Chiefs make history by hosting 4th straight AFC Championship Game

Bills Chiefs Football
Posted at 9:21 PM, Jan 23, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — No matter what happens in the AFC Championship Game, the Kansas City Chiefs have already made history.

With its 42-36 win Sunday against Buffalo coupled with Cincinnati’s upset Saturday at top-seeded Tennessee, the Chiefs will become the first team in NFL history to host the AFC title game at 2:05 p.m. next Sunday when the Bengals hit town for a Week 17 rematch.

“It’s the entire organization,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said. “You can go through the whole list. To have a chance to get a coach like Andy Reid, to have (General Manager) Brett Veach and his team put together the talent that’s on our roster, it all goes back to 2008 or 2009 when (Chairman and CEO) Clark (Hunt) made the statement that we’re going to strive to create an organization that consistently competes for championships. Here we are hosting our fourth straight championship — never been done before.”

With the new structure of the NFL playoffs, which added a seventh team and extra game in each conference last season, the Chiefs also will become the first team to host three straight playoff games in the same postseason.

“It’s special times to be a Chiefs fan, and it’s special times to be part of this organization,” Donovan said. “I know Andy says it, Brett would say it, I will say it — we’re grateful. We’re grateful for the opportunity that we’re given and also very grateful for the fans and the support they give us every week. They're a huge part of our success."

Kansas City lost at Cincinnati 34-31 on a last-second field goal in a penalty-filled contest that cost coach Andy Reid’s squad the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC.

The Titans and Chiefs tied for the best record in the conference at 12-5, but Tennessee got the bye week by virtue of a Week 7 win against Kansas City.

But thanks to the Bengals’ 19-16 win — on another last-second field goal by rookie kicker Evan McPherson — in Nashville, the Chiefs will host the AFC Championship Game again.

“We’ve got a great team coming in here, so we can enjoy this (win over the Bills) for about a minute, then we’ve got to get ourselves ready for Cincinnati,” coach Andy Reid said.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes understands that the stakes only go up from here.

“Energy’s still going, I’m still kind of amped up, but we’ve got a big one this next week, too,” Mahomes said after the amazing comeback against Buffalo. “I’ll be ready to go next week, too. I’ve just got to get back in that film room.”

Kansas City had never hosted the conference title game before the 2018 season, which ended with an overtime loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

As the No. 2 seed during the 2019 playoffs, the Chiefs hosted after Baltimore was upset in the Divisional round — ironically enough, by Tennessee — and went on to snap a 50-year Super Bowl title drought.

Kansas City beat Buffalo in last year’s AFC Championship Game en route to a second straight Super Bowl appearance, a 31-9 loss against the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, Florida, last February.

“It starts at the top to everyone who put the team together,” defensive end Frank Clark said. “That’s hard. Bringing all these different personalities from different places, and you’ve got to add people and make changes throughout the season, those things are hard.”