The Kansas City Chiefs spotted the Texans a 24-0 second quarter lead, then scored touchdowns on their next seven series to beat the Texans 51-31 at Kansas City on Sunday afternoon in an AFC Divisional playoff game.
The Chiefs will host the Tennessee Titans next Sunday in the American Football Conference Championship game.
For the first 20 minutes of the game, the Texans were almost perfect. On their first series, Deshaun Watson threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills for the Texans first score. On the Chiefs ensuing possession, Barkevious Mingo blocked the Chiefs’ punt and Lonnie Johnson Jr. recovered the ball and scored on a 10-yard run. Then with 1:21 to go in the first quarter, Watson threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Darren Fells to give the Texans a 21-0 first quarter lead, the most points scored by the Texans in the first quarter in the history of the franchise. It also gave the Texans’ fans dreams of hosting the American Conference Championship next Sunday.
Those dreams were painfully demolished by Patrick Mahomes as he threw four touchdown passes in 10 minutes to give the Chiefs a 28-24 halftime lead.
The Texans did their part to help the Chiefs as they gave up a 58-yard kickoff return on the Chiefs’ first scoring drive. On the Chiefs’ second scoring drive, the Texans attempted a fake punt on their own 33 yard line which the Chiefs stopped. After the Chiefs scored their second touchdown, the Texans fumbled the kickoff, giving the ball back to the Chiefs on the Texans 6 yard line. Then with just under three minutes to go in the half, the Texans pinned the Chiefs’ back on their own 10 yard line. But Mahomes needed just two minutes to drive the length of the field and take the lead at halftime 28-24.
The Chiefs continued their dominance in the third quarter as they drove 85 yards on their first series, and 77 yards on their second series to increase their lead to 41-24.
For the game, Mahomes completed 23 of 35 passes for 321 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 53 yards on 7 carries.
“Obviously we didn’t start the way we wanted to. We just kept saying let’s do something special. Everyone had counted us out, so we just kept fighting one play at a time. This is a huge win and now we get the AFC championship game at home,” Mahomes said.
The Texans could not cover Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce as he caught 10 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns.
“Kelce was a monster today. The way he was fighting through a hamstring injury and still making plays all day long. He just took the opportunity to make plays,” Mahomes said.
For the Texans, Watson completed 31 of 52 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns. DeAndre Hopkins caught nine passes for 118 yards.
“I don’t have much to say. These guys gave great effort this year, but we just didn’t do enough in the end. We have to coach better. We didn’t do enough to put our guys in a position to make plays. We definitely have to do a better job of coaching. This is a tough loss. I feel bad for the players,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said. “We just have to go back and re-group, work hard in the off-season and show up next year and battle again. Every year is different. I feel like we did some good things this year, but it just wasn’t enough.”
The Texans are now 52-44 in O’Brien’s six seasons, and 2-4 in the playoffs. The team has yet to make it to the AFC championship game.
11:59: Texans: Kenny Stills 54-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson. Ka’imi Fairbairn kick.
Drive: 6 plays, 73 yards, 3:01
Key play: Will Fuller 9-yard pass from Watson on third down and 8.
Texans 7, Chiefs 0
10:06: Texans: Lonnie Johnson Jr. 10-yard touchdown run from blocked punt. Fairbairn kick.
Key play: Barkevious Mingo blocked the Kansas City punt.
Texans 14, Chiefs 0
1:21: Texans: Darren Fells 4-yard touchdown pass from Watson. Fairbairn kick.
Drive: 2 plays, 6 yards, 0:48.
Key play: Keion Cross recovered a fumbled Kansas City punt return at the Chiefs’ 6 yard line.
Texans 21, Chiefs 0
10:54: Texans: Fairbairn 31-yard field goal.
Drive: 9 plays, 38 yards, 4:51.
Key play: DeAndre Hopkins caught a 13-yard pass from Watson on third down and 11 to keep the drive going.
Texans 24, Chiefs 0
9:55: Chiefs: Damien Williams 17-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes. Harrison Butker kick.
Drive: 2 plays, 42 yards, 0:59.
Key play: Mecole Hardmon returned a kickoff 58 yards to the Houston 42 yard line.
Texans 24, Chiefs 7
8:05: Chiefs: Travis Kelce 5-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes. Butker kick.
Drive: 3 plays, 33 yards, 0:23.
Key play: Daniel Sorenson tackled Justin Reid short of a first down on a fake punt attempt at the Texans 33 yard line.
Texans 24, Chiefs 14
6:31: Chiefs: Kelce 6-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes. Butker kick.
Drive: 3-plays, 6 yards, 1:25.
Key play: Ben Niemann caused a fumble at the Houston 24 on the Texans kickoff return, and Darwin Thompson returned it to the Houston 6 yard line.
Texans 24, Chiefs 21
0:44: Chiefs: Kelce 5-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes. Butker kick.
Drive: 8 plays, 90 yards, 2:03.
Key play: Kelce caught a 19-yard pass on second down and 15 to keep the drive going.
Chiefs 28, Texans 24.
11:24: Chiefs: Williams 1-yard touchdown run. Kick failed.
Drive: 7 plays, 85 yards, 3:36.
Key play: Sammy Watson caught a 48-yard pass from Mahomes to the Houston 26 yard line.
Chiefs 34, Texans 24
4:39: Chiefs: Williams 5-yard touchdown run. Butker kick.
Drive: 6 plays, 77 yards, 3:55.
Key play: Three penalties on the Texans defense during the drive.
Chiefs 41 Texans 24
0:24: Texans: Watson 5-yard touchdown run. Fairbairn kick.
Drive: 9 plays, 75 yards, 4:15.
Key play: Fuller caught a 39-yard pass from Watson to the Kansas City 5 yard line.
Chiefs 41, Texans 31
13:56: Chiefs: Blake Bell 8-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes. Butker kick.
Drive: 4 plays, 72 yards, 1:32.
Key play: Watkins caught a 28-yard pass from Mahomes to the Houston 8 yard line.
Chiefs 48, Texans 31
8:10: Chiefs: Butker 24-yard field goal.
Drive: 7 plays, 52 yards, 3:31.
Key play: Williams 26-yard run to the Houston 14 yard line.
Chiefs 51, Texans 31