106 yards, 13-0 at halftime, 3 and out, 30-0. 12-5, AFC, Alex Smith, Alfred Blue, Andy Reid, Brian Moyer, Cairo Santos, Chase Daniel, Chris Conley, Conference Championship, DeAndre Hopkins, Denver Broncos, divisional round, field goal, Frankie Hammond, Houston Texans, Houston TX, interception, Jan. 16, Jan. 9, Jaye Howard, Jeremy Maclin, Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs, Kevin Johnson, kickoff return touchdown, knee injury, Knile Davis, Marcus Peters, MRI, New England Patriots, NFL, PAT, Pittsburgh Steelers, playoffs, records, recovered fumble, red zone, sacked, shutout, Spencer Ware, Super Bowl, Travis Kelce, WHO, Wild Card
The Chiefs beat the Houston Texans 30-0 in the Wild Card playoff game at the climate-controlled NRG Stadium.
It was the Chiefs’ first playoff game win in 22 years and Kansas City’s best margin of victory in a playoff game in franchise history. Also, it was the first playoff game shutout since 2005, when the Panthers beat the Giants 23-0 in a Wild Card game, and the best playoffs shutout margin since the Colts beat the Browns 34-0 in the 1968 NFL championship game.
The Chiefs, with a 12-5 record, next face the New England Patriots — who had a bye this week by being first in the AFC East with a 12-4 record, despite losing 20-10 to the Miami Dolphins Jan. 3 and losing 26-20 to the New York Jets Dec. 27. The divisional round game takes place 3:35 CT Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Houston ends their season with a 9-8 record. The Chiefs had defeated the Texans 27-20 Sept. 13 at Houston. The two teams did not meet in 2014, and the Chiefs beat the Texans 17-16 on Oct. 20, 2013, at Kansas City.
With Houston deferring, Kansas City was the receiver to start the game Saturday. And the game started with a 106-yard kickoff return touchdown by Houston native and former Arkansas Razorback Knile Davis. With PAT, score 7-0. It was the first such touchdown to start a playoff game in NFL history, and was the second-longest kickoff return in NFL postseason history.
Neither team did well for the balance of the first quarter.
However, a Kansas City drive starting with a recovered fumble at the end of the first quarter concluded with a successful 49-yard field goal attempt by Cairo Santos at the start of the second quarter to make the score 10-0.
Not long after that a Chiefs drive including gains by Frankie Hammond, Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce concluded with another 49-yard field goal by Santos to make the score 13-0 with 7:06 left in the half.
A 50-yard run put Texan running back Alfred Blue in the Chiefs red zone, but soon Chiefs linebacker Josh Mauga intercepted the ball. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was sacked, the only time in this game. After the 2 minute warning Chiefs rookie Marcus Peters intercepted the ball, the fourth against Houston in the first half. But Kansas City went 3 and out . . . And the first half was over with the score 13-0.
Despite Texan quarterback Brian Moyer’s miserable first half, it was the decision of the Houston, coaches to keep him in the game.
After a 3 and out by Houston at the start of the quarter, a 10-play 94-yard Chiefs drive concluded with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Chiefs rookie wide receiver Chris Conley to make the score 20-0 with 5:34 left in the quarter. Maclin went out with a knee strain injury in the course of the drive.
A Chiefs drive at the end of the third quarter included a 48-yard catch and run by Kelce and concluded at the start of the fourth quarter with a touchdown by running back Spencer Ware to make the score 27-0.
A Texans drive concluded with an incomplete pass to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone with 10:49 left in the game.
A while after that Santos made a final 35-yard field goal to make the score 30-0 with 3:59 left in the game.
Backup Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel came on, and the game concluded with the score 30-0.
The Denver Broncos, with a 12-4 record, meet the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday in the divisional round in Denver after the Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 18-16 in the Wild Card game. The Steelers beat the Broncos 34-27 Dec. 20 at Pittsburgh.
After that comes the AFC conference championship Jan. 24 and the Super Bowl Feb. 7.
Who will make it?? We’ll see.