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Mahomes, Kelce Explain Pre-Snap Look From Bills That Led to Clutch Reception

The Chiefs are heading to the AFC championship after defeating the Bills via a Travis Kelce walk-off touchdown in overtime on Sunday in what will be remembered as a classic duel for the ages. Kelce's walk-off grab is one of his top career highlights, but a prior catch from Kelce has perhaps a more interesting backstory.  

The Chiefs had just eight seconds left in regulation and were down 36–33. All Buffalo had to do was keep Patrick Mahomes from getting his offense within field goal range, so the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL decided to protect the sidelines. Seeing this, Kelce and Mahomes elected to go off-script with their next play as Kelce took the ball up the middle of the field for a 25-yard gain. Kelce's catch set up the eventual Harrison Butker 49-yard field goal to force overtime, and the clutch grab wasn’t in the original playbook, per Kansas City's quarterback.

“He wasn't necessarily supposed to do that,” Mahomes said postgame. “But after the timeout, we got a look at what the defense was doing and he actually said it to me, he's like, ‘Hey if they do it again, I'm going to take it right down the middle between both the guys guarding me.’”

Kelce explained that not only was the defense giving him the middle of the field, but they were also playing soft enough so he could get a head start to blow by the defense.

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“I told [Mahomes] I'm probably not going to run the route that is called. I'm just gonna run to the open area,” Kelce said. “Probably midway through his cadence he was screaming at me at the line of scrimmage: ‘Do it!’”

Kelce and the Chiefs will host the Bengals on Sunday with a Super Bowl berth on the line. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m ET. 

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