Kansas City Chiefs News

Bengals-Chiefs ratings hit 4-year high for championship game

Bengals-Chiefs ratings hit 4-year high for championship game

Sunday's AFC Championship Game between Cincinnati and Kansas City was the most-watched conference title game in four years.At an average of 53.124 million viewers, the ratings were an 11 percent increase over last year's AFC title game between the same teams. The Chiefs won Sunday's game 23-20 on a field goal in the final seconds.It was the most-watched conference championship game since the New England Patriots-Chiefs AFC title game five years ago (53.9M).
Eagles see majority of early action as Super Bowl spread shifts to -2

Eagles see majority of early action as Super Bowl spread shifts to -2

The early returns show that football bettors are lining up behind the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII.After emerging as the slight favorites Sunday night after the conclusion of conference championship weekend, the Eagles have solidified as two-point favorites over the Kansas City Chiefs at some major sportsbooks.DraftKings Sportsbook revealed Monday evening that 70 percent of the total bets and 72 percent of the handle are backing the Eagles at -2. On the moneyline (-130), 57 percent of the handle is with Philadelphia.The story was similar at BetMGM, which opened Sunday night with the Chiefs as a -1.5 favorite before the odds swung the Eagles' way. Philadelphia enjoyed a -2.5 spread Monday morning, a number that has since settled back to -2.At BetMGM, the Eagles raked in 66 percent of the tickets and 69 percent of the handle. The moneyline still leaned Philadelphia's way as well, as the Eagles (-130) had earned 43 percent of the bets but 68 percent of the handle.
Chiefs edge Bengals, 23-20, return to Super Bowl

Chiefs edge Bengals, 23-20, return to Super Bowl

Harrison Butker kicked the Kansas City Chiefs back to the Super Bowl.Butker made a 45-yard field goal and the Chiefs beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, to win the AFC Championship for the third time in the past four seasons on Sunday in Kansas City.Patrick Mahomes had 326 passing yards and two touchdowns and set up the game-winning kick on a scramble to his right with 12 seconds left in the game. As he crossed the sideline, Mahomes was shoved by Joseph Ossai, resulting in a 15-yard penalty to set up Butker's game-winning kick.Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught six passes for 116 yards and a touchdown, tight end Travis Kelce caught seven passes for 78 yards and a touchdown, and Kansas City's defense had two interceptions and five sacks of Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.In a 20-20 tie, Burrow and the Bengals took over at their own 12-yard line with 2:30 to play but defensive tackle Chris Jones' second sack of the game forced Cincinnati to punt to rookie Skyy Moore, who caught the ball at the 18 with 35 seconds left and returned it to Kansas City's 47.The Bengals pounced on their first takeaway and recovered momentum in the final minute of the third quarter. From the shotgun, Mahomes faked a handoff to Isiah Pacheco but as he twisted his body to the right, he lost control of the ball. Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard came up with the ball at Kansas City's 46.The drive appeared to stall quickly but the Bengals went for it on fourth-and-6, and Burrow went deep for Ja'Marr Chase, who hauled the ball in at the 5. Two plays later, running back Samaje Perine churned into the end zone for a 2-yard score and knotted the game at 20 with 13:30 remaining.A hobbled Mahomes operated most of the second half without multiple key receivers due to injuries. He found Valdes-Scantling one step into the center of the end zone to put the Chiefs up 20-13, hooking up on third-and-10 for a 19-yard touchdown with 4:15 left in the third quarter. The 11-play drive covered 77 yards and was extended on a six-yard connection to Valdes-Scantling on the previous third down.
Eagles await as Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes lift Chiefs back to Super Bowl

Eagles await as Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes lift Chiefs back to Super Bowl

Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs return to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years, and the Philadelphia Eagles will be there waiting.The Chiefs beat the Cincinnati Bengals to claim the AFC Championship and set up a showdown in Arizona in Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12 with the Eagles, who fired Reid in 2012 after 14 seasons with the franchise."Here we come, Philly," Reid said in the postgame ceremony while receiving the Lamar Hunt Trophy.The Eagles' all-time winningest coach, Reid also appeared in five conference championship games during his run with the Philadelphia, but went to the Super Bowl just once, losing to the New England Patriots in the 2004 season.The Chiefs gritted out a win Sunday, closing out the 23-20 win on a Harrison Butker field goal from 45 yards out with three seconds to play.Now in his 10th season with the Chiefs, Reid leaned on defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo for a big assist Sunday night.Bengals quarterback Burrow was intercepted twice and sacked five times. Defensive tackle Chris Jones sacked Burrow twice, including on Cincinnati's final drive to force a punt in the final minute of the game."I didn't make the plays I needed to. They did a good job of creating one-on-one matchups up front to let their guys go," Burrow said. "We just weren't able to convert those last couple plays."The Bengals lost for the first time in 11 games and were seeking back-to-back Super Bowl appearances after losing to the Los Angeles Rams last February."The great thing about the NFL is that it's not just four years. You have years ahead of you where you can try to win again," Burrow said.
Chiefs CB L'Jarius Sneed exits on opening drive

Chiefs CB L'Jarius Sneed exits on opening drive

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed left Sunday's AFC Championship game on the opening drive to be evaluated for a concussion.Sneed lowered his head and collided with forward-charging Cincinnati Bengals running back Samaje Perine. He made the tackle but remained on the turf.Kansas City's top cover cornerback this season, Sneed was helped to the medical tent on the Chiefs' sideline as Patrick Mahomes and the offense took the field in the first quarter.
Eagles open as early Super Bowl favorites

Eagles open as early Super Bowl favorites

The Philadelphia Eagles are the early favorites to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, according to DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM.DraftKings and BetMGM have Philadelphia listed at -130 odds to win its second Super Bowl in franchise history. BetMGM had the Eagles listed as 2.5-point favorites, while DraftKings had them favored by two points. FanDuel has their spread at -1.5 and the moneyline at -134.The Chiefs, who find themselves in the Super Bowl for the third time in the past four seasons, sit at +110 on DraftKings, +110 on BetMGM and +114 on FanDuel to win outright. Kansas City is seeking its third Super Bowl victory after winning Super Bowl IV after the 1969 season and Super Bowl LIV after the 2019 season.DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM all have the total currently at 49.5, with both the over and under sitting at -110.
Reports: Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (back) to play vs. Bengals

Reports: Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (back) to play vs. Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is expected to suit up for Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the visiting Cincinnati Bengals, multiple media outlets reported.Kelce is listed as questionable to play in the AFC title game after being a late addition to the injury report on Friday due to back spasms.Kelce recorded 14 catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs' 27-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Jan. 21.
Chiefs clear Patrick Mahomes for AFC title game; Travis Kelce (back) questionable

Chiefs clear Patrick Mahomes for AFC title game; Travis Kelce (back) questionable

If there had been any lingering doubt about star quarterback Patrick Mahomes' injury status, it was put to rest Friday when Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Mahomes will start Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the visiting Cincinnati Bengals.Mahomes suffered a right ankle injury, reported to be a high ankle sprain, in last Saturday's divisional round victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars."He's moving around (well)," Reid told reporters. "He can go out and play."Mahomes was injured when Arden Key of the Jacksonville Jaguars landed on his right leg during the first quarter of the divisional round. Mahomes fell awkwardly under the weight of Key's body and missed the second quarter before returning for the second half of the 27-20 victory.Mahomes first tested the leg in practice on Wednesday and was a full participant in practice all week. He carries no designation on Kansas City's final injury report of the week."When we get in the game, you know adrenaline is going to take over and you can make those throws when you need to," he said earlier in the week.
Bengals at Chiefs Odds, Props & Picks

