By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
BALTIMORE— Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce were at their absolute best in the first half, Kansas City's defense delivered another masterpiece and the Chiefs have reached the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years with a 17-10 victory win over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game Sunday.
Kelce caught 11 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. Mahomes was an impressive 30/39 through the air with for 241 yards and the lone score to Kelce.
Kelce surpassed Jerry Rice for most postseason receptions in NFL history. He now has 161 in 21 career postseason games.
“The Chiefs are still the Chiefs,” said Kelce in an interview with Jim Nantz during the Lamar Hunt trophy presentation.
“And believe it — you’ve got to fight for your right to party! Believe it, baby, we’re going to Las Vegas. To get us another one!"
Running back Isiah Pacheco toted the rock 24 times for 68 yards and a touchdown after being limited in practice the whole week.
Kansas City (14-6) will face San Francisco on Feb. 11, setting up a rematch of Super Bowl 54, where the Chiefs beat the 49ers, 31-20.
A win would make the Chiefs the first team to win it all in back-to-back seasons since the New England Patriots did so in 2003-04.
Aside from Kelce, Mahomes hasn't had the receiving playmakers he's enjoyed in years past this season.
Instead, the defense has been a big part of why Kansas City won the AFC West and eventually prevailed in two straight road playoff games against Buffalo and Baltimore to win the conference.
"It’s been a heck of a year. We’ve been underdogs the last few games,” Mahomes said. “We never feel like underdogs. We’ve got a lot of guys on this team that know how to win. When the playoffs get around, they’re here to make it happen. And now we’re in the Super Bowl. The job’s not done.”
The Chiefs led 17-7 at halftime, and Justin Tucker's 43-yard field goal with 2:34 to play was the only scoring of the second half.
Baltimore (14-5) committed two turnovers in the loss. Their quarterback, Lamar Jackson, who has this year's MVP award all but locked up, was 20/37 for 272 yards, a touchdown and a pick. He was sacked four times.
Baltimore made undisciplined mistakes all game, while Kansas City looked the part of the team making its sixth straight appearance in the conference title game.
With the Ravens down by 10 in the third quarter, rookie Zay Flowers caught a 54-yard pass to the Kansas City 10, but then was flagged for taunting after the play. Moments later, he fumbled near the goal line and the Ravens ended up with no points.
That was one of several frustrating moments for Baltimore fans, whose city was hosting an AFC championship game for the first time since January 1971.
Super Bowl 58 is set for Sunday, February 11 in Las Vegas. Kickoff is set for 5:30 central. The game will be carried on KFEQ Radio (680, 95.3) and Q Country 92.7 FM in St. Joseph.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.