Chiefs, 49ers in 2024 Super Bowl after Lions, Ravens losses: Highlights


Purdy says Niners had to ‘find a way’ while down in second half

Brock Purdy said his key second-half scrambles were simply acts of having “to find a way” to move first-down chains.

He contributed 48 key yards on five carries, leading San Francisco to an improbable come-from-behind win.

“Obviously my job is to distribute the ball to guys that are open, and then if someone’s not there, especially in this kind of game, you have to find a way,” Purdy told reporters. “I had to do it, so I did it.”


49ers never lost hope, even down 17 at halftime, coach says

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan insisted he and his players were still confident they could rally despite Detroit’s first-half domination.

“It being a 17-point game was encouraging, because it looked like it should have been worse. It’s definitely how it felt. That’s how the numbers looked,” an exhausted Shanahan told reporters.

“We were only down 17. That’s not too much, but you have to start playing a lot better in order for it to be not too much,” he said.

No regrets on fourth-down plays in second half, Lions coach says

The Lions were stopped on two fourth-down plays in the second half, turning aside possible field goal attempts.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said he was simply confident in his team picking up the yards needed on fourth-and-2 from the San Francisco 28 and fourth-and-3 from the Niners’ 30.

“I just felt really good about us converting and getting our momentum and not letting them play long ball,” he told reporters. “They were bleeding the clock out; it’s what they do. I wanted to get the upper hand back. It’s easy hindsight, and I get it, you know. I get that. But I don’t regret those decisions.” 

The emotional coach told reporters how proud he was of the players.

“You feel like you get your heart ripped out,” he said. “But I’m proud of that group, and I’ll go anywhere with that group.”

The title-less streak in Detroit will continue a little longer

The future looks bright for coach Dan Campbell, quarterback Jared Goff and their Detroit Lions.

But for now, the franchise’s streak of seasons without a title will continue.

The pro football club with the most consecutive seasons without a championship is still the Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona/Phoenix Cardinals, at 76 straight title-less years. Detroit’s number is now at 66.

Michigan governor, other politicians applaud Lions

The early lines from sportsbooks have San Francisco as 2.5-point favorites over Kansas City.

Heartbreak for Detroit but a bright future

This will go down as a top-tier sports heatbreak for the city of Detroit, but the future for the Lions is bright.

They have a lot of young talent all over the field. We’ll see them in the playoffs again soon.

Niners recover onside kick and look to run out clock

San Francisco will look to run down the clock and go to Las Vegas as champions of the NFC.

Lions make one last push with late TD

Goff found Jameson Williams for a 3-yard touchdown with 56 seconds left, cutting the Niners’ lead to 34-31.

An onside kick is coming.

Lions get stuffed on a run. Amazing job by the Niners’ defense.

That forces Detroit to burn a timeout. And now an onside kick will be necessary.

Two-minute warning and Niners lead, 34-24

Unless Detroit scores on the first play after this two-minute warning, it’s hard to see how the Lions can pull this off without an onside kick.

With what we’ve seen so far in this game, I’m willing to believe anything can happen.

Purdy using his legs to make a difference

A 21-yard scramble from 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy brings him to 51 yards rushing. Purdy has been able to make up for any broken plays with his feet in key moments throughout the game.

Niners touchdown makes it a two-score game

This Detroit nightmare will not end.

Elijah Mitchell’s 3-yard touchdown run has given San Francisco a 34-24 lead with three minutes left.

The 49ers have won the second half 27-0.

Niners’ defense coming up big second half

The Niners take over after Goff, under heavy pressure, couldn’t find a receiver on fourth down.

After being totally dominated in the first half, San Francisco’s defense has stopped Detroit twice on fourth down since intermission.

The Niners are suddenly in position to possibly score a game-clinching, point-spread-covering TD.

You can barely look away at this point.

A juggling catch by Jameson Williams starts the Lions drive. David Montgomery resumes the Lions’ previously potent rushing attack.

Next play: A flea-flicker by Detroit ends with Williams just missing out on a long TD pass from Goff.

A little more than eight minutes left to play.

66 years ago, a preview of what’s to come?

Amazingly enough, a 1957 playoff matchup of these two NFC championship game contenders suddenly feels eerily predictive.

In that divisional round game at old Kezar Stadium in a pre-merger NFL, the Y.A. Tittle-led 49ers raced out to a 27-7 lead, only to see the Lions climb all the way back for a 31-27 victory behind two rushing touchdowns from halfback Tom Tracy.

The 49ers were down 17 as late as four minutes into the second half. Can they repay the favor all these years later?

FG keeps Niners’ breathtaking rally rolling

Moody connects from 33 yards out and in words that seemed laughably impossible an hour ago: San Francisco has taken the lead.

Back-to-back Lions sacks kept the Niners out of the end zone, giving Detroit a chance to re-take the lead with a TD.

I’m not sure what I’d find more impressive: The Niners finishing this comeback, or the reeling Lions finding their composure and pulling it out on the road against the No. 1 seed.

A 17-0 third quarter brings the Niners even

San Francisco turned a 24-7 halftime deficit into an improbable 24-24 tie with 15 minutes to go.

A 51-yard pass off a defender’s face mask and a fumble recovery were keys to this remarkable Niners rally.

One quarter to go.

