Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The Kansas City Chiefs punched their ticket to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years with a 35-24 win over the Tennessee Titans in Sunday's AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium.
A year after an overtime home loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game, Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes accounted for four touchdowns to end Kansas City's Super Bowl drought. The 50-year stretch was the longest between two Super Bowl appearances for a single team in NFL history.
Mahomes excelled in the passing game, but it was his superb 27-yard touchdown run late in the first half that gave the Chiefs their first lead and momentum. From that point, Kansas City contained Titans star running back Derrick Henry and limited Tennessee to only seven points in the second half.
The Titans grabbed an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter after Greg Joseph's 30-yard field goal and a 4-yard touchdown run by Henry. Mahomes connected with wide receiver Tyreek Hill for an 8-yard touchdown with 46 seconds left in the first frame to make it 10-7.
Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith fooled the Chiefs' defense with a play-action pass to lineman Dennis Kelly midway through the second quarter. Tannehill faked a handoff to Henry and found Kelly in the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown, giving the Titans a 17-7 lead.
Mahomes and the Chiefs went on to score 28 unanswered points, capped by a 60-yard touchdown catch by Sammy Watkins halfway through the fourth quarter. Anthony Firkser hauled in a 22-yard pass from Tannehill to cut the Titans' deficit to 35-24, but Tennessee was unable to mount another scoring drive.
Tannehill was 21-of-31 passing for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Henry recorded 19 carries for 69 yards and one rushing score.
Mahomes completed 23-of-35 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns. He added eight carries for 53 yards and one rushing touchdown.
Chiefs tailback Damien Williams had 17 carries for 45 yards and one touchdown. Watkins had seven receptions for 114 yards and one score, and Hill finished with five catches for 67 yards and two receiving touchdowns.