

While Ingram clearly made an impact on the Chiefs defense, he wouldn’t detail his hopes beyond this season. But when asked last week about his desire to remain part of the Chiefs, Ingram responded, “I’ve definitely got a lot of desire, but that’s looking too far ahead in the future.”

Chiefs Broncos Football
Andrew Mather/AP
The Chiefs have won eight of nine games since Ingram joined them.

The only loss the Chiefs have suffered since the Ingram acquisition was the Jan. 2 setback at Cincinnati, which essentially wiped out the Chiefs’ shot at a No. 1 seeding in the AFC.

Next: AFC Championship game

Arrowhead will host the next game between the Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals. And fans are more than ready for it after the incredible victory against the Bills.

Sunday night's walk-off touchdown set off pandemonium in the stadium with the Chiefs celebrating in the corner of the end zone where Kelce made his catch while the Bills walked off dejectedly.

Chiefs fans were already fired up before the kickoff with the NFC Divisional Playoff being shown on the big stadium videoboard. The biggest pregame cheer occurred when the Rams connected on a game-winning field goal to knock the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of the playoffs and end the season of the team that beat the Chiefs in last year’s Super Bowl.

Sports have an economic and social impact on our community and, as a sports reporter, I go beyond the scores and statistics. I also bring the human element to the sports figures who have a hand in shaping the future of not only their respective teams but our town. Reach me at gregechlin@aol.com.
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