Advertisement

Mahomes-less Chiefs hold off Browns, advance to AFC title game

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 21 of 30 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game due to a concussion. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 21 of 30 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game due to a concussion. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Playing without star quarterback Patrick Mahomes for most of the second half, the Kansas City Chiefs held off the Cleveland Browns to reach the AFC Championship Game for the third consecutive season.

Mahomes exited in the third quarter with a concussion and didn't return to the game. The Chiefs built a 19-3 lead at halftime and did just enough in the second half without Mahomes to earn a 22-17 win over the Browns on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

Advertisement

Backup quarterback Chad Henne replaced Mahomes and delivered late in the fourth quarter to keep the Chiefs' Super Bowl hopes alive. He had a long third-down scramble and completed a fourth-down pass to Tyreek Hill with under two minutes left that allowed Kansas City to run out the clock.

The defending champion Chiefs will host the Buffalo Bills next Sunday in the AFC title game. Kansas City beat the Bills 26-17 in Week 6 in Buffalo.

RELATED Buffalo Bills beat Baltimore Ravens, return to AFC title game

"#HenneThingIsPossible," Mahomes wrote on social media after the Chiefs' win Sunday.

Advertisement

Mahomes completed 21 of 30 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown before leaving due to the head injury. He added three carries for 14 yards and a rushing score.

Henne was 6 of 8 passing in relief of Mahomes, recording 66 yards and an interception.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 23 of his 37 pass attempts for 204 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Nick Chubb had 13 carries for 69 yards, while Kareem Hunt tallied 32 yards and a touchdown on six carries.

"It stings," Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said. "We came here to win and didn't get the job done. There is a finality to that."

The Browns -- coming off their first playoff win since the 1994-95 season -- again fell short of a deep playoff run. Cleveland hasn't won two postseason games in a single season since 1950.

RELATED Cleveland Browns stun Pittsburgh Steelers for first playoff win since 1995

This week in the National Football League

The Cleveland Browns won the AFC Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 in a nearly empty Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines