Image by Roy Harryman from Pixabay

Road to the Bowl: Kansas City Chiefs

Marc Tavernese


Staff Writer


Last weekend had arguably some of the most watched conference championship games in the NFL in the past few years. While the Kansas City Chiefs returned for their 4th AFC Conference championship game appearance, the 13-4 Baltimore Ravens had finally begun to see playoff success with MVP candidate quarterback Lamar Jackson. Before this year’s playoffs, Jackson was 1-3 in the postseason since becoming the starting quarterback drafted from Louisville in 2018. While forming a resume similar to the other rushing quarterbacks such as Michael Vick, Cam Newton, and Steve Young, the playoff performances by Jackson had his true ability questioned by the entire NFL fanbase.

The Chiefs on the other hand, entered this game with hate that was very comparable to a certain New England Patriots dynasty at its peak. With Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce rumored to be getting engaged over this upcoming summer, the football community has about had it with the special treatment that she has been getting not just from the NFL itself, but the TV broadcasting companies who bring these games to the viewers. It got so egregious, that former NFL wide receiver Dez Bryant commented the following on the NFL’s official Instagram:

“It’s a lot of professional athletes who dated famous entertainers and I promise it’s never got this much coverage. No hate just saying.”

dezbryant (Instagram), January 28th comment on NFL’s official page post.

The game started with a Patrick Mahomes touchdown pass to Kelce to jump to a 7-0 lead in the 1st quarter. Baltimore needed to respond, and after struggling in their first opening drives, they finally got momentum with their run game and got in range for Jackson to throw a deep ball to rookie wide receiver from Boston College Zay Flowers to tie it up 7-7. 

The Chiefs continued to impress and shock everyone, as Harbaugh’s constant zone coverage calls of defense left the Chief’s run game to power through with running back Isaiah Pacheco scoring a 2-yard rushing touchdown with 9 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, allowing them to take a 14-7 lead. 

The Raven’s offensive tactics became increasingly suspect, as it seemed they forgot that they had one of the top rushing offenses in the league, but instead continued to force Lamar to make passes as their “elite” offensive line crumbled to a surprisingly defensive-driven Chiefs team. The 1st half would end with Harrison Butker making a 52-yard field goal for the Chiefs, increasing their lead to 17-7.

The second half of the game finally had the Ravens showing why they were a historic top defense this year, holding KC to 0 points in the second half. The bad news though, is that didn’t appear to be the situation for the offense, as they continued to struggle immensely, and couldn’t score a single touchdown to save themselves, besides a go-ahead 43-yard field goal by Justin Tucker with 2:26 left in the 4th quarter. Jackson had his opportunity to tie the game up, but threw an interception in the end zone, into triple coverage, cementing Kansas City their trip to the Super Bowl. 

They would’ve had a chance to score a touchdown in the final seconds of the 3rd quarter, as Jackson once again threw a deep pass to Flowers and managed to bring the Ravens down to the Chiefs endzone; Then, he taunted. He was called for that, and then to make it worse, got passed to again, dove into the endzone, and fumbled the football as he crossed the plain, with the Chiefs recovering the football, and it resulted in a touchback. While being the only Raven to score a touchdown, he also became the most hated man in Baltimore as a result.

The final score of the game was 17-10, and the Chiefs made their 4th Super Bowl in 5 years, the other time being their second Super Bowl victory in 2019, against the San Francisco 49ers, a beating in 2020 at the hand of Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and finally 2 years later, beating the Philadelphia Eagles in a close battle 38-35.

Now, the Chiefs must go head-to-head against a familiar foe, their 2019 NFC rival, the 49ers at the Super Bowl LVIII.