The Kansas City Chiefs ended the Tennessee Titans' incredible postseason run, as they defeated Derrick Henry and Co., 35-24. Many tabbed Henry's legs as the reason the Titans had a chance to beat the Chiefs, but Kansas City held the dominant running back to a postseason-low 69 rushing yards. On the other side, the Chiefs' leading rusher was a big reason Kansas City punched its ticket to the Super Bowl. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs with 53 rushing yards on eight rushes, which really ended up being the difference in the game.
In the Chiefs' Week 10 loss to the Titans, Mahomes didn't attempt a single rush since it was his first game back after dislocating his kneecap against the Denver Broncos in Week 7. He still passed for a season-high 446 yards in the loss but remained in the pocket for most of the matchup.
This Sunday was different, however, as Mahomes was unafraid to tuck it and run when the situation presented itself. He picked up a couple of first downs with his legs in the second half when receivers were covered downfield, and even recordedat the end of the first half which gave the Chiefs their first lead of the game.
After the game, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was asked if Tennessee was caught off guard by Mahomes' willingness to run, and he responded saying that his defense actually expected it.
"It's just that we didn't make a play on him," Vrabel said. "We were fully aware that he was healthy and that was a dimension of his game. We just didn't do a good enough job today."
Mahomes rushed for 53 yards against the Houston Texans in the divisional round, and Vrabel indicated that the Titans picked up on that and tried to prepare for it. For whatever reason, the Titans just weren't able to stop it.
The 2018 NFL MVP had a huge day overall, as he completed 23 of 35 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns. It was those 53 rushing yards, however, which served as the X-factor for the Chiefs on Sunday.