The Kansas City Chiefs are heading to Super Bowl LVIII, beating the Baltimore Ravens 17-10 in the AFC Championship. The Chiefs went the final two quarters without a point, but behind a ferocious defensive effort and miscues from the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and Zay Flowers, Kansas City had a chance late to put the game on ice. Facing a third-and-nine from their own 46-yard line, the Patrick Mahomes-led team was one first down away from victory formation. Mahomes dropped back, firing a deep shot to wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling for the game-sealing 32-yard gain. Valdez-Scantling, or MVS, faced scrutiny this season for drops, but with the season on the line, he pulled through for his team and city.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Redemption Reception to End Season
The Kansas City Chiefs entered the playoffs with the 15th-highest-scoring offense, their worst mark in the Andy Reid era since 2014. The Chiefs struggled with dropped passes, specifically from the receiver room. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, and Richie James struggled with drops and miscues. Through his backbreaking mistakes and off-the-field issues, Toney became an afterthought for the team, especially after a brutal offensive offsides penalty that cost them a game-winning touchdown late in the season. Meanwhile, James became more of a special teams player. However, Kansas City continued to trust Valdes-Scantling in big situations, and it was never more apparent than on Sunday.
Valdes-Scantling caught heat this season for a brutal go-ahead touchdown drop in their team’s late November loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The South Florida product finished the season with a 7.1% drop rate, further entrenching the belief that Valdes-Scantling had a drop issue. However, with the game on the line in the AFC Championship on Sunday, two-time MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes trusted the six-foot-four wideout to make a game-clinching play. MVS made good on the trust, making a falling-down 32-yard reception, icing the game KC.
Kansas City Chiefs: Headed to Super Bowl LVIII
The Kansas City Chiefs will head to their fourth Super Bowl in the last five years after their win on Sunday. The Chiefs made life miserable for Baltimore’s dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson. The MVP winner went 20 of 37 for 272 yards and one touchdown against one pick. He also fumbled. Meanwhile, fellow MVP Patrick Mahomes went 30-of-39 for 251 yards and one pick. Star tight end Travis Kelce caught all 11 of his targets for 116 yards and a touchdown.
The Chiefs will face the winner of the NFC Championship. The San Francisco 49ers host the Detroit Lions, with the former closing as more than a touchdown favorite.
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