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Chiefs beat Dolphins 33-27, clinch AFC West for fifth straight year

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) stops Miami Dolphins free safety Brandon Jones (29), during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

After a sloppy win in Miami, the Chiefs clinched their fifth straight AFC West title, extending a franchise record. This win was anything but pretty, with Mahomes throwing three interceptions and Miami making it close in the end, but a win is a win and Kansas City is 12-1.

The Dolphins jumped out fast early, picking off Mahomes twice in the first quarter alone, and raced out to a quick 10-0 lead (not the first time the Chiefs have been down 10 in Miami).

The middle quarters, however, were all Kansas City. Tyreek Hill outran everyone in Florida on his way to the end zone, then Travis Kelce got free in the end zone to give the Chiefs the lead heading into the locker room. In between the two TD drives, Tyrann Mathieu got his sixth pick of the season.

Coming out of the break, the Cheetah broke loose, this time through the air to make it 21-10.

After the defense forced a three-and-out, the K.C. special teams unit got in on the action, with Mecole Hardman breaking loose for a 67-yard punt-return TD to extend the lead to 18.

Later in the third quarter, the Chiefs defense was able to put two points on the board, as Chris Jones tracked down Tua Tagovailoa in the end zone for a safety.

Miami got back in it in the fourth, getting within one score, but the Chiefs tacked on a field goal from Harrison Butker late, icing the game and any realistic chance at a Dolphin comeback.

In what seems to becoming a theme, the Chiefs played a weird game (shoutout to Time’s Ours with The Athletic) and lost the turnover battle 4-1. Mahomes threw three interceptions and Mecole Hardman fumbled a ball inside the Miami.

Having that many mistakes and still being able to come away with a win is very nice, the margin for error in January is much smaller, so expect the coaching staff and players to clean up the mistakes as we head towards the postseason.

For the AFC playoff picture, the Chiefs have taken over the top seed for now at 12-1. If the Steelers lose tonight to Buffalo, K.C. will stay there, but a Pittsburgh would propel them back above Kansas City.

All eyes turn to Orchard Park, New York for a 7:20 kickoff.

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