Dhe Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, as the best teams in the main round, also made it into the semi-finals of the National Football League. The Chiefs prevailed in the playoffs on Saturday (local time) despite an injury to their quarterback Patrick Mahomes 27:20 (17:10) against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Eagles dominated the New York Giants 38:7 (28:0) .
The Chiefs experienced a scare in the first quarter when a Jaguars defender fell on Patrick Mahomes’ right ankle. The star quarterback initially continued playing, but then made way for his replacement Chad Henne and returned to the field at home’s Arrowhead Stadium for the second half.
Travis Kelce praises his quarterback
“I don’t go off the field in a playoff game unless they take me down,” Mahomes said of his interim substitution. X-rays showed no injury and a still limping Mahomes threw a touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the final quarter for a 27-17 lead.
“It’s just a different feeling when our number 15 is in the game. He can do anything – even on an ankle,” said teammate Travis Kelce. He took care of the interim 17:7 lead in the second quarter. Mahomes’ substitute Chad Henne threw a touchdown pass directly in the first wave of attacks.
The Philadelphia Eagles had fewer problems with the New York Giants, already at the break the Eagles were 28-0 up in their own stadium. Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter and ran into the end zone himself in the second.
Towards the end of the regular season, Hurts had been sidelined two games with a shoulder injury, but there was no sign of that against the Giants. “He is our leader. Having him on the field is like having Michael Jordan,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said.
With the best main-round records in their respective conferences, both the Chiefs and Eagles had byes in the first round of the playoffs. In the final for the AFC title, the Chiefs will face the Buffalo Bills or the Cincinnati Bengals, in the NFC final the Eagles will meet the winner of the duel between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. While the Chiefs are in the NFL playoff semifinals for the fifth straight season, the Eagles have qualified for it for the first time since the 2017-18 season. That’s when Philadelphia also won the championship.