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February 22, 2024

Mahomes Leads Chiefs to AFC Championship Win Over Ravens

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Jan 22, 2024

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in a hard-fought AFC Championship game on Sunday, earning a trip to Super Bowl LVIII. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes overcame ankle issues to lead his team to victory, while the Ravens were left heartbroken after a late rally came up just short.

Mahomes Guts Out Win Despite Ankle Injury

Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain in the Chiefs’ Divisional Round win over the Bills last week. While he was able to play through the injury against Baltimore, it clearly impacted his mobility.

“Obviously with my ankle, I wasn’t able to do a lot of things I wanted to do,” Mahomes said after the game. “But you just have to find ways to win.”

The star quarterback mostly operated out of the pocket, unable to put much pressure on his injured ankle. But he still managed to complete 21 of 30 passes for 241 yards and 2 touchdowns.

His scoring strikes came on passes to Travis Kelce and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The veteran tight end Kelce continued his postseason excellence, hauling in 7 catches for 89 yards.

“We just want to keep this thing rolling,” Kelce said of the Chiefs’ fourth straight conference championship appearance. “We’ve got one more to go to really make this a special year.”

Jackson Nearly Leads Incredible Comeback for Ravens

On the other side, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson showed no ill effects from the knee injury that sidelined him for 5 games late in the regular season. Jackson used his trademark mobility to give the Kansas City defense fits, including a 39-yard touchdown run late in the first half.

Jackson ended up throwing for 267 yards and a touchdown while adding 42 yards on the ground. But trailing 23-13 in the fourth quarter, the former MVP engineered a masterful six minute drive that culminated in a J.K. Dobbins touchdown to make it 23-20.

After the Ravens defense forced a quick 3-and-out, Jackson had 2:14 left to drive his team into field goal range to potentially force overtime. He got Baltimore across midfield in the final minute.

But Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones sacked Jackson on back-to-back plays, forcing a turnover on downs with just seconds remaining to seal the win.

“That was just desperation time,” Jones said of the critical sack. “Somebody had to make a play. I did what I needed to do.”

A crestfallen Jackson called the loss “tough to swallow” but vowed that the Ravens would be back competing for championships next season.

What This Means Moving Forward

With the win, the Chiefs advance to face the winner of the NFC Championship between the 49ers and Lions. Kansas City will be making its third Super Bowl appearance in four years.

The AFC title also cements Mahomes as the undisputed top quarterback in the conference. The 27-year-old now has a staggering 5-1 record in conference championship games.

“Anytime you get to a Super Bowl it’s special, but to do it at Arrowhead and get to have the Lamar Hunt trophy presented to us with his family here, that’s a special moment,” Mahomes said.

For the Ravens, attention will now turn to building on a strong season and determining Jackson’s long-term future in Baltimore. The quarterback is eligible for a contract extension, but negotiations have stalled over guaranteed money. Jackson bet on himself by playing 2022 on the fifth-year option from his rookie deal and proved his worth. Now the Ravens will have a tough decision on their franchise cornerstone.

But after a season that saw Baltimore return to contender status, there is a lot to be optimistic about heading into 2023 and beyond.

“We’ve been building something great here in Baltimore the last few years,” tight end Mark Andrews said. “This locker room believes in each other and our fans believe in us. We’ll continue to grow together.”

Game Summary

1 2 3 4 Final
Chiefs 3 14 3 3 23
Ravens 7 6 0 7 20

Passing

Player Completions/Attempts Yards TD INT
P. Mahomes 21/30 241 2 0
L. Jackson 18/31 267 1 0

Rushing

Player Attempts Yards TD
I. Pacheco 15 62 0
L. Jackson 7 42 1

Receiving

Player Receptions Yards TD
T. Kelce 7 89 1
M. Andrews 8 83 0

Defense

Player Tackles Sacks INT
P. Queen 8 0 0
N. Bolton 7 0 0
C. Jones 3 2.0 0

The Chiefs now advance to Super Bowl LVIII where they will face either the 49ers or Lions. It will be Kansas City’s fifth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history as they look to capture their third championship.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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