Dropped passes doom Lions drive before it begins

Dropped passes on catchable balls from Jared Goff to tight end Sam LaPorta and wide receiver Josh Reynolds forced the Lions into a punt as we approach the end of the third quarter.

The Reynolds drop was especially tough, as he appeared to have beaten the 49ers’ defensive scheme for an easy first down.

It’s getting nervy in Detroit.

Tie game! The Niners have somehow turned this around

McCaffrey punched it in from 1 yard out, cashing in on a Lions fumble as the Niners have turned this game around in shocking fashion.

Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs just fumbled, giving the 49ers the ball at their opponents’ 24-yard line.

If momentum is a real thing in sports, this is about as crazy a swing as I can remember.

And just like that it’s one-score game

Purdy found Aiyuk for a 6-yard TD, cutting Detroit’s lead to 24-17.

The scoring pass to Aiyuk was rather pedestrian compared to his 51-yard grab moments earlier after the ball bounced off Lions defender Kindle Vildor’s face mask.

Catch off a defender’s face

Brandon Aiyuk’s 51-yard catch was remarkable. A deep bomb went over Aiyuk’s head, and a Lions defender had a chance at an interception.

After a bounce off the defender’s face mask, Aiyuk made a diving grab just before the goal line.

In one of the many signs of the Lions’ dominance so far, three players have more rushing yards than the 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey.

The San Francisco running back, who led the NFL in rushing this past season, has 39 yards and one touchdown as of the halfway mark of the third quarter.

But that tally is bested by the Lions’ running back duo of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs, as well as wide receiver Jameson Williams. All three of them have rushing TDs.

49ers make an absolutely necessary stop

Detroit passed up a field goal try at the San Francisco 28 that could have restored its three-score lead.

Instead, San Francisco held on fourth-and-2 as Goff could not connect with Josh Reynolds, giving the 49ers another chance to get back into it, down 24-10.

Midway through the third quarter, 49ers quarterback Blake Purdy is 10-of-20 for 136 yards with an interception.

While the former Mr. Irrelevant isn’t necessarily known for his eye-popping passing numbers, the 50% completion rate so far today would be his second-lowest mark in games in which he’s attempted more than 10 passes.

Purdy’s missed throws have also hurt San Francisco’s ability to keep possession of the ball — the Lions are nearly seven minutes ahead on time of possession.

Taylor Swift was wearing a sweater by Gigi Hadid tonight

While Swift was cheering Travis Kelce to a Super Bowl berth, she was wearing a red sweater from Guest in Residence, a cashmere brand owned by her longtime bestie, Gigi Hadid.

The sweater, identified by the Swift style blog @taylorswiftstyled, is called the “Cozy Crew in Cherry Red” and costs $695.

49ers take first step of long, possible journey

Moody connected on a field goal from 43 yards out as the Niners cut Detroit’s lead to 24-10 and gave San Francisco a little hope with 26 minutes left in regulation.

The Niners will need to find a way to stop Detroit’s punishing running game to get any closer.

The Niners have come out of the half strong, and a wild throw by a scrambling Purdy is snagged with one hand by Jauan Jennings for a crucial first down.

The NFC championship game broadcast has cut back to Ford Field in Detroit a few times to highlight a crowd celebrating the Lions’ 24-7 lead at halftime from 2,500 miles away.

Tickets to the watch party sold out in less than 12 hours, according to The Detroit News, and things have gone well so far for the more than 20,000 fans inside the stadium.

All the numbers favor Detroit

The Lions are thoroughly dominating the No. 1-seeded 49ers.

They have more first downs (18-8), yards (280-131) and total plays (43-28).

Detroit has been particularly dominant on the ground, rolling up 148 rushing yards on 21 carries for a 7.0 yard-per-carry average.

What’s a three-score lead?

In football, we’ll often say a team leads by a certain number of scores. That’s a measure of how many times a team would need to get the ball and score points to overcome a particular deficit.

A three-score lead would mean a team is up by more points than can be scored in two posessions: two touchdowns with two two-point conversions (16 total points). Thus it would require that team to score three times to take the lead.

The Lions, up 17, qualify for a three-score lead.

San Francisco heads back to its locker room down 24-7, having reached the end zone only once via a 2-yard Christian McCaffrey run.

The lone score for the league’s highest-scoring offense by touchdowns scored in the regular season (tied with Miami) is unusual but not unprecedented. The No. 1-seeded 49ers scored only seven against the Packers in their 24-21 divisional round win last week.

Lions take commanding lead

Michael Badgley connected from 21 yards out, pushing Detroit’s lead to 24-7 over the stunned 49ers late in the first half.

The key play was a 23-yard pass from Goff to Amon-Ra St. Brown on third-and-18 from San Francisco’s 42.

The Niners had used two timeouts before that big play in hopes of getting the ball back.

Detroit didn’t play it conservative on third-and-18 from San Francisco’s 42 and is now headed to a three-score lead at halftime.

Two third-and-long conversions there. Wow.

A big two minutes to end the half here. With the Lions just over midfield, another three points would pad their lead and make it a three-score game.

Huge conversion of a third and 18 by the Lions there to keep the drive going.

Down 14 points in this explosive first half, the 49ers are already facing a deficit they haven’t been able to overcome in quite some time. The last time San Francisco was able to make its way back from a 14-point deficit was more than two years ago, a 17-point comeback agains the Los Angeles Rams in January 2022.

