Chiefs roar back thanks to Mahomes, Kelce, big plays on special teams

The Kansas City Chiefs took a 28-24 lead into halftime after Patrick Mahomes' fourth touchdown pass of the second quarter, a 5-yard throw to Travis Kelce. The play was reviewed because Mahomes had stepped over the line of scrimmage when he made the throw, but part of Mahomes' body was behind the line, so the play was legal and the TD stood.

According to Elias Sports Bureau research, the Chiefs are the first team in NFL history (regular season or playoffs) to lead at halftime after trailing by at least 24 points. At 52 combined points, this was the highest-scoring first half in NFL postseason history. The previous record was 49 in the 2009 NFC divisional playoffs (New Orleans Saints led Arizona Cardinals 35-14). Mahomes became just the second player in postseason history with four passing TDs in a quarter (Doug Williams in Super Bowl XXII). Kelce became the first player in postseason history with three touchdown catches in one quarter.

The Kansas City Chiefs tightened their game against the Houston Texans midway through the second quarter with big plays on special teams.

First, Daniel Sorensen made a solid open-field tackle to stop Justin Reid on a direct snap out of a punt formation on fourth down. Three plays later, the Chiefs scored to pull within 24-14 when Mahomes hit Kelce for a 5-yard score.

Then, Sorensen and Ben Niemann forced a fumble on a kickoff return and the ball flew directly to the Chiefs' Darwin Thompson.

Thompson's 18-yard return gave the Chiefs the ball at the Houston 6, where on third down Mahomes threw to Kelce for a touchdown that cut the Kansas City deficit to 24-21.

Before the Chiefs' final touchdown of the half, five consecutive touchdowns came as a result of a play on special teams.