How Kansas City and Buffalo Set a Record for Playoff Thrills

Kansas City and Buffalo combined to score 25 points in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter of their N.F.L. playoff showdown on Sunday night, a wild back-and-forth sequence that sent the game to overtime.

The 25 points were the most scored in the last two minutes of regulation in any N.F.L. playoff game, and the second most in any N.F.L. game since at least 1966, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The teams accumulated 28 percent of the game’s total yardage in just the last two minutes of the fourth quarter and Kansas City’s sole overtime drive, which ended with Patrick Mahomes’s game-winning touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce.

Here is how the game unfolded in the final minutes, a memorable finish on a weekend of last-second wins in the N.F.L. playoffs:

Buffalo 29, Kansas City 26, 1:54 4th quarter

Buffalo touchdown

17 plays, 75 yards, 7:01 time of possession

Credit…Denny Medley/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Mahomes and Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen traded touchdowns all game. With the Bills trailing by 5, Allen led a 17-play, 75-yard drive that ended with his 27-yard touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis. A successful 2-point conversion, on a pass to Stefon Diggs, gave Buffalo a 3-point lead with just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Kansas City 33, Buffalo 29, 1:02 4th quarter

Kansas City touchdown

5 plays, 75 yards, 0:52 time of possession

Credit…Jay Biggerstaff/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Among the weapons at Mahomes’s disposal is arguably the fastest player in the N.F.L., receiver Tyreek Hill. When Hill caught a pass and sped into the end zone for a 64-yard touchdown, Kansas City regained the lead with 1:02 to go.

Buffalo 36, Kansas City 33, 0:13 4th quarter

Buffalo touchdown

6 plays, 75 yards, 0:49 time of possession

Credit…David Eulitt/Getty Images

On the ensuing possession, Allen took control, attacking through the air and connecting with Davis again for a 19-yard touchdown pass. It was Davis’s fourth receiving touchdown of the night, a playoff record, and the Bills looked as if they had won the game with 13 seconds left.

Kansas City 36, Buffalo 36, 0:00 4th quarter

Kansas City field goal

3 plays, 44 yards, 0:13 time of possession

Credit…Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Buffalo kicked off into the end zone for a touchback, giving Mahomes 13 seconds to try to drive downfield. As it turned out, 13 seconds was all he needed. He guided Kansas City into field-goal range in two plays, with Travis Kelce’s 25-yard catch setting up Harrison Butker’s 49-yard field goal to force overtime.

Kansas City 42, Buffalo 36, Final (OT)

Kansas City touchdown

8 plays, 75 yards, 4:15 time of possession

Credit…Jay Biggerstaff/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Kansas City won the coin toss and got the ball first in overtime. On Kansas City’s eighth play of the drive, Mahomes hit Kelce again for the winning score, sending Kansas City to the A.F.C. Championship game. Allen never got a chance to respond.

It was a perfect finish to a wild playoff weekend in which the first three games were decided by last-second field goals. It was the first playoff weekend in N.F.L. history with four games decided on the final play, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

From left, the Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams all won their playoff games with field goals as time expired.Credit…From left, Wesley Hitt/Getty Images; Patrick McDermott/Getty Images; Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

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