By NOAH TRISTER (AP Sports Writer)
BALTIMORE (AP) — Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce were at their magnificent best in the first half, and Kansas City’s defense delivered another masterpiece against Lamar Jackson and Baltimore, helping the Chiefs reach the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years with a 17-10 victory in the AFC championship game Sunday.
Kelce caught 11 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown, and now the big question at next month’s Super Bowl in Las Vegas is whether his girlfriend Taylor Swift will be able to make it there in the middle of her tour. The pop star was on hand again Sunday, and the 34-year-old Kelce was at his best.
Kansas City (14-6) will face either San Francisco or Detroit on Feb. 11, and a win would make the Chiefs the first team to win it all in back-to-back seasons since the New England Patriots 19 years ago.
Swift’s presence has turned the Chiefs into even more of a glamour team than they already were, but it’s been more of a blue-collar performance on the field this season. Aside from Kelce, Mahomes hasn’t had the receiving playmakers he’s enjoyed in years past.
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Instead, the defense has been a big part of why Kansas City won the AFC West and eventually prevailed in two straight road playoff games against Buffalo and Baltimore to win the conference.
The Chiefs led 17-7 at halftime, and Justin Tucker’s 43-yard field goal with 2:34 to play was the only scoring of the second half.
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