KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Swing Update) – In the Kansas City Chiefs' locker room, no one is more familiar with the heartbreaking story of the franchise playoffs than Xavier Williams, who grew up a short drive from Arrowhead Stadium.
He was a toddler when his hometown team lost the AFC title in January 1994, the last time they were about to play in the Super Bowl . He endured the disappointments of his childhood and playoff losses while playing the lead role in high school and northern Iowa.
So, when the Chiefs finally managed to get their ticket for the CAF championship game with a 31-13 win against the Colts of Indianapolis on Saturday, there was no one better to put in perspective. .
"I think if you're not here yet, you do not know," Williams said. "People have been waiting for a long time. You could feel how electrifying the city was from the beginning of the season to tonight. A snow storm is happening and the crowd is empty. It's something. "
The leaders certainly gave them a reason to brave the weather.
Patrick Mahomes rushed for 278 yards as he ran for a touchdown. Damien Williams had 129 yards and a goal against a Colts defense that had not allowed a 100-yard run all season. Tyreek Hill also had a touchdown while Travis Kelce was over 100 yards.
The Chiefs' defense, which was so disconcerted all season, ended Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis offense by helping Kansas City win its first playoff victory over the Colts in five tries.
"Everyone is talking about playing for the local team," Williams said. "I mean, it's a great opportunity we have. And now we have an even bigger opportunity, a chance to bring a Super Bowl to your hometown. That's what dreams are made of. "
On the way: the Los Angeles Charger, who's separated from Kansas City in the regular season with every winning team on the road, or the New England Patriots, who rallied in the last seconds to beat the Chiefs in a strike at 43-40 Gillette Stadium at week 6.
The chiefs do not care who deserves the right to visit them on Sunday.
"We do not care about who we are going against. We can fight against brick walls and find a way to beat them, "said Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones. "We are at the top at the right time."
The Colts thought they were there too.
They started 1-5 before winning nine wins in 10 games to reach the playoffs. They then joined the 2015 Chiefs as the only teams in NFL history to start so dreadfully and win a playoff game, defying the Houston Texans last week to try to qualify for the top of the AFC list.
They faced a 17-0 hole before realizing what had happened and he was 24-7 at halftime with their only points coming from a blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone. In fact, the Colts did not score in attack until Luck strikes T.Y. Hilton with 5:31 to play in the match.
At this point, the Chiefs were preparing for the next round of the playoffs.
"That's the kind of game you dream of playing on the road," Luck said. "It seems like me, at the top of the list, we've played in our own way in some way to ruin the game. And when that happens and you can not stop the bleeding, it's difficult. It's too hard to win on the road against the no. "
As the Chiefs advance and the Colts arrive in high season, here are five Saturday takeaways:
VINATIERI'S S LOST: Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 23-yard goal just before half-time, which could have pushed the game to 24-10. He also missed an extra point in the fourth quarter. "The first one I just did not have a good foundation. It's silly, he says. "You need every possible point in a playoff game and we needed it for sure. It's a decisive momentum. "
SACK ATTACK: Justin Houston had two bags and Dee Ford had a strip-bag, which he has done seven times this season. The Chiefs also made several passes from Luck to the line of scrimmage in what was easily their best defensive performance of the season.
HOBBLED HILTON: The flip side of Hilton's defeat is that he can finally rest his ankle, which has been bothering him for a while. "He needs rest," he says. "I have a sprained ankle and a high sprained ankle, so I have two injuries in one, which is pretty hard. But I'm busy with it. I gave everything I had to the team. It was a good season. "
WATCH FOR INJURIES: The Chiefs played without security, Eric Berry (heel) and running back Spencer Ware (hamstring), and it is unclear whether either will be available next week. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins played for the first time since November and injured his foot.
RUNNING WILD: Kareem Hunt was supposed to lead the Chiefs to the playoffs, but he was dismissed from the team in the middle of the season. Ware was handicapped by injuries to the shoulder and hamstrings. But Kansas City did not miss a beat because Williams, a companion who played so well in the recovery of the No. 3 pointer he has already obtained an extension of contract. "He's running for everyone on this team," Kelce said. "Indeed, he showed today that he can finish a match for us."