After a string of close victories dating back to November, the Kansas City Chiefs were finally able to pull away and assert dominance.
Despite heading into the second quarter of the AFC Championship Game down by a score of 9-0 against the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs never lost faith.
They went on to finish the contest on a 38-15 run, reminiscent of the team's many scoring rampages last postseason. In a matchup that got off to a shaky start, it was the reigning Super Bowl champs who secured another trip to the big game.
While the box score may not show it, Sunday's game was a tremendous showing by the Chiefs' defense. Steve Spagnuolo's unit held Bills quarterback Josh Allen to 4.5 yards per pass attempt and surrendered just two red-zone touchdowns in five trips.
It also held Buffalo to five third-down conversions on 14 total attempts. For safety Tyrann Mathieu, buying into each other throughout the week was crucial to the win.
"It's all about team, man," Mathieu said. "As long as we stay committed to the team, as long as we stay committed to our process, continuing to trust our coaches and believe in those guys... everything else will take care of itself."
The Chiefs certainly had their work cut out for them heading into the game, at least on defense. Although the team finished with four sacks on the day, it was tasked with containing an elusive field general in Allen while also stopping players like wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley from getting open.
Holding a high-powered Bills offense to 24 points was no easy feat, and Mathieu emphasized being prepared.
"Practice still means the most to me," Mathieu said. "Game day is fun but for me, it's all about practice. It's about how I prepare and how I get my teammates prepared."
Two weeks from now, the Chiefs will be in Tampa Bay playing in Super Bowl LV. With Tom Brady and the Buccaneers awaiting their arrival, practice and commitment will undoubtedly be central themes again as that highly-anticipated matchup approaches.