Travis Kelce, defense lead Chiefs past Ravens into Super Bowl LVIII

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates after scoring against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Photo by David Tulis/UPI
1 of 5 | Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates after scoring against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The Kansas City Chiefs used two fourth-quarter turnovers to fend off Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game, advancing to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years Sunday in Baltimore.

The Chiefs allowed Jackson to complete just 54.1% of his throws in the 17-10 victory at M&T Bank Stadium. The NFL MVP frontrunner threw one score, but also fumbled and threw a late interception.


Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 76.9% of his throws for 241 yards. He found star tight end Travis Kelce 11 times for 116 yards and a touchdown.

"It's been a heck of a year," Mahomes said on the CBS broadcast. "We're not done yet. But this is the way to get there."


The Chiefs and Ravens offenses ran smoothly after the opening whistle, but both defenses strengthened in the second half. Mahomes and the Chiefs, who had a 15-minute edge in time of possession, consistently picked up first downs to keep Jackson and the Ravens offense on the sideline.

"I'm so proud of these guys," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "That defense was dirty-tough today."

The Chiefs took the lead when Mahomes hit Kelce with a back-shoulder throw in the right side of the end zone about 8 minutes into the game.

Jackson responded on the next drive. The Ravens quarterback bought time with his legs, scrambling around the pocket and away from defenders before firing a 30-yard touchdown toss to Zay Flowers.

Mahomes and the Chiefs then chewed up nine minutes of clock with an 18-play drive. They ended that possession with a 2-yard rushing score from running back Isiah Pacheco to take a one-score lead 4 minutes into the second quarter.

Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu seized more momentum less than 2 minutes later when he swatted the ball out of Jackson's hands for a fumble on the next drive.


Fellow pass rusher George Karlaftis recovered the loose ball, but the Chiefs did not immediately score points to capitalize on that turnover. They later added to their lead on a 52-yard Harrison Butker field goal at the end of the first half and led 17-7 at the break.

The Ravens nearly tightened the score several times down the stretch, but the Chiefs defense held on to the advantage by taking advantage of their generous foes.

Jackson orchestrated a long drive, which started late in the third quarter and into the fourth. He ended that possession with an 8-yard pass to Flowers.

The rookie wide receiver dove for the end zone at the end of the play, but cornerback L'Jarius Sneed was able to knock the ball out of his hands just before he could reach the goal line. Cornerback Trent McDuffie then jumped on the ball for a touchback.

The Ravens defense forced a Chiefs punt on the next possession. Jackson proceeded to lead the Ravens offense back into Chiefs territory. He then took a 2nd-and-10 snap from the 25-yard line on the final sequence of that possession. He stepped back in the pocket and threw a pass into triple coverage.


Chiefs defensive back Deon Bush intercepted the throw, but the Ravens defense was able to get the ball back by forcing another punt on the next possession.

Kicker Justin Tucker finally cut into the deficit with a 43-yard field goal with 2:38 remaining, but the Ravens never got the ball back. Mahomes and the Chiefs chewed up the remaining 2:34 of game clock to preserve the victory.

"Today we weren't good enough to win the game," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Congrats to the Chiefs. They won the game, but it doesn't take anything away from what we did [this season]."

The Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers -- who beat the Detroit Lions in Sunday night's NFC title game -- in Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas.

"We've got a lot of guys on this team that know how to win," Mahomes said. "When the playoffs come around, we are going to make it happen."

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