Bengals at Chiefs Odds, Props & Picks

In the playoffs, there's no passer like Patrick Mahomes at home.Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs welcome the Bengals in the AFC Championship game Sunday in a repeat of the 2021 title game that sent Joe Burrow and Cincinnati to the Super Bowl. But there's a significant twist.Mahomes plans to play with a sprained right ankle and has lost three games in a row to the Bengals, including 27-24 on Dec. 4. His health and the groundswell of support for Burrow has the Chiefs as the underdog in the playoffs for the first time in Mahomes' career.Mahomes has been at his best on the big stage with 32 touchdowns (28 TD passes, four rushing) and three interceptions in 10 career home playoff starts.The tug of war for bettors has been evident since Sunday night, when most books had the Chiefs as favorites -- by 2 or 3 points -- only to see the Bengals favored by 2 as a consensus by midday Monday. But with Mahomes' status firmed up by the Chiefs and video evidence to support, the public forced a wild swing that had Kansas City favored by a point.Burrow, mind you, is 19-5 against the spread in his last 24 games as an underdog. Cincinnati is 9-0 in its last nine as an underdog.As of Friday morning, the Chiefs were a 1.5-point favorite and a low money line to win outright (-118 at FanDuel).BetMGM's handle on spread betting as of Noon ET Friday was 70-30 in favor of the Bengals. At DraftKings, the swing to give Cincinnati points pushed more money on straight spread bets toward the Bengals. DraftKings had 76 percent of the total spread handle on Cincinnati.Money line wagering was also leaning Cincinnati and tipped the two-thirds mark at DraftKings.The initial sprain forced him out of the Chiefs' divisional playoff win over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. He returned to the game with limited mobility, completing 22 of 30 passes for a season-low 195 yards with two touchdowns and was not sacked.He's 9-3 in 12 career playoff games with 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions.Mahomes said the injury isn't as severe as his 2019 high ankle sprain or a toe injury two seasons ago, when he finished the season in a Super Bowl defeat at the hands of Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The difference will be in physical limitations on his right ankle and plant leg throwing from the pocket.Cincinnati has a 10-game winning streak and its most recent loss was to Cleveland on Halloween. Burrow would tie Russell Wilson for most wins (six) by a quarterback in their first three seasons if he can knock off the Chiefs again."He's got an edge to him," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said of Burrow. "I like that in our quarterback."
Futures faves: Preseason longshots Jalen Hurts, Eagles top Super Bowl futures board

Futures faves: Preseason longshots Jalen Hurts, Eagles top Super Bowl futures board

Hours before the first snap of the preseason in August, the odds on futures bets for Jalen Hurts as Super Bowl MVP and the Philadelphia Eagles claiming the Lombardi Trophy were astronomical.Entering Championship Sunday in the NFL, Hurts and the Eagles are the favorites for those limited-life futures.BetMGM lists Hurts at +300 for Super Bowl MVP, ahead of Patrick Mahomes (+325) of the Chiefs, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (+350) and 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (+700). 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (+1400) is the leading non-QB for the award, one slot ahead of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (+2500).In August, Hurts was +4000, meaning a $20 wager for the Super Bowl MVP future to cash would've carried a payout of $800 on a winning ticket.Recall the 2021 postseason run and Super Bowl appearance for the Cincinnati Bengals, who opened the regular season at +10000 to win the Super Bowl.The Eagles didn't climb quite that high from preseason to Sunday's championship game, but FoxBet offered Philadelphia at +3500. FanDuel listed the Eagles at +2200 and Caesars set the odds at +2000.At present, the Eagles have the best odds to win the Super Bowl among the NFL's final four teams with BetMGM offering Philadelphia at +240 ahead of the Chiefs (+260), Bengals (+275) and 49ers (+350).These markets are fluid and will fluctuate during and after the championship games this weekend. If live odds are offered and a wager is considered on a team to rally as the Chiefs did against the Buffalo Bills in the 2021 divisional round, take a gander at futures markets.As of Friday, the Eagles are +230 at FanDuel, then the Chiefs (+260), Bengals (+270) and 49ers (+320).Preseason Super Bowl MVP Odds (Caesars Sportsbook)Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (+750)Aaron Rodgers, Packers (+800)Josh Allen, Bills (+950)Matthew Stafford, Rams (+1400)Dak Prescott, Cowboys (+1600)Joe Burrow, Bengals (+1600)Lamar Jackson, Ravens (+1600)Russell Wilson, Broncos (+2000)Tom Brady, Buccaneers (+2000)Kyler Murray, Cardinals (+2000)
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (ankle) encouraged by progress

