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Chiefs game day: Kansas City survives, advances vs. Browns

Chiefs will host 3rd straight AFC title game
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Browns Chiefs Football
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Clyde Edwards-Helaire
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Browns Chiefs Football
Browns Chiefs Football
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Browns Chiefs Football
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Browns Chiefs Football
Posted at 10:49 PM, Jan 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-17 18:50:42-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — UPDATED, 5:48 p.m. | Patrick Mahomes told Browns linebacker Mack Wilson, who knocked him from the game, "all good brother" on Twitter on Sunday evening.

The message was in response to Wilson wishing him a speedy recovery.

UPDATED, 5:35 p.m. | Chiefs coach Andy Reid and select players will speak with reporters after a gutsy 22-17 victory over the Browns in AFC Divisional action.

UPDATE, 5:05 p.m. | Facing fourth-and-1 near midfield, coach Andy Reid puts the game in Chad Henne's hands and he delivers a 22-17 victory with a short pass to Tyreek Hill.

With the victory, the Chiefs are the first team in AFC history to host the conference championship in three straight seasons.

The Buffalo Bills will play at Arrowhead next Sunday for a Super Bowl berth.

UPDATE, 5 p.m. | The Chiefs face third-and-14 at their own 41-yard line coming out of the two-minute warning.

Patrick Mahomes has been ruled out with a concussion, but the Browns have no timeouts, so the next play could determine the game.

UPDATE, 4:56 p.m. | Another Chiefs starter has been ruled out with a concussion.

Bashaud Breeland will not return.

UPDATE, 4:48 p.m. | Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland is being evaluated for a concussion, per the Chiefs.

Antonio Hamilton has been pressed into action with Rashad Fenton inactive today.

UPDATE, 4:44 p.m. | On first down after a penalty knocked the Chiefs out of field goal range, Chad Henne overthrows Demarcus Robinson for an interception.

He had a check down to Nick Keizer available, but instead got picked off by Karl Joseph in the end zone, putting the pressure on the Chiefs' defense to protect a 22-17 lead.

UPDATE, 4:31 p.m. | The Browns march 75 on 18 plays capped by Kareem Hunt's 3-yard touchdown, which pulls the Browns within 22-17 with 1:07 remaining in the fourth quarter.

UPDATE, 4:29 p.m. | The Chiefs have confirmed that Patrick Mahomes is out for the rest of the AFC Divisional playoff game vs. the Browns with a concussion.

UPDATE, 4:23 p.m. | After three quarters, the Chiefs lead the Browns 22-10, but Cleveland is driving and Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is currently being evaluated for a concussion.

Browns Chiefs Football
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is helped off the field after getting injured during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

UPDATE, 4:13 p.m. | Given a second crack at a 33-yard field goal, Harrison Butker comes through, extending the Chiefs' lead to 22-10.

However, Patrick Mahomes is being evaluated for a concussion. His status for the game is uncertain, pending evaluation from one of the NFL's independent neurologists.

UPDATE, 4:06 p.m. | Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been knocked out of the game after he was tackled on an option run and had his head driven into the ground by Cleveland linebacker Mack Wilson.

He was taken to the locker room for further evaluation.

Browns Chiefs Football
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is helped off the field by teammate Mike Remmers, right, after getting injured during the second half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Backup quarterback Chad Henne has taken over and converted on fourth down to keep a promising drive alive.

UPDATE 3:58 p.m. | Baker Mayfield threw an interception to Tyrann Mathieu to open the second half, but Harrison Butker's missed 33-yard field goal have the Browns new life.

Mayfield made it count, leading an eight-play, 77-yard touchdown drive for cut the Chiefs' lead to 19-10.

UPDATE, 3:44 p.m. | The second half is underway with the Chiefs, who scored on every drive in the first half, only two quarters from hosting a third straight AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Browns will receive the second-half kickoff.

UPDATE, 3:32 p.m. | It's halftime, which is a perfect time to check out this AFC Divisional playoffs photo gallery.

UPDATE, 3:28 p.m. | With a 28-yard field goal by Harrison Butker in the closing seconds of the first half, the Chiefs will take a 19-3 lead into halftime against the Browns.

UPDATE, 3:26 p.m.| Patrick Mahomes is trying to make the Browns pay. He has led the Chiefs into field goal range in the final half-minute.

UPDATE, 3:20 p.m. | With the Browns driving, Chiefs safety Dan Sorenson drilled a diving Rashard Higgins inside the 1-yard line, forcing a fumble that went into the end zone and out of bounds for a touchback.

Instead of a touchdown, the Chiefs will take over at the Browns 20-yard line, unless the play is reversed on review, with 94 seconds left before halftime.

UPDATE, 2:45 p.m. | Patrick Mahomes briefly went under the pop-up medical tent for a visit with the Chiefs' trainers.

UPDATE, 2:44 p.m. | One play after a holding penalty, Patrick Mahomes connects with Travis Kelce. The Cincinnati native finishes off the play by taking flight at the goal line.

APTOPIX Browns Chiefs Football
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) leaps over Cleveland Browns safety Karl Joseph, right, during a 20-yard touchdown reception in the first half of an NFL divisional round football game, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

The TD extends Mahomes' franchise record for postseason touchdowns.

With Harrison Butker's extra point, the Chiefs now lead 13-3 early in the second quarter.

UPDATE, 2:37 p.m. | After the first quarter, Kansas City leads Cleveland 6-3 in AFC Divisional action, but the Chiefs are on the march for more points.

Browns Chiefs Football
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs from Cleveland Browns cornerback Kevin Johnson (28) during the first half of an NFL divisional round football game, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m. | Cody Parkey's season-long 46-yard field goal cuts the Chiefs' lead in half.

