Patrick Mahomes opened Sunday's AFC championship game with a stunning touchdown pass to Travis Kelce.
Lamar Jackson answered with one of his own to Zay Flowers as the dueling MVP quarterbacks showed off their best stuff with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
After Kansas City's defense forced a three-and-out on Baltimore's first drive, the Chiefs got to work on a 10-play, 86-yard drive to set the tone. It ended with a 19-yard strike from Mahomes to Kelce to put the Chiefs on the board.
Mahomes took the ball in shotgun, then pump-faked and looked to his favorite target down the right sideline. Kelce was covered by cornerback Marlon Humphrey. No matter.
Kelce turned around and caught the ball while falling backward at the goal line into the end zone. Humphrey didn't stand a chance.
OH MY GOODNESS TRAVIS KELCE pic.twitter.com/b8W7hs0ih4
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 28, 2024
The touchdown connection was the 17th between Kelce and Mahomes in their postseason careers as they played in their sixth straight AFC championship game. It was an ideal start for Kansas City, but the Ravens were ready with a response.
Baltimore went on a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to tie the game at 7-7. Jackson kept it alive with a 21-yard scramble on fourth-and-1 and capped it with a 30-yard touchdown bomb to Zay Flowers to tie the game.
On this one, Jackson took the ball in shotgun, then escaped Chiefs linebacker Leo Chenal while looking for an open target. He eventually found Flowers streaking down the right sideline and lofted a perfect pass that Flowers corralled in the end zone.
— NFL (@NFL) January 28, 2024
It was a display of the mobility, awareness and arm talent that made Jackson the favorite to win MVP this season.