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (ankle) encouraged by progress

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes continues to make progress from the high ankle sprain he sustained last Saturday and he doesn't expect any serious challenges in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the visiting Cincinnati Bengals.Mahomes said Thursday that the real test will come later in the week."We'll see as we get closer and closer and we'll see during the game," he said. "You can't fully do exactly what you're going to be in those moments in the game but all I can do is prepare myself the best way possible."When we get in the game, you know adrenaline is going to take over and you can make those throws when you need to."Mahomes was injured when Arden Key of the Jacksonville Jaguars landed on his right leg during the first quarter of the divisional round. Mahomes fell awkwardly under the weight of Key's body and missed the second quarter before returning for the second half of the 27-20 victory.Mahomes tested the leg in practice on Wednesday and was encouraged and feels he will be close to full health on Sunday."You try to go as hard as you can and do exactly what you'd normally do on a normal Wednesday practice," Mahomes said. "Luckily, Wednesday isn't the hardest practice of the week but you're able to do some stuff and move here and there. Today will be another test. It will be a little harder practice for speed."But like I said, you're not going to be able to 100 percent prepare yourself for the game, but you do the best you can of putting yourself in those positions and hopefully by the end of the week you're in a better spot and you can go out there and do what you need to do to win."Kansas City coach Andy Reid also said Mahomes is on the right track."He did a nice job and was comfortable with what we did," Reid said. "... Just continue to work, not just with the ankle, but with the game plan and do what he has to do there."Reid wants Mahomes to use his normal mechanics when it comes to his throwing."His feet are doing OK right now," Reid said. "He can still move them so he's not throwing with all arm. But he's got a good enough arm. You've seen him do it where he will throw some balls flat-footed."
Joe Burrow, Bengals target another win over Chiefs

Joe Burrow, Bengals target another win over Chiefs

Only one quarterback in the NFL has three consecutive wins against Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and he'll have the striped orange helmet in the AFC championship game in Kansas City on Sunday night.Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals (14-4) can return to the Super Bowl by eliminating Mahomes and the Chiefs (15-3) in the conference title game for the second year in a row."Last time we played him, he didn't make a mistake all game," Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton said Wednesday of Burrow.That last time was Dec. 4, a 27-24 win for the host Bengals that was near the middle of the team's current 10-game winning streak.Cincinnati's most recent loss was to Cleveland on Halloween. Burrow would tie Russell Wilson for most wins (six) by a quarterback in their first three seasons if he can knock off the Chiefs again."He's got an edge to him," Bengals coach Zac Taylor said of Burrow. "I like that in our quarterback."He hasn't been intercepted in his past three playoff games. In three starts against the Chiefs, Burrow has nine TDs (one rushing), one interception and a combined passer rating of 121."They know us, we know them," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.A takeaway on a fumble by Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce turned the game at Cincinnati at December in the fourth quarter, and kicker Harrison Butker missed a 55-yard field goal that would have sent the game into overtime.Mahomes will start his fifth conference championship game. His overall playoff record is 9-3, and he has 32 touchdowns (28 TD passes, four rushing) and three interceptions in 10 career home playoff starts.But Mahomes is dealing with a sprain of his upper right ankle. The initial sprain forced him out of the Chiefs' divisional playoff win over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. He returned to the game with limited mobility, completing 22 of 30 passes for a season-low 195 yards with two touchdowns and was not sacked.The expectation from the Chiefs is more shotgun formation and the max-protection looks Kansas City showed in the second half of the divisional playoffs.If he's operating within a designed barricade in the pocket this week, the Chiefs know the drill. Even though Kansas City leads the NFL with pass attempts on the move, Mahomes also had an NFL-best 34 TD passes from the pocket (41 total TD passes)."They're just a physical team. They play physical, from start to finish, all four quarters," Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said.From Mahomes' view behind center, he said the challenge of solving the Bengals' defense is the ever-changing approach behind a defensive line without a weakness. In the AFC championship game last season, defensive end Trey Hendrickson had 1.5 sacks and Sam Hubbard had two sacks and a forced fumble.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes ready for 'challenge' of Bengals