Kansas City now leads 6-3 after Cleveland's opening drive.

The Browns converted a few key third downs, but some excellent run defense by All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu and rookie cornerback La'Jarius Sneed's third sack in as many games prevented any more damage.

UPDATE, 2:14 p.m. | Patrick Mahomes keeps on the option and scores a 1-yard touchdown on the opening drive.

Browns Chiefs Football
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates after scoring on a touchdown run during the first half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City.

The Chiefs jump in front 6-0 against the Browns after Harrison Butker's missed extra point.

Kansas City's offensive line held up well as coach Andy Reid called a masterful blend of run and pass on the opening TD drive.

UPDATE, 2:05 p.m. | Cleveland won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, so the Chiefs will start with the ball.

Browns Chiefs Football
Fans watch from the stands during the first half of an NFL divisional round football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Kansas City.

UPDATE, 12:35 p.m. | The Chiefs will officially be without rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire for today's game.

As expected, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and linebacker Willie Gay Jr., who were ruled out Friday, also are inactive.

Edwards-Helaire, who suffered ankle and hop injuries when he was tackled Dec. 20 at New Orleans, reportedly was close to playing and may be available next week.

Cornerback Rashad Fenton, who was questionable with with a foot/ankle injury, also is inactive.

The good news? Right tackle Mike Remmers, who has started in place of Mitchell Schwartz the last half of the season, is active after showing up on the injury report Sunday morning with an undisclosed illness.

Here is the complete list of inactives for the AFC Divisional game:

Chiefs
WR Sammy Watkins
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
CB Rashad Fenton
LB Willie Gay
OT Martinas Rankin
DE Tim Ward
DT Khalen Saunders

Browns
WR Marvin Hall
CB Brian Allen
S Jovante Moffatt
T Alex Taylor
WR Alexander Hollins
TE Kyle Markway
DE Joe Jackson

UPDATE, Noon | The Chiefs say that offensive lineman Mike Remmers is questionable for today's game due to an illness.

UPDATE, 11:40 a.m. | What do the Chiefs need to do today to advance to the AFC Championship game for the third consecutive year? "4th and 1" podcast analyst Nick Jacobs breaks things down with his weekly game plan.

UPDATE, 11:15 a.m. | ESPN reporter Adam Schefter reports a source is indicating that Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who was listed as questionable for today's game on the team's final injury report, won't play today.

EARLIER | Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield have met before, waging an epic college showdown, and are among the headliners for an exciting young crop of NFL QBs.

Both would love to put up similar numbers — as unlikely as that would be — during an AFC Divisional showdown at 2:05 p.m. Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

LISTEN | ‘4th &1’ podcast: Are Browns bad matchup for Chiefs?

Ever wondered what Mahomes and Mayfield are rocking in their headphones during pregame warmups? According to information released as part of an Ear Buds Music and Bose’s “Listen Like A Pro” promotion, here are the QBs’ most-streamed songs (some of which, it should be noted, may contain explicit lyrics):

Mahomes’ top songs
“No Bystanders,” Travis Scott
“1.5,” 21 Savage
“My Moment,” DJ Drama feat. 2 Chainz, Meek Mill and Jeremih
“Every Season,” Roddy Ricch
“Under the Sun,” Dreamville feat. J. Cole, DaBaby and Lute

Mayfield’s top songs
“My Ex’s Best Friend,” Machine Gun Kelly feat. Blackbear
“Walk Em Down,” NLE Choppa feat. Roddy Ricch
“Runaway (U & I),” Galantis
“Big Amount,” 2 Chainz feat. Drake
“March Madness,” Future

The drama surrounding the underdog Browns-at-Chiefs AFC Divisional matchup has gotten personal at times.

Cleveland running back Kareem Hunt was peppered with questions this week about being cut by Kansas City in 2018.

Meanwhile, Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones doesn’t think the reigning Super Bowl champs are getting enough respect after finishing the regular season with the NFL’s best record (14-2).

RELATED | John Dorsey’s imprint on Chiefs, Browns

Of course, the game will be won on the field Sunday, when it remains to be seen if Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire will be able to play. He’s been limited or missed practice all week with hip and ankle injuries.

Kansas City will definitely be without right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, who remains on injured reserve, along with linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (ankle) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (calf).

Fortunately, Mahomes and Ohio native Travis Kelce, who had arguably the greatest season for a tight end in NFL history, are healthy and eager to “Run It Back.”

Kelce, Mahomes, safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorenson, linebacker Anthony Hitchens and kicker Harrison Butker will serve as the Chiefs’ postseason captains.

Fans across Kansas City understandably are excited for Sunday’s game as the Chiefs open postseason play hoping to become the first repeat Super Champion since the 2004 season.

Not all fans would go the lengths Steve Lopez did to prove his devotion to Chiefs Kingdom, but the Legoland Discovery Center Kansas City also got into the spirit.

Chiefs Run It Back legoland.jpg
The Legoland Discovery Center in Kansas City, Missouri, added to its growing Chiefs Kingdom collection unveiling a custom “Run It Back” Chiefs flag, which took 95 hours to design and build and includes more than 9,000 bricks, this week. The collection also includes a bust of coach Andy Reid.

On the Eric Bieniemy front, it appears as if the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator, who has been a head coaching candidate the last three offseasons, may be staying put again.

Many considered Atlanta, which hired Tennessee offensive coordinator Arthur Smith on Friday, the most likely landing spot. He also reportedly will interview with Philadelphia.

Fans at Arrowhead will want to get to their seats early for a B-2 flyover and a special national anthem by Navy veteran Generald Wilson.

AFC Divisional playoffs: Chiefs primed, ready to Run It Back
AFC Divisional playoffs: Browns mindset, keys to victory