Gibbs accentuating a shining rookie season

Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who just punctuated the Lions’ third scoring drive with a 15-yard touchdown scamper, is continuing the trajectory of a stellar rookie campaign.

Drafted 12th in the 2023 NFL draft out of the University of Alabama, just the second running back picked, Gibbs made an impact early and often, rushing for more than 940 yards and becoming part of a vaunted Lions rushing attack.

NFC Championship - Detroit Lions v San Francisco 49ers
Jahmyr Gibbs of the Detroit Lions runs the ball against Ji’Ayir Brown of the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday.Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

Gibbs’ season was highlighted by a 152-yard game against the Las Vegas Raiders — one of two games this season in which he topped 100 yards. Gibbs ended 2023 with the second-most rushing yards among rookie RBs, behind only Atlanta’s Bijan Robinson.

Journey to magical land of ‘South Detroit’ at Lions-49ers game

For at least one song, it’ll be OK to stop believin’ in geography.

Iconic San Francisco band Journey is set play halftime of tonight’s Lions-49ers game and will hopefully play its timeless classic “Don’t Stop Believin.’”

Lions fans will have to cover their ears for the opening lines when it’s said: “Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit.” Of course there is no such thing as “South Detroit,” and if there were, it’d be simply known as “Canada (in the form of Windsor, Ontario).”

Frontman Steve Perry has said “South Detroit” just fit into lyrics and that a tour stop in the Motor City inspired the tune.  

The 28 points scored so far in this NFC championship game are already more than the 27 that were scored in the Chiefs-Ravens game.

Lions cash in on interception

Jahmyr Gibbs rumbled into the end zone from 15 yards out as Detroit quickly cashed in the game’s first turnover for a 21-7 lead.

The Lions are outgaining the Niners 212-132 in total yards.

Detroit notches first turnover of the game

Brock Purdy, throwing off his back foot, gets his passed tipped by defensive lineman Joshua Paschal — a pass that is then snagged by Detroit’s Malcolm Rodriguez.

The interception is the first turnover of the game.

Bay Area law enforcement already bracing for 49ers win

This might be about 50% prudent and 50% overconfident.

Long before the 49ers set foot on the gridiron, Bay Area law enforcement agencies announced they’ll shut down major roads in San Francisco tonight — more than 40 miles north of where the game will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

From 7 p.m. PT to midnight, off-ramps off U.S. Highway 101 and Interstate 280 will be closed in San Francisco in anticipation of rowdy postgame celebrations. The SFPD will also be limiting traffic in the city’s Mission District to control possible out-of-control revelry.

The underdog Lions, of course, hope to do their part to keep the peace in San Francisco with an upset victory.

The Niners get their first stop of the day.

Interesting to see that San Fran stayed in basically its base defense on fourth down. Detroit is known to enjoy a fake punt attempt now and then.

The home team will take over deep in its own territory.

And here come the 49ers

Christian McCaffrey muscled into the end zone from 2 yards out, cutting Detroit’s lead to 14-7.

McCaffrey played a huge role on this drive, highlighted by his 28-yard catch-and-run down to Detroit’s 5 yard line.

Kyle Juszczyk, the husband of noted designer Kristin Juszczyk, also had a key 23-yard grab.

Lions lead 14-0 after one quarter

Detroit could not have asked for a better start, up 14-0 after just 15 minutes of play.

Jared Goff’s offense has rolled up 137 yards and two touchdowns on two possessions.

The Lions are one of four current NFL teams that have never made it to the Super Bowl. The three others are the Cleveland Browns, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans.

The Lions were last NFL champs in 1957; the first Super Bowl, pitting the winners of the NFL against the AFL and then the NFC and the AFC after the leagues merged, didn’t take place for another decade.

NFC Championship - Detroit Lions v San Francisco 49ers
Penei Sewell of the Detroit Lions gives a speech in the team huddle before the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday.Kevin Sabitus / Getty Images

If this game continues as is, that list will be down to three.

Two possessions, two touchdowns for Detroit

David Montgomery plunged into the end zone from 1 yard out as the Lions jumped out to a 14-0 lead over the stunned 49ers.

The Lions are leading in first downs (8-3) and total yards (137-45).

Nothing fancy from Detroit so far. The running game and short passes are geting it done.

Lions get in first punch; 49ers fail to answer

Jake Moody missed from 48 yards out after the 49ers picked up three first downs.

The Niners faced fourth-and-6 from the Detroit 30, and coach Kyle Shanahan opted from the field goal.

He had made four of six tries from 40 to 49 yards in the regular season.

Moody made 84% of his kicks in the regular season, but was surprisingly iffy on kicks 40+ yards (6 of 9), and had one blocked last week from a similar distance.

The father of 49ers kicker Jake Moody, predicted this would happen: His son’s team playing against his beloved Lions in a high-stakes game.

But despite being longtime Lions fans, Moody’s parents plan to root for their son in today’s NFC championship game. Rod Meloni of NBC affiliate WDIV of Detroit reports.

Detroit playing in only its second NFC championship game

With a shot at the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance on the line, the Detroit Lions will be playing only their second NFC championship game.

The last time the Lions went on this deep of a run was in 1991 when they lost 41-10 against Washington.