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes ready for 'challenge' of Bengals

Patrick Mahomes participated in the morning walkthrough and will do the same in afternoon practice with the Chiefs on Wednesday, marking the latest sign that Kansas City's All-Pro quarterback will play in the AFC Championship game on Sunday."Everybody is going to practice," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said Wednesday in preparation for his conference championship game and fifth in a row with Kansas City.The Chiefs (15-3) welcome the Cincinnati Bengals (14-4) to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night (6:30 p.m. ET, CBS) to decide the conference representative in the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year.Mahomes has been at his best on the big stage with 32 touchdowns (28 TD passes, four rushing) and three interceptions in 10 career home playoff starts.But Mahomes is dealing with a sprain of his upper right ankle. The initial sprain forced him out of the Chiefs' divisional playoff win over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. He returned to the game with limited mobility, completing 22 of 30 passes for a season-low 195 yards with two touchdowns and was not sacked."A few days of treatment, a few days of rehab ... it's feeling good so far," Mahomes said.Mahomes said he underwent testing and began treatment hours after the playoff win. He's 9-3 in 12 career playoff games with 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions."It's a full-day thing," he said. "I haven't been at the house much. When I am, it's either studying or going to sleep."Mahomes said the injury isn't as severe as his 2019 high ankle sprain or a toe injury two seasons ago. The difference will be in physical limitations on his right ankle and plant leg throwing from the pocket.
Andy Reid: Patrick Mahomes will play in AFC Championship

Andy Reid: Patrick Mahomes will play in AFC Championship

Patrick Mahomes first said it. Now Kansas City head coach Andy Reid confirmed it -- the Chiefs' quarterback will play in next week's AFC Championship Game against Cincinnati.Reid told reporters Monday that Mahomes is "doing OK" after sustaining a high-ankle sprain in Saturday's divisional playoff victory over Jacksonville.Mahomes declared himself fit to play hours after the injury on Saturday, saying, "I'll be good to go.""Obviously, I have a lot of adrenaline going right now, so we'll see how it feels," Mahomes said then. "But I'll hop right in the treatment and try to do whatever I can to be as close to 100 percent by next week. Luckily for us, we played the early game on Saturday, so we get an extra almost half a day that I can let that ankle rest."
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (ankle) exits game vs. Jaguars

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (ankle) exits game vs. Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes departed Saturday's AFC divisional playoff game against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars due to a right ankle injury.The Chiefs announced with about six minutes left in the first half that Mahomes was questionable to return.Mahomes was hurt late in the first quarter on a play in which he was tackled by Jacksonville's Arden Key and Corey Peters. Key fell on Mahomes' right lower leg as Mahomes fell awkwardly to the ground.Backup Chad Henne entered the game with 9:59 left in the second quarter, shortly after Mahomes was told by coach Andy Reid to go back to the locker room for examination. Mahomes threw his helmet down in disgust.Mahomes returned to the Kansas City sideline during the possession but he remained on the sideline in his jacket. Instead, he watched Henne drive the Chiefs 98 yards on 12 plays for a touchdown.
Patrick Mahomes returns to lead Chiefs past Jags, into AFC championship

