The Kansas City Chiefs’ first quarter against the Houston Texans on Sunday couldn’t have gone much worse. They fell into a 24-0 hole, and appeared to be on their way to a shocking upset loss just like the one-seed Ravens suffered on Saturday.
Then the second quarter happened. Patrick Mahomes woke up, resumed his MVP form, and proceeded to pound the Texans. When the dust settled, the Chiefs miraculously led 28-24 at halftime, becoming the first team in NFL history to turn a first-half deficit of 24-plus points into a halftime lead.
In the first quarter, the Chiefs’ offense had just three possessions, good for 12 plays and 41 yards. Mahomes’ normally reliable pass catchers, like Demarcus Robinson and Travis Kelce, had some costly drops, too.
In the second quarter, Mahomes decided to put his team on his back. He countered Houston’s hot start with four touchdown passes in the second quarter, good for 28 unanswered points. His four TDs in the quarter tied the postseason record, set by Washington’s Doug Williams, in 1988.
Not only did Mahomes lead the team in total yards, he had a team-high 54 yards rushing on four carries.
The Chiefs and Texans combined to score 52 points in the first half, making it the highest-scoring first half in NFL postseason history. For the game, Mahomes’ favorite target was Kelce, who finished with 134 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 13.4 yards per reception.
Mahomes didn’t exactly slow down in the second half. The Chiefs added to their lead with a pair of scoring drives in the third quarter, both of them rushing touchdowns by running back Damien Williams. Mahomes then countered a Watson touchdown drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Blake Bell that gave the Chiefs a 48-31 lead with 13:52 left in the game.
Five TD passes for @PatrickMahomes!@Chiefs lead 48-31. #ChiefsKingdom #NFLPlayoffs— NFL (@NFL) January 12, 2020
: #HOUvsKC on CBS
: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app
Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/ytW9g3rQZM pic.twitter.com/ppGTtxnJY1
The Chiefs would add a field goal to end the game on a 51-7 run. Wait, that needs some emphasis:
After going down 24-0, the Chiefs outscored the Texans fifty-one to seven. Mahomes and Chiefs’ offense were so good, the stadium ran out of fireworks:
Oh my god the Chiefs ran out of TD fireworks pic.twitter.com/Q8nMvmmkQJ— Aaron Reiss (@aaronjreiss) January 12, 2020
The ridiculous run was sparked by Mahomes’ ridiculous second quarter. After the game, Mahomes told CBS’ Tracy Wolfson that his team never lost belief that they could get the win.
“Yeah, I mean obviously we didn’t start the way we wanted to, but all we were preaching on offense, defense, special team [was], ‘Let’s do something special, everybody’s already counting us out, let’s keep fighting and just go one play at a time,’” Mahomes said. “And we found a way, and obviously it’s a huge win and now we get the AFC Championship at home.”
The reigning MVP winner from last season probably won’t win the award for a second consecutive year. But for two straight seasons now, he’s been lighting up the league, despite defenses having a whole offseason to try and figure him out. He has already defeated Tom Brady and Lamar Jackson this year. If the Chiefs’ offense keeps playing this well, it’s hard to see anyone stopping them.
Next up for Kansas City is the Tennessee Titans, who will face the Chiefs in Arrowhead for the AFC Championship and a chance at the Super Bowl. KC lost 35-32 to the Titans on the road during Week 10, so the Chiefs know that they have a challenge in front of them. Mahomes lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship last year, so you better believe he has redemption on his mind.