There’s a lot of focus on 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, who had a tough game last week against the Packers.

A big third-down throw to Brandon Aiyuk from Purdy gives the Niners a first down, though Aiyuk had to make a good play to stop an interception on the next play.

Rushing will be the name of the game in NFC title game

With no delay, the Lions scored first, a Jameson Williams 42-yard touchdown run that included broken tackles and a powerful finish. That rush-heavy attack from the Lions on their opening drive is in keeping with what we might expect throughout the game from both offenses.

The Lions and the 49ers were both among the top five teams in the league in 2023 for rushing yards and feature some of the league’s most fearsome rushers, including 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey, the league’s leading rusher, and Detriot’s David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs, two of the top 20 rushers this year.

Lions draw first blood

With a little trickery, Jameson Williams sprinted 42 yards on a wide receiver reverse to pay dirt, giving Detroit a 7-0 lead.

If last game is any lesson, the Lions won’t score again til the 4th quarter.

One team is headed to Las Vegas; the next will be known soon

The Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl opponent will be known in about three hours.

The Detroit Lions-San Francisco 49ers game has kicked off from Santa Clara, Calif.

As soon as the Lions hit the field, Detroit quarterback Jared Goff will get the chance to add his name to a short but notable list: QBs to lead two different franchises to Super Bowls.

Goff’s work to bring the Lions to their first title game since 1992 could help him add his name to a list that includes Tom Brady (Buccaneers and Patriots), Kurt Warner (Cardinals and Rams), Peyton Manning (Broncos and Colts) and Craig Morton (Cowboys and Giants).

Goff presided over the Los Angeles Rams’ 2018 season, one that ultimately led to a Super Bowl appearance but fell short of a title — the Rams lost to the New England Patriots and another (future) member of that list, Brady, 13-3.

Taylor Swift celebrates on the field with Travis Kelce

Following the Chiefs’ win, Swift celebrated on the field with the team and planted a big kiss on Travis Kelce.

They embraced for a few long hugs as the couple beamed at the achievement and Kelce’s near-perfect game.

The Detroit Lions are on the brink of going to the Super Bowl for the first time ever — and their legion of fans are soaking in the excitement. NBC News’ Stephanie Gosk reports for “TODAY.”

For Detroit, a first Super Bowl appearance is within reach

While the 49ers have five Super Bowl wins to their name, they last lifted the championship trophy in 1994. The last time they reached the final, in 2020, they lost to Kansas City.

For the Lions, the wait for a Super Bowl appearance has been even longer. Since the inaugural Super Bowl in 1967, Detroit has never played for the coveted trophy.

The team does have a winning pedigree to be proud of — the 1935 NFL championship, as well as league championships in 1952, 1953 and 1957 — but modern times have not been kind to it.

Chiefs in elite company with sixth Super Bowl appearance

With its victory, Kansas City heads to Las Vegas for its fourth Super Bowl appearance in five seasons (it won two of those). Super Bowl 58 will also mark the Chiefs’ sixth appearance in the NFL’s championship game, which makes the franchise one of just six with more than five appearances in the Super Bowl. 

  • 11 appearances: New England Patriots 
  • 8 appearances: Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 7 appearances: San Francisco 49ers
  • 6 appearances: Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City broke what was a seven-way tie among teams with five Super Bowls apiece. Admittedly, Kansas City had a head start: The Chiefs featured in two of the first four Super Bowls.

Karma is the Kansas City Chiefs going to the Super Bowl

The Chiefs, with a 17-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, will be playing for pro football’s championship against the Detroit Lions or the San Francisco 49ers.

Mahomes went 30-for-39 for 241 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Kelce was a threat all game, making 11 grabs for 116 yards and a touchdown.

Among the many things that ailed the Ravens this early Baltimore evening — missed opportunities, costly turnovers, frustration when it mattered the most — perhaps the costliest were the team’s penalties. The yards accrued against the Ravens began to hurt in a tangible way. 

The Ravens have accumulated eight penalties for 95 yards. You can’t say, however, that wasn’t on brand for the Ravens. Baltimore was among the most penalized teams in the NFL in 2023, racking up nearly 1,000 penalty yards in the regular season, second worst in the league. 

2-minute warning and the Chiefs will go into victory formation

A wide-open Marquez Valdes-Scantling catches a 32-yard pass from Mahomes for what’s likely a game-clinching first down.

If you’ve been watching the NFL for a while, the faces in the AFC championship game are likely to be quite familiar by now — at least among quarterbacks.

According to NFL reporter Joe Schad, this is the 13th straight AFC championship that has featured either Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes.

How to watch the NFC championship

For those who realize this AFC game is over and are ready to switch …

The San Francisco 49ers (12-5) play the Detroit Lions at home (12-5).

Watch it over the air: The game will air on Fox at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Stream it: The game can be streamed on NFL+, Sling TV, Fubo TV and Hulu + Live TV, according to CBS.

The Ravens gave the Chiefs a first down — and maybe more yards than they meant.

After a penalty for too many men on the field, the Ravens appeared to purposefully jump offsides to get back to 1st and 10. But the Ravens hit a Chiefs offensive lineman hard, resulting in a 15-yard penalty. Another mistake.

Justin Tucker connected from 43 yards, and the Ravens are within one score at 17-10.

