Future article date: December 31st 2017
Coming into tonight's game, the Chiefs new they were in control of their own destiny and one game away from making the playoffs for the third straight season. The Chargers tied up the division last week with their 36-10 win over the Jets at the MetLife Stadium and denied Kansas City from retaining their crown, leaving the wildcard route the only way into January football for Coach Reid and his players.
Despite the records of the Chiefs and Raiders being tied at 8-7, KC were sitting second in the AFC West due to their superior head-to-head record, meaning a win over the Broncos in Denver would guarantee them a spot in the playoffs, even if Oakland managed to win in LA against the Chargers.
As expected, the game was close throughout with neither team up by more than a touchdown at any point in the game. The Chiefs had the edge at half time leading 13-10 thanks to two Cairo Santos field goals and a 6 yard rushing touchdown by Alex Smith, however the Broncos scored on their first possession of the second half after a 85 yard drive was finished off by Jamaal Charles diving for the pylon. Field goals were then exchanged and as the 3rd quarter came to an end, the score was 16-20 in favour of Denver.
Try as they might, neither team could get a point on the board in the fourth and the score remained the same at the two minute warning. The Broncos then tried their best to run out the clock and would have been successful if not for a huge tackle for loss by Justin Houston on 3rd & 4. With no timeouts remaining for the Chiefs, the Broncos could use up all the time on the play clock before punting the ball away. With Tyreek Hill back waiting to receive the it, Broncos punter Ryan Dixon cleverly kicked the ball out of bounds at the Chiefs 27 yard line.
As the men in red jogged onto the field there was only 4 seconds left on the game clock, it was Hail Mary time. With 73 yards between the Chiefs and the playoffs, Andy Reid new he had to take a huge risk. Out ran Pat Mahomes. This was the first time the rookie had seen an NFL field but all he had to do was catch the snap and use his incredible arm strength to launch the ball towards the end zone, and he did just that. With the season on the line, Mahomes threw the ball high in the direction of the crowd of players arriving in the end zone and, as eight men jumped, one rose higher then there others and grabbed the football out of the air before hitting the ground. TOUCHDOWN CHIEFS, CHRIS CONLEY! The bench stormed the field and Mahomes was mobbed by his teammates and rightly so. Pat's first ever NFL pass was a 73 yard touchdown that took the Chiefs to the playoffs.
Final AFC West Standings:
Los Angeles Chargers (10-6)
Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)
Oakland Raiders (9-7)
Denver Broncos (6-10)
Mowlem is a sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).