Chiefs and Eagles advance to Conference Finals

Winners of Jacksonville on Saturday, the Kansas City Chiefs qualified for their fifth consecutive conference final. It also goes for Philadelphia against New York.

In pain, Patrick Mahomes, injured in the right ankle, guided Kansas City to its fifth consecutive conference final, beating Jacksonville (27-20), Saturday, Philadelphia qualifying much more easily against New York (38-7) , Saturday, during the NFL play-offs.

The Chiefs, exempted from the 1st round due to their N.1 seed status, will face the Buffalo Bills (N.2) or the Cincinnati Bengals (N.3), opposed on Sunday, next weekend.

And the first question that arises is whether Mahomes will be in full possession of his means. Because at the end of the first quarter, shortly after throwing Travis Kelce on touchdown (7-0), he felt his right ankle bend heavily outward, under the weight of a defender who came to tackle him.

And if he was able to find the physical and mental resources to return after half-time, treated, strapped and even reassured, because the X-ray passed in the locker room did not reveal any structural damage, his second period sometimes had the appearance of a Calvary.

But the Chiefs star, even on one leg, showed he could still make the difference, coming out with bright passes, the last towards Marquez Valdes-Scantling for the touchdown giving his team a two-possession lead (27- 17).

Meanwhile, during his time in the locker room, his replacement Chad Henne came in handy, as he also found Kelce in the end zone.

The winners of the Super Bowl in 2020 have thus enforced logic against the Jaguars, more seen at this stage of the competition since 2017. But Jacksonville has never been very far behind.

“Good to go again”

They first quickly equalized at 7-7, after a touchdown from Christian Kirk on receiving a pass from Trevor Lawrence, after a possession where the receiver with the legs of fire, Jamal Agnew, had first reassembled 63 by recovering the opponent’s kick.

Then they returned to -3 at the start of the final quarter, when running-back Travis Etienne ran into the area (20-17).

Precisely when Mahomes overcame the pain to prove decisive, before his defense killed all suspense, when Jaylen Watson intercepted the “QBOpposite Trevor Lawrence a few minutes from time.

« I knew I couldn’t move, but my guys protected me. That’s how a team shows it’s great. My exams are reassuring, I’ll be good to go againnext Sunday, the Chiefs star commented after the game, cracking a smile for the first time that night.

In Philadelphia, the Eagles, seeded N.1 in the National Conference, made short work of the Giants, which they were already leading 28-0 at halftime.

Their quarterback Jalen Hurts was instrumental, delivering two assists for Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith’s touchdowns in the first quarter. He himself entered fourth in the race just before the break.

Meanwhile, running-back Boston Scott had managed the third. His friend Kenneth Gainwell worsened the mark at the very end of the match. Matt Breida saved the honor for New Yorkers in the third quarter, also on the run.

The Eagles, in search of a second Super Bowl since their coronation in 2017, will face the San Francisco 49ers or the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday.

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