AFC Championship - Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs
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The Kansas City Chiefs are back in the AFC Championship Game, the fourth consecutive year the franchise will be playing for an appearance in the Super Bowl. Kansas City is the first team in league history to host four consecutive conference championship games, and they'll be playing in a stadium where Patrick Mahomes has lost in the postseason just once -- and that was in a game he didn't touch the ball in overtime. 

Kansas City appears to be in prime position to win the Super Bowl again, having the head coach-quarterback combination in place with Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs also have arguably the best receiving duo in NFL history with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, along with a defense that has been one of the best in the NFL since a 3-4 start. 

The Chiefs thought they had the pieces to repeat as Super Bowl champions last year, but fell flat in the big game. Those issues for this talented Chiefs team appear to be corrected, though, as Kansas City is two wins away from winning its second Super Bowl in three years.

Here's how the Chiefs can finish the job this time: 

Improved offensive line keeps doing its job

The Chiefs made the necessary improvements on the offensive line after allowing a record 29 pressures in a 31-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl last year, the most in a Super Bowl since pressures were tracked in 2006. The main changes on the offensive line involved drafting center Creed Humphrey and the second round and guard Trey Smith in the sixth round -- both of whom have started on the offensive line throughout the year.

Humphrey has stated his case as one of the best centers in the league this season, allowing just one sack and 10 quarterback pressures on the year. The rookie center has allowed two sacks this postseason on both pressures he's allowed -- but the Chiefs have still been able to score 40 points in back-to-back games. 

Smith hasn't been as dominant has Humphrey, but he's been a major upgrade at guard. He allowed four sacks in the regular season (none since Week 7) and 47 pressures. In the postseason, Smith has allowed a sacks and seven pressures in 103 pass blocking snaps. 

Let's not forget trade acquisition Orlando Brown, who allowed just four sacks and 37 pressures in his first season at left tackle. Brown didn't play in the first matchup against the Bengals, a stretch in which he allowed zero sacks and just seven pressures over his last five regular season games. 

The Chiefs allowed the ninth-most pressures in the NFL (234), but the third-fewest sacks (28). Patrick Mahomes has been sacked just 4.0% of the time, which is also the the third fewest in the league. Mahomes has 2.83 seconds to throw (ninth-best in NFL) and the Chiefs offensive line allow 2.59 seconds in allotted time to pressure (fourth-best in NFL). 

Kansas City has been keeping Mahomes upright, which has helped the quarterback have a postseason for the ages. If Mahomes has time to make his plays, the Chiefs are expected to hoist another Vince Lombardi Trophy. 

Patrick Mahomes extends his hot streak

Mahomes has been incredible this postseason, a huge reason why the Chiefs have made their fourth consecutive AFC Championship Game. Mahomes has completed 75.9% of his passes for 782 yards with eight touchdowns to just one interception for a 131.7 rating this postseason, part of an incredible first 10 games to his playoff career.

Mahomes has compiled an 8-2 record and has thrown for 3,106 yards with 25 touchdowns to just five interceptions. Mahomes has the most passing yards and most passing touchdowns through a player's first 10 starts in postseason history and has the highest passer rating in NFL playoff history (107.2 rating). The Chiefs are tough to beat in the postseason because of Mahomes, who has been given plenty of time to make plays throughout his postseason career. 

With a strong offensive line and Mahomes playing at this level, the Chiefs are a tough out. There's a reason why they're the only team in the NFL with 50 regular season wins over the last four years. 

Defense continues to get after the quarterback 

The Chiefs have been generating pressure this postseason, and that's the backbone of Steve Spagnuolo's defense. The wild card victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers wasn't a good indicator (eight pressures, three quarterback hits), yet the Chiefs still ended up with two sacks. The divisional round matchup against the Buffalo Bills was much different, as Kansas City finished with 18 pressures, despite only finishing with two sacks and two quarterback hits. 

Kansas City's pass rush hasn't been at its best yet, but the Chiefs have a golden opportunity Sunday against a Cincinnati offensive line that allowed a playoff-record nine sacks to the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round and allowed 55 sacks on the year (third-most in the NFL). Joe Burrow was sacked 51 times on the year, the only quarterback in the league to be sacked over 50 times. 

While the numbers aren't showing it, the Chiefs have the personnel up front in Frank Clark, Jarran Reed, Melvin Ingram, and Chris Jones to create immense pressure on Burrow and cause problems for the other offensive lines remaining in these playoffs. It helps that the rest of the quarterbacks remaining in the playoffs aren't mobile like Josh Allen, playing right into Kansas City's hands. 

If the Chiefs front plays to the strength of Spagnuolo's defense, the defense will hold teams to under 25 points. That should be more than enough for Mahomes and the offense.