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Chiefs heading back to Super Bowl after beating Ravens in AFC Championship Game

The Kansas City Chiefs will have a chance to defend their Super Bowl title from last season after defeating the Baltimore Ravens, 17-10, in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. 

The Chiefs will take on the winner of the NFC Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas in two weeks.

This is the fourth time in the last five seasons the Chiefs have reached the Super Bowl as the dynasty conversation continues to get stronger around this Andy Reid-coached team.

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This game began with a back-and-forth shootout after the Chiefs gave the Ravens the ball to start. After forcing a three-and-out, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense got to work with a drive lasting 5:45 minutes, and the result was an incredible touchdown for Travis Kelce. 

Kelce, on his way to breaking Jerry Rice’s NFL record for the most receptions in postseason history, converted a 4th-and-2 for Kansas City before Mahomes launched a ball to his tight end, who snagged it with one arm for the first touchdown of the game.

Kelce finished with 11 catches on 11 targets for 116 yards and his touchdown to lead the Chiefs in the pass game.

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But Lamar Jackson knew he needed to provide his own MVP magic to go against Mahomes, and he did so on the ensuing drive. 

After rushing for a first down on 4th-and-short, and Gus Edwards plunged farther into Kansas City territory, the Ravens wanted to take a shot on 1st-and-10 from the 30-yard line. It looked as though Kansas City’s George Karlaftis was going to sack Jackson, who managed to elude Karlaftis, stepped farther back from the line of scrimmage and launched a ball to rookie receiver Zay Flowers, who hauled it in for the 30-yard touchdown to tie the game. 

When the Chiefs got the ball back, they lasted even longer, this time keeping the ball in their possession for 9:02 with a touchdown capping another fantastic drive.

It was the Chiefs’ bulldozing back, Isiah Pacheco, punching his way into the end zone from two yards out.

With the Chiefs retaking the lead, things had the opportunity to get out of hand for the Ravens when Jackson was stripped from behind and the ball was recovered by Karlaftis on Baltimore’s 33-yard line. However, the Chiefs couldn’t convert on a 4th-and-1 run by Pacheco on Baltimore’s 13-yard line.

Both offenses began to stall until the end of the half when the Chiefs were driving yet again. They would’ve loved to find the end zone for the third time in the half, and it looked like they did on 3rd-and-14 when Rashee Rice took a screen 33 yards into the end zone. But Trey Smith was called for his second hold in a row.

Harrison Butker hit a 52-yard field goal to put Kansas City up, 17-7, heading into the locker room at halftime.

It was just the start the Chiefs wanted on the road, and they knew they could pull farther away in the second half with a scoring drive to start things. Instead, the second half turned into a defensive clinic on both sidelines.

Both teams couldn’t get a thing going on offense as both defensive coordinators were calling perfect blitzes that disrupted Mahomes and Jackson. But the latter finally got something going when he found Flowers deep down the left sideline wide open for a 54-yard gain.

That was until Flowers was called for taunting after clearly standing over L’Jarius Sneed, pushing the ball back 15 yards from the spot. Still, Jackson kept finding Flowers to move the ball into the red zone.

On 2nd-and-8 from Kansas City’s nine-yard line, Flowers was the target yet again, and he tried diving into the end zone for his second score of the day. It looked like he was going to get it, too, but Sneed came flying in and punched the ball out of Flowers’ hands just before he crossed the goal line.

Trent McDuffie fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchback, and Kansas City kept their lead at 10.

Baltimore’s defense continued to give Jackson and the offense a chance, though, as they forced another Kansas City punt. But after going from their own one-yard line to the Chiefs’ 25-yard line, Jackson made a huge mistake by trying to throw a touchdown to Isaiah Likely. Instead, the ball was intercepted by Deon Bush with 6:45 left in the game.

Jackson would get the ball back and got enough to generate a Justin Tucker field goal to cut the lead to seven.

However, Mahomes found Marquez Valdes-Scantling on 3rd-and-long on the ensuing drive for 32 yards to ice the victory. 

Mahomes finished the game 30-for-39 for 241 yards with a touchdown and 15 rushing yards. He also found Rice eight times for 46 yards. Pacheco led the run game with 68 yards on 24 carries.

For the Ravens, Jackson was 20-for-37 for 272 yards with one touchdown and one interception while rushing for 54 yards to lead Baltimore. Flowers had five catches for 115 yards.

Source – https://www.foxnews.com/sports/chiefs-heading-back-super-bowl-beating-ravens-afc-championship-game