Chiefs lose Patrick Mahomes, still beat Browns to go to AFC Championship Game
The Chiefs are heading to the AFC Championship Game. With or without Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes was knocked out of the game with a concussion and replaced with Chad Henne in the fourth quarter, and when Henne threw a terrible interception into the end zone, it appeared that the Browns were in great position to come back and win the game.
But Henne then worked his magic, rushing for 13 yards on third-and-14 and then throwing a short pass for the game-sealing first down on fourth-and-1.
Mahomes had been having one of his usual strong games, completing 21 of 30 passes for 255 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Henne went 6-for-8 for 66 yards.
For the Browns, Baker Mayfield turned in a solid if not spectacular game, completing 23 of 37 passes for 204 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
The Browns will spend a long offseason wondering what could have been if only a couple of key plays had been changed, most notably a fumble into the end zone at the 1-yard line that gave the Chiefs the ball just as the Browns were about to score a touchdown. The officials missed a helmet-to-helmet hit on the Chiefs that would have negated that fumble.
Aside from that call, the talk of this game will be the injury to Mahomes, and the stellar play of Henne on the final drive. And the talk of this week will be whether Mahomes can return for the AFC Championship Game against the Bills.