Mahomes, Chiefs cruise, clinch AFC West crown

  • Covered Chiefs for 20 seasons for Kansas City Star
  • Joined ESPN in 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs at some point this season figure to need tight end Travis Kelce in their lineup to win a big game.

It wasn’t Sunday.

Kelce, who is on Kansas City’s reserve/COVID-19 list and didn’t play against the Pittsburgh Steelers, wasn’t missed that much. The Chiefs cruised past the Steelers 36-10 at Arrowhead Stadium to clinch their sixth straight AFC West title.

The 11-4 Chiefs, who won their eighth straight game, lead the Tennessee Titans by one game in the race for the AFC’s top playoff seed.

The Chiefs led 30-0 in the third quarter before the Steelers scored. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was 23-of-30 for 258 yards and three touchdowns before he was removed from the game in the fourth quarter.

In Kelce’s absence, he spread the ball to nine different receivers. Reserve wide receiver Byron Pringle caught a pair of touchdown passes.

Two prominent Chiefs players left the game in the second half with injuries. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has a collarbone injury and safety Tyrann Mathieu a quad injury.

Kansas City’s defense frustrated the Steelers on its way to forcing three turnovers, including two fumbles.

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