The Ravens need a three-and-out for any chance.

Travis Kelce just notched his second playoff receiving record of the day

Travis Kelce has more than 100 receiving yards on the day — his second playoff receiving record.

According to ESPN, Kelce is now tied with Jerry Rice for most playoff games (eight) with 100 or more receiving yards.

The Chiefs have done a great job of tackling Jackson in the open field tonight. That’s not easy to do.

There’s a point where the Ravens just need to score, any score, pretty soon.

Even a field goal, like right now, could put Baltimore in a position to get back within one score without having to do an onside kick.

After the teams traded touchdowns in the first quarter on long pass plays, it looked like this may become a shootout between two of the best quarterbacks in the league.

Instead, the defenses took over. There’s only been 10 total points since and none so far in the second half. Both teams had dominant defenses during the regular season, but the offensive output in this game is below what most people expected.

Another Ravens stop and a decent punt return. This game isn’t over yet!

Pick you very much

Deon Bush intercepted Jackson in the end zone, and it’s hard to see how Baltimore can rally now, down 17-7, as K.C. takes over at its own 20 with 6:45 left.

The Ravens desperately needed at least a field goal on this interception-ended possession.

Jackson slammed his helmet down coming off the field after that interception. Hard to blame him. Tough night.

Jackson had a lot of time to find an open receiver on a third down and just 1 yard before he took a sack for a loss of 2 yards.

But the Ravens decided to go for it on fourth down on their own 18-yard-line and converted on a pass to Beckham.

Chiefs D just like Mahomes rushing: exactly what’s needed when necessary.

Ravens convert on fourth-and-3 from their own 18 with a 6-yard toss to Odell Beckham Jr.

The Ravens have a faint pulse.

The Ravens’ defense gets another stop, but a great punt pins Baltimore just outside its own end zone.

Jackson will need to go the length of the field to stay in this game as time starts to become a factor.

NFL Twitter is starting to blame the Ravens’ new offensive coordinator for today’s lackluster performance

Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who joined the team this season, is coming in for criticism for his team’s underperformance today.

Monken took over as OC for longtime Ravens offensive guru Greg Roman, who stepped down after the 2022 season. Monken previously was offensive coordinator of the Georgia Bulldogs, with whom he won back-to-back national championships.

Fumble at the goal line could be end of Ravens

Zay Flowers appeared to going in for a TD to cut the lead to 17-14 before L’Jarius Sneed stripped the ball.

Kansas City’s Trent McDuffie recovered in the end zone and the Chiefs took over on the touchback, still up 17-7.

L’Jarius Sneed just won the game.

Chiefs 15 minutes from Las Vegas

The Ravens have to score a TD here, with a second down at the Kansas City 9 to start the fourth quarter.

Through 45 minutes, the Chiefs lead in first downs (18-10) and total yards (265-225), but the Ravens can get back in it with a TD here.

Big play! Jackson hooked up with Zay Flowers on a big 54-yard pass play, but 15 yards were given back on a taunting penalty.

The Ravens’ defense is doing what it can to make this a game.

Another punt gives Baltimore the ball and decent field position with less than a minute to go in the third quarter.

The Ravens’ sputtering offense today — in a home game — is shocking

Having scored just seven points with less three minutes to go in the third quarter, the Ravens are vastly underperforming their usual output.

During the regular reason, they averaged 28.7 points per game.

And in each of their last seven home games, they’ve scored 31 or more points.

But Kansas City has the best second-half defense in the league, having given up an average of just seven points.

Jim Nantz notes that it’s starting to rain pretty hard in Baltimore. Doesn’t look to be changing the game just yet.

We won’t have to worry about that for the Super Bowl in Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, which is a dome.

Baltimore’s defense forced its second consecutive Chiefs punt, opening the door for its offense to get the Ravens back in it.

Since scoring a TD on their first possession, the Ravens have punted three times and coughed up a fumble.

Baltimore was forced to punt on its first possession of the third quarter, failing to cash in on the Ravens’ defensive stand.

The Chiefs, up 17-7, have the ball back with another chance to go up three scores.

Jackson really should have been picked off there. A pretty questionable throw went through the hands of a K.C. defender.

The Ravens start the second half with a much-needed stop.

Mahomes floated a pass on third down, and there was some contact but no flag. Chiefs punt after just three plays.

Chiefs defense matches with a three-and-out of their own, forcing the Ravens to punt.

The Chiefs took a touchback to start the second half at their own 25 yard line, up 10 points.

One of the flashiest players in the NFL has been absent from the Ravens’ offense today.

Odell Beckham Jr., whom the Ravens signed as a free agent last April, has not been thrown to by QB Lamar Jackson.

Beckham, who made his debut in 2014, missed the 2022 season after winning a Super Bowl ring with the Los Angeles Rams but tearing his ACL.

The Ravens have only 110 total yards of offense through the first half.

You can be a Raven and a Swiftie — it’s OK

All of Baltimore may be rooting against Taylor Swift and the Chiefs today, but Ravens kicker Justin Tucker won’t deny her greatness — even on game day.

He called Swift the “songbird of our generation” in an interview.

Not sure if he’ll still feel that way if the score holds in the second half.

A fan holds a sign for Taylor Swift
A fan holds a sign for Taylor Swift before the AFC championship game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs in Baltimore on Sunday.Matt Slocum / AP

It’s 17-7 K.C.

