By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
KANSAS CITY - The Kansas City Chiefs are headed back to the AFC Championship.
The Chiefs (15-2) held on to beat the Cleveland Browns, 22-17, on Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium in an AFC Divisional playoff game.
Kansas City had to lean on backup quarterback Chad Henne after Patrick Mahomes left the game late in the third quarter and underwent concussion protocol.
"(Mahomes) got hit in the back of the head," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said after. "He's doing great right now, which is a real positive. We'll see where it goes from here. Right now, he's feeling good."
Henne, who started the Week 17 game against the Chargers and saw his first ever playoff action Sunday, completed 6-of-8 passes for 66 yards and an interception, though the Browns couldn't capitalize on the turnover.
"I'm proud of Chad and the way he handled everything," Reid said. "That late interception, that was on me."
Henne said he had the chance to talk with Mahomes briefly after the game.
"He's in good spirits," Henne said of the starting QB. "Obviously, we'll see (Monday) with all of the testing and everything, but right now, he's in good spirits."
The Chiefs' defense forced a Browns punt with less than five minutes to go. Faced with a 4th down and 1 play inside of two minutes left, Henne completed a swing pass to Tyreek Hill, who got more than enough yards to give the Chiefs a first down. The Browns had no timeouts left to stop the clock.
"There was no doubt," Reid said of the decision to call that play on 4th and short. "I think everyone on our side knew we were going to go for that play. On our sideline, everyone was like, 'let's go. Let's roll.'"
Mahomes ended his day completing 21-of-30 passes for 255 yards and a score. Hill caught eight passes for 110 yards. Tight end Travis Kelce had a big day as well, hauling in eight passes for 109 yards and a score.
The Chiefs will now host the No. 2 seed Buffalo Bills (15-3) in the AFC Championship on Sunday, January 24 at 5:40 p.m., becoming the first franchise in NFL history to host three straight AFC title games.