Patrick Mahomes returns to lead Chiefs past Jags, into AFC championship

Patrick Mahomes returned from an ankle injury and Travis Kelce caught two touchdown passes as the Kansas City Chiefs recorded a 27-20 victory over the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday to advance to the AFC Championship Game for the fifth straight season.Mahomes missed most of the second quarter due to the right ankle injury. He completed 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns, and backup quarterback Chad Henne also threw a scoring pass.Kelce's 14 receptions (for 98 yards) tied for third most in NFL postseason history and Marquez Valdes-Scantling added a touchdown catch for Kansas City. Nick Bolton (fumble) and Jaylen Watson (interception) each had key takeaways in the fourth quarter.The top-seeded Chiefs will face either the second-seeded Buffalo Bills or third-seeded Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC title game. The Bills and Bengals meet Sunday.Trevor Lawrence was 24-of-39 passing for 217 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the fourth-seeded Jaguars. Travis Etienne rushed for a touchdown and Christian Kirk had a scoring reception.Jacksonville trailed by 10 entering the final quarter but traveled 75 yards on seven plays to move within 20-17 on Etienne's 4-yard run with 11:49 remaining.Mahomes countered with his own 75-yard touchdown drive. On the 10th play, he tossed a 6-yard scoring pass to Valdes-Scantling to push the lead back to 10 with 7:08 left.Lawrence guided the Jaguars on another drive but Jamal Agnew fumbled the ball at the Kansas City 4-yard line with Bolton recovering with 5:29 remaining.On Jacksonville's next drive, Lawrence was intercepted by Watson with 3:48 left. Riley Patterson later kicked a 48-yard field goal with 25 seconds remaining but his ensuing onside kick was recovered by Kansas City's Kadarius Toney with 25 seconds left.Mahomes was hurt late in the first quarter on a play in which he was tackled by Jacksonville's Corey Peters and Arden Key. Mahomes fell awkwardly to the ground as Key fell on Mahomes' right lower leg.Henne replaced Mahomes with 9:59 left in the second quarter and drove the Chiefs 98 yards on 12 plays for a touchdown.
Report: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has high ankle sprain

Report: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has high ankle sprain

An MRI on Sunday confirmed that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes sustained a high ankle sprain during the team's AFC divisional round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, ESPN reported Sunday.Mahomes, a former NFL MVP and two-time All-Pro, said he intends to play in next Sunday's AFC Championship Game against either the Cincinnati Bengals or Buffalo Bills. The third-seeded Bengals and second-seeded Bills meet on Sunday in Buffalo."It feels better than I thought it was going to be now," Mahomes said Saturday after the 27-20 victory sent the top-seeded Chiefs into AFC title game for the fifth straight season."Obviously, I have a lot of adrenaline going right now, so we'll see how it feels. But I'll hop right in the treatment and try to do whatever I can to be as close to 100 percent by next week. Luckily for us, we played the early game on Saturday, so we get an extra almost half a day that I can let that ankle rest."Mahomes, 27, sustained the injury to his right ankle in the first quarter after he was tackled by Jacksonville's Arden Key and Corey Peters. Key fell on Mahomes' right lower leg as the quarterback fell awkwardly to the ground.Backup Chad Henne entered the game with 9:59 left in the second quarter, shortly after Mahomes was told by coach Andy Reid to go back to the locker room for an examination.
Chiefs-Jaguars Preview, Props, Prediction