The Chiefs own every major metric of this AFC title game.

Kansas City outgained Baltimore, 221-110, it had more first downs, 16-5, and it forced the game’s only turnover.

The familiar pairing of Mahomes and Kelce has fueled this dominant K.C. first half. Mahomes is 20-for-25 for 161 yards, and his favorite target, Kelce, has 9 grabs for 96 yards and a TD.

If not for a key fourth-down stop by the Ravens, this game could already be beyond reach for Baltimore.

The Ravens go into halftime down 10 — but it could be worse.

A huge stop after a Baltimore turnover helped keep this game close, as did a holding call that negated a touchdown there at the end of the half. The Ravens offense hasn’t found any rhythm. The Chiefs offense looks great and will get the ball to start the half.

But I can’t help but feel like the Chiefs should be up by more.

Chiefs extend lead just before halftime

Harrison Butker connected from 52 yards out as Kansas City extended its lead to 17-7.

While the Ravens are now down by two scores, keeping Kansas City out of the end zone was a mini-win for the home side.

Kansas City will get the ball to start the third quarter.

The Ravens first penalty was a big one, as Kyle Van Noy was flagged for a personal foul for an after-play scuffle with Kelce. That’s 15 free yards for the Chiefs, who were backed up close to their own goal line.

And another one! A roughing the passer call on the Ravens. That’s 30 free yards with the Chiefs looking to score to close the half.

And another 15 yards, as Travis Jones roughed the passer with a needless swipe to Mahomes’ face, in a play that drew comparison to the clothesline tackle of “The Longest Yard.” What is Baltimore doing?

Ravens fans can boo that second call all they want but Mahomes clearly got hit pretty hard in the head by a lineman.

The Ravens were forced to punt in what will likely be their last possession of the first half.

Kansas City won the coin flip and elected to take the ball to start the third quarter.

So in theory, the Chiefs could take a three-score lead without Baltimore ever touching the ball — by scoring on this last possession of the first half and then on their first shot of the second half.

After catching his own pass when the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson now not only leads his team in passing and rushing yards, but is also second in receiving yards with 13.

Wasn’t that great of a first half for Jackson though, he finished at 5 for 12 passing for 67 yards. Seems like he’ll need to do better in the second half if they’ll come back.

We’ve reached the two-minute warning for the first half with the Ravens on offense. They’re aiming to tie it before half time, with the Chiefs getting the ball to start the third quarter

The Ravens couldn’t get it done and punted it to the Chiefs, who’ll start on their own 11-yard line with 1:46 left in the half.

Lamar Jackson caught a ball that he threw after it was tipped at the line and hung in the air for a few perilous seconds. Jackson then ran ahead for a 13 yard game.

Announcers Jim Nantz and Tony Romo immediately christened it one of the best plays you’ll ever see … and they’re probably not wrong.

It didn’t amount to much, as Kansas City forced a punt moments later. The odd completion did help Baltimore with a few yards of field position.

Huge stop by the Ravens

Baltimore stopped Kansas City on fourth-and-1 from the 13.

Pacheco went up the middle where he was met by Kyle Hamilton and Travis Jones, keeping this a one-score game. That’s a missed opportunity at a golden chance to extend its 14-7 edge.

Sure looked like Kelce got the first down on the play before, but Andy Reid opted not to challenge.

I did too but that replay showed refs got it right

Kelce breaks Jerry Rice’s postseason catch record

Travis Kelce just broke NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice’s record for most catches in the playoffs with his 152nd reception.

football in air catch
Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches a pass against the Baltimore Ravens, in Baltimore, today.Patrick Smith / Getty Images

The rest of the top-5 is rounded out by former New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, now both retired; and former Chiefs standout and current Miami Dolphin Tyreek Hill.

The Chiefs, up 14-7, forced the first game’s turnover as Jackson fumbled.

The Ravens QB was back to pass when Charles Omenihu sacked him, forcing the fumble recovered by George Karlaftis.

The Chiefs are now in prime position to take a two-score lead at Baltimore’s 33.

A series of trades and injuries have made Chiefs rookie Rashee Rice a key to the Chiefs’ passing game.

Through the first quarter, Rice, 23, has four receptions for 35 yards.

Last month, Rice set the Chiefs’ record for most touchdown catches by a rookie.

In the wake of the departure of standout receiver Tyreek Hill and following an injury to teammate Kadarius Toney, Rice is now Mahomes’ primary target at wide receiver.

Just an incredible start from Mahomes. He’s extending plays with his pocket awareness, making tough throws and getting first downs with his legs.

Jackson has been good as well, and he’ll want to respond after that Chiefs TD.

The Chiefs offense looks sharp so far, picking up nine first downs in the first 15 minutes.

Kansas City has out gained host Baltimore 124 yards to 78 yards, with Mahomes completing his first 10 passes.

If that Ravens celebration after their first touchdown looked familiar…

It’s because Taylor did the same “swag surf” celebration last week.

Maryland’s governor spotted shotgunning a beer with Ravens fans

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore was not about to miss an opportunity to bond with constituents ahead of Sunday’s marquee matchup.

Moore, 45, was spotted before the game shotgunning a beer in the parking lot of M&T Bank Stadium.

