KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs won their first home playoff game in 25 years, cruising past the Indianapolis Colts, a team they were 0-4 against prior to Saturday’s 31-13 win at Arrowhead Stadium.
The fashion they beat the Colts in represented some of they ways they lost in the past.
Lin Elliott, no punts, no first downs, big-time comebacks — that’s old news. Patrick Mahomes and Co. — they aren’t.
“We’re such a different team with so many young players. We have so much confidence going in that we’re going to win every single game. We want to play at this stadium. We want to win at Arrowhead Stadium,” Mahomes said Saturday after the team’s win. “We get the opportunity to play here again next week and we’re going to come with the same mentality that we’re going to go out there and we’re going to try to win this game one play at a time.”
The Chiefs will play the New England Patriots, who dominated the Los Angeles Chargers in Sunday’s other AFC divisional game, at 5:40 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20.
Kansas City lost to the Patriots three years ago in their only other playoff meeting — a 27-20 divisional game at Gillette Stadium.
This time, a trip to the Super Bowl is on the line. This time, it’s at Arrowhead.
“Our goal was to host the playoffs here,” Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt said. “Super Bowl goes through Arrowhead and nobody looked back.“
On Saturday, the Colts were the team with kicker problems and first-down issues.
Elliott missed three kicks in the 1995 AFC Divisional game. Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed two chip-shot field goals in Saturday’s game.
In the 2006 wild-card loss in Indianapolis, the Chiefs offense was the one that was slow to start, not recording a first down until the third quarter.
On Saturday, Indianapolis was the team that didn’t record a first down on its first four drives of the game. And in that game, then-Chiefs kicker Lawrence Tynes missed a 23-yard field goal. Vinatieri missed a 23-yarder on Saturday.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was the man who led the Colts in the 28-point comeback victory against the Chiefs in the 2013 AFC Wild Card game. He was the guy who was defeated Saturday.
And 31 points was enough to beat the Colts this time. Not like in the 2003 AFC Divisional game when the two teams last met in the playoffs at Arrowhead and neither team punted.
“I don’t get caught up in any of that. I’m into history, I love history if it makes you better,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “You learn from it and you move forward.”
Kansas City certainly is moving forward.