Chiefs-Jaguars Preview, Props, Prediction

Kansas City welcomes the Jacksonville Jaguars to Arrowhead Stadium for the divisional playoffs on Saturday, and the Chiefs are the team to beat as the top seed in the AFC.Kansas City (14-3) beat the Jaguars (10-8) on the same field on Nov. 13, a 27-17 win that included four Patrick Mahomes TD passes. But that was before the Jaguars closed out the season with a five-game winning streak and capped it with a 27-point rally to start the postseason with a hip toss of the Los Angeles Chargers.Kansas City opened as a consensus 9.5-point favorite, which dropped to 8.5 points at most books. Jacksonville is the NFL's biggest underdog in the four weekend games based on the spread.At BetMGM, 79 percent of the handle (money wagered) is behind the Chiefs to cover, and the same percentage took the Kansas City money line, up from -400 to -450."House money or our money, we're here now," Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said on Tuesday.BetRivers said Friday that 70 percent of wagers were on the Chiefs to cover and around the same percentage of wagers on the total of 52 points were placed on the over.Only 12.5 percent of money line wagers at BetRivers were placed on the underdog Jaguars.Since the 27-17 verdict went Kansas City's way during the regular season, Kansas City was 7-1 the rest of the regular season -- the only blemish a 27-24 loss at Cincinnati on Dec. 4 -- to post the best record in the conference. Jacksonville also is 7-1 since that day, including the confidence-catapulting rally to down the Chargers."They've got a lot of phenomenal players on that defense and they're playing faster," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of what stands out about the Jaguars over the past two months.A slow start for the Jaguars spelled doom in the earlier visit to Kansas City, one of eight games in their last 10 in which they didn't score a first-quarter touchdown. The Chiefs put up 20 first-half points, dictating the game plan for Pederson the rest of the way. Jacksonville converted only 28.6 percent of its third-down chances, all but spiking any comeback bid.
MVP-level Patrick Mahomes driving Chiefs' Super mission

MVP-level Patrick Mahomes driving Chiefs' Super mission

Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo knows Super Bowl chemistry when he sees it.Spagnuolo's Chiefs defense had 55.0 sacks in 2022 but flies under the radar alongside the three-tent show led by MVP frontrunner Patrick Mahomes and fellow All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce.Spagnuolo has the challenge of slowing down the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, a break from the practice prep and trying to contain Mahomes."What always amazes me about our whole offensive group is how well they know each other," Spagnuolo said. "Travis knows exactly, exactly what Patrick is going to do when he scrambles to his right or his left. Obviously Travis is the one that's been with him the most. But even Jerick (McKinnon), it just feels like he knows what Patrick is going to do."Patrick's a typical elite player -- he makes the other 10 guys around him better. You see that all the time in practice."The Chiefs led the NFL in scoring at 29.2 points per game and ranked first in total offense (413.6), passing yards (297.8) and first downs (24 per game).Mahomes was named first-team All-Pro at quarterback by the same panel that will submit votes for 2022 Most Valuable Player. Mahomes received 49 of 50 votes for All-Pro quarterback.He had four TD passes in the regular-season matchup with the Jaguars, and the Chiefs converted seven of their 10 third-down opportunities.But offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said Mahomes and the offense have an understanding of why every moment matters, part of keeping the team's focus forward.
Chiefs rule out WR Mecole Hardman for Saturday

Chiefs rule out WR Mecole Hardman for Saturday

The Kansas City Chiefs ruled out wide receiver Mecole Hardman for Saturday's playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a pelvis injury.Hardman hadn't practiced all week owing to the same ailment that caused him to miss extended time on injured reserve this season."So, really the only person that didn't practice was Mecole," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said Thursday. "We backed off of him just to see if we couldn't get him back going this week. He'll most likely be listed as out going forward. It's not for lack of effort, it's not (anything else), it's just the injury. So, he's working through it."Hardman was injured Nov. 6 against the Tennessee Titans and has not played since, although the Chiefs designated him for return from IR on Jan. 4. In his eight games this season (five starts) he had 25 receptions for 297 yards and four touchdowns. He also had two rushing scores.

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