The Baltimore Banner’s sports account Tweeted the footage:

A Rhodes scholar, Moore took office last year.

Mahomes perfect so far

After that catch by Kelce for a first down, Mahomes is 8 for 8 for 76 yards and one touchdown as we near the end of the first quarter.

At the end of the first quarter, Mahomes finished a still-perfect 10 for 10 for 86 yards.

The streak ended after 11.

Touchdown Ravens, 7-7.

Jackson hooked up with Zay Flowers on a remarkable 30-yard TD pass.

The Ravens QB amazingly escaped the rush of Chiefs LB Leo Chenal to heave the ball deep to Flowers.

Game paused cause of… a drone?

The game had an unexpected pause — an administrative timeout — that sent viewers to commercial.

When the game came back, Jim Nantz said it was because of a drone. We don’t know much more than that, at least for now. Drone incidents have been an ongoing problem, one that the NFL and members of Congress have expressed concerns about.

Ravens tight end Mark Andrews with his first catch of the game — and his first catch since week 11 of the NFL regular season.

Andrews was recovering from a serious ankle injury that left Baltimore without one of its top offensive weapons.

Big early gamble by Ravens

The Ravens risked fourth-and-1 from their own 34 and Lamar Jackson made it work for a 21-yard gain.

Both teams have now converted fourth-down plays, though Kansas City’s gamble had lower risk at the Baltimore 41. The Ravens risked giving up the ball at their own 34.


Mahomes found Kelce for a 19-yard touchdown as the Chiefs jumped on top, 7-0.

football touchdown celebration
Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens, in Baltimore, today.Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Moments earlier, the tight end caught a 13-yard pass on fourth-and-2 from the Baltimore 41 to keep this drive alive.

The Chiefs have now scored on their opening possession in eight straight playoff games.

There’s been some murmurs of Kelce slowing down this season. Huge 4th down grab and a great catch for the TD already. Big players show up in big games, as they say.

Chiefs convert early on fourth down

Mahomes and Kelce hooked up on a key 13-yard completion on fourth-and-2 from the Baltimore 41.

The Chiefs have scored on their first possession in seven consecutive playoff games.

Balanced attack by Chiefs

So far, the Chiefs have called five running plays and four passing ones on their drive, collecting more than 60 yards and eating up more than five minutes on the clock.

It’s a little wet and windy in Baltimore today, and that could affect the passing game.

The Ravens said on X that a pre-game flyover was canceled due to the weather.

Chiefs have the ball

After a quick three-and-out by the Ravens, the Chiefs now have the ball. They started with a pass to Kelce for four yards.

We’re under way in Baltimore

The Chiefs won the toss and have deferred, so they’ll have the ball to start the second half.

Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker knocks it through the endzone for a touchback.

Ravens favored to win

As kickoff approaches in Baltimore, the Ravens remain 4.5-point favorites over the visiting Kansas City Chiefs.

Baltimore opened as a 3.5-point choice but bettors have been putting money on the Ravens to push that line up.

CBS Sports hosts mostly pick the Ravens to win

Phil Simms, Bill Cowher, Nate Burleson and J.J. Watt all predicted the home Ravens would emerge victorious today.

Only Boomer Esiason chose the Chiefs, citing quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ past pedigree winning big games as his reason.

More recent Super Bowl appearances

The Chiefs and the 49ers have been frequent visitors to the Super Bowl in recent years, even playing against each four seasons ago.

The Chiefs are defending champs and also took home the Lombardi Trophy in 2020 against San Francisco. They were in the final game the following season but lost to Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Bucs.

Besides the loss to the Chiefs four seasons ago, the Niners were also runners-up against the Ravens in the 2013 title game.

The Ravens have made two Super Bowls, in 2001 and 2013, winning both of them.

The Lions have never played in the Super Bowl.

Jim Harbaugh about to be NFL rival of brother John

He’s a Michigan Man who wants a Lombardi Trophy.

Newly hired Los Angeles Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh, brother of Ravens coach John, said it was a tough choice to leave Michigan just after winning the national college title.

“I love Michigan, but I love the NFL too and there’s no Lombardi Trophy in college football,” Harbaugh told CBS Sports ahead of the AFC title game. “I got so many sands left in the hourglass and I want to take a crack at that.” 

Harbaugh was 44-19-1 as coach of the San Francisco 49ers but was essentially pushed out due to conflicts with management. His 49ers were famously defeated by brother John’s Ravens in the 2013 Super Bowl as a rally by the Colin Kaepernick-led Niners fell just short.

Taylor in the house

Taylor Swift arrived at MT&T Stadium in Baltimore to support her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

Swift first showed up to a Chiefs game to cheer on Kelce on Sept. 24 when K.C. beat the Chicago Bears.

She’s been to games on Oct. 1 (at Jets), Oct. 12 (vs. Broncos), Oct. 22 (vs. Chargers), Dec. 3 (at Green Bay), Dec. 10 (vs. Bills), Dec. 17 (at Patriots), Dec. 25 (Raiders), Dec. 31 (Bengals), Jan. 13 (Dolphins) and Jan. 21 (at Bills).

Click here to read the full article on Swift’s appearance

Where does Taylor Swift get all her Chiefs merch from?

Taylor Swift’s attire never goes out of style — even when it’s football themed. 

