New England and Kansas City will top Sunday’s slate in a big way as veteran Tom Brady and young gun Patrick Mahomes go head to head for the AFC title.
While the quarterback face-off is easily the marquee attraction, there’s general excitement in the idea of a rematch after the first meeting during the regular season resulted in a high-scoring thriller in which the Patriots and Chiefs combined for 946 yards and scored 30 points between them in the fourth quarter alone before New England sealed a 43-40 victory on a last-second field goal.
Here we take a look at 10 facts about the Patriots and Chiefs as they prepare for Sunday’s AFC championship — with the help of our colleagues at Opta. (If you like what you see here, give @OptaJerry — the official Twitter page for Opta’s NFL and NCAA stats-driven football coverage — a follow on Twitter.)
10 facts for Patriots vs. Chiefs
— This will be the second meeting in the playoffs between the Chiefs and Patriots, with New England winning their only prior matchup 27-20 in 2016. Kansas City is 5-1 at home all-time against New England.
— After their win last week, the Chiefs are 3-7 all-time in home playoff games.
— The Patriots have lost each of their last three away playoff games, all in the conference championship round.
— The Chiefs allowed 263 total yards to the Colts in the divisional round, their third-fewest yards allowed this season.
— The Patriots held the Chargers to just 19 yards rushing in the divisional round. Since the merger, only 10 teams have held opponents to fewer than 20 rushing yards in a playoff game, going 9-1 in those games.
— The Chiefs are the second team to have four different players score a rushing touchdown in a playoff game, joining the Cowboys in 1982.
— Patriots running back Sony Michel is just the 12th player to rush for 100-plus yards and three-plus touchdowns in a postseason game, and the third rookie to do so.
— Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston had two sacks against the Colts after tallying two in his five previous playoff games. Houston is the only player since sacks have been an official statistic (1982) to have at least two sacks in the playoffs on his birthday.
— Patriots wideout Julian Edelman had nine receptions for 151 yards against the Chargers, moving him into second place all-time for playoff catches with 98. He trails only Jerry Rice, who has 151.
— Travis Kelce had 108 yards receiving in the divisional round, his second career playoff game with 100-plus yards receiving. The Kansas City tight end is one of just five tight ends since 1996 with multiple such playoff games.