Since September, the pop star has been photographed cheering on boyfriend Travis Kelce at Kansas City Chiefs games while sporting red vintage team apparel. It’s prompted many online to ask where Swift gets the team swag from.

Some of her looks are one-of-a-kind finds or were custom made for her. Most of the Chiefs gear Swift has sported comes from local stores and independent fashion designers.

Click here to read a breakdown of Swift’s past game day looks

QBs Mahomes and Jackson face-off for first time since 2021

The championship will see the Super Bowl’s MVP, Patrick Mahomes, in his sixth AFL championship in a row. He may be aiming for receiver Travis Kelce, also a six-in-a-row AFL championship veteran.

sport sports football quarterbacks
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.AP/Getty Images

The two surpassed Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski for the most playoff scores by a quarterback-receiver duo.

The Ravens won 36-35 the last time the two teams met, during the regular season in 2021, with quarterback Lamar Jackson’s touchdown from 3rd and goal securing a Ravens victory over the Chiefs.

‘SNL’ expresses a football fan’s lament — the last games of the NFL season

“Saturday Night Live” saw the glass half empty last night as it depicted an NFL broadcast team grappling with the end of the league’s season.

“I expect this to be an all-out battle for the next three hours, and then after that, it’s all over,” Andrew Dismukes, appearing as Tony Romo, says in the show’s cold open.

“After today it’s just … it’s done,” he says. The Super Bowl, he argues, isn’t “real football.”

“The Super Bowl is for commercials and Usher and people who never watch football asking how many points a touch down is worth,” Dismukes says. “Today’s the last real football day for just us guys.”

Another commentator asks what men are supposed to do on Sundays now — “just go to their friends’ houses for no reason?”

A broadcaster played by Kenan Thompson says with a hint of self-awareness, “There’s no other live TV that’s even remotely watchable.”

Football fans across the country are celebrating after they were surprised with tickets to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. NBC News’ Kate Snow has more on these moments of joy and celebration.

More Sports coverage from NBC News

While you’re hearing catching up before the conference title games, check out some of NBC News’ latest sports coverage.

Maryland, Kansas governors make friendly bet: Over a team from Missouri?

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Kansas counterpart Laura Kelly have a friendly wager on the AFC title game, featuring a team from Missouri?

Maryland crab cakes and Kansas steaks will be on the line when the Ravens and Chiefs clash in Baltimore this afternoon.

We hope and assume everyone involved knows the Chiefs play in Kansas City, where nearly 510,000 people live … in the state of Missouri. It’s the largest city in the Show Me State.

Reps for Moore and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson could not be immediately reached for comment on Sunday.

Travis Kelce says as long as he and Taylor Swift are ‘happy … that’s all that matters’

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift aren’t concerning themselves with the opinions of others, as long as they are happy.

While answering questions from reporters Friday ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs’ appearance in the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Kelce was asked whether he and Swift have discussed how to deal with the media attention swarming their love story.

“I mean, the only thing we’ve talked about is as long as we’re happy, we can’t listen to anything that’s outside noise,” Kelce said. “That’s all that matters.”

It remains unclear whether Swift will be in Baltimore this weekend, but Kylie Kelce, Jason Kelce’s wife, told “Good Morning America” they plan to be there to cheer on their little brother.

Click here to read the full article

Baltimore hosting first AFC championship game in 53 years

BALTIMORE — The last time Baltimore hosted an AFC championship game, the city was enjoying quite a sports renaissance.

The Orioles had won the World Series a few months earlier. Then the Colts followed with a Super Bowl title. Even the local basketball team made an appearance in the NBA Finals.

“It literally felt, at least to a 9-year-old, like the axis of the Earth ran through Baltimore,” said Gerry Sandusky, who is now the radio voice of the Baltimore Ravens. “You had Johnny Unitas, you had Brooks Robinson, you had Wes Unseld. You had these three really great teams.”

When the Ravens take on the Chiefs today, Baltimore will be back in the spotlight in a way that’s a bit more rare these days. It’s the first AFC title game here since January 1971, when the Colts — with Sandusky’s father John as a line coach — beat the Oakland Raiders. Over a half-century later, and with a different NFL franchise representing Baltimore, Charm City will again serve as a gateway to the Super Bowl.

With the Super Bowl at a predetermined site each year, the conference championship is generally the biggest game you can host.

“To a large degree, this is the last true football game. After this, it’s just two weeks of pageantry and celebrity and corporate crowds,” Sandusky said. “It’s just a very different animal. This is the end of the road for the die-hard fans who have been at home supporting the team all year, which is what makes it so special.”

Sixth straight AFC title game for Chiefs

The Chiefs are appearing tonight in their sixth straight AFC championship game, a streak only topped by the Patriots.

The Patriots’ eight-season run spanned the 2011 to 2018 seasons.

The Patriots have not made it back to the conference championship since the 2018 season, when they beat the Chiefs to advance to the Super Bowl, which they also won.

How to watch the AFC championship

The Kansas City Chiefs (11-6) are in Baltimore to play the Ravens (13-4).

Watch it over the air: The game is scheduled to air on local CBS stations on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

Stream it: If your television is a computer, the game can be streamed with a subscription to Paramount+. A subscription to NFL+, Hulu TV + Live TV or Fubo TV will also allow game streaming, according to CBS.

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