When the New England Patriots entered Arrowhead Stadium for a date with the Kansas City Chiefs, most fans knew what was ahead. It marked one of the toughest places to play for a road team in the NFL. But with the AFC Championship up for grabs and a spot in the Super Bowl on the line, Tom Brady rose to the occasion as we’ve seen him do so many times. But in the 37-31 overtime victory, the magnitude of what he did has proven to be special in a record-breaking way.
Although it took overtime to get the job done, winning a playoff game in Arrowhead is a tall task. And even with the Chiefs defense being hit-or-miss throughout the season, they entered the game playing at a high level on Sunday. But as Pro Football Reference detailed, the 348 passing yards Brady racked up broke a record previously held by Peyton Manning for the highest single-game total at Arrowhead in playoff history.
While it’s an impressive number, when looking at the grand scheme of things, it’s even more eye-opening. The dominance of the Chiefs defense throughout the years at home has jumped off the page.
Chiefs’ Defensive Dominance at Arrowhead in Playoffs
While Manning’s 304 yards marked the previous high, the defensive numbers Kansas City has posted over the years were nothing short of spectacular. Aside from Brady and Manning, no other quarterback dating back to the 1971 playoffs totaled more than 286 yards, per StatMuse. That full list features 11 names and includes the likes of John Elway, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, and Jim Harbaugh, among others.
Going one step further, including Brady and Manning, only five of the 11 quarterbacks managed to throw for more than 225 yards. Roethlisberger was held to 224 yards in 2016 while Andrew Luck threw for 203 yards in the divisional round of the current playoffs.
Tom Brady’s Performance vs. Chiefs in AFC Championship Game
After the Patriots jumped out to a 14-0 lead which they carried into halftime, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs managed to come back and take the lead 21-17. This run featured three touchdown passes from Kansas City’s second-year signal-caller and began a stretch of four lead changes in the fourth quarter. To finish regulation, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker made a 39-yard field goal to send the game to overtime.
From the 7:45 mark of the fourth quarter when the Chiefs took the lead, Brady proceeded to lead 75 and 65-yard touchdown drives. Once overtime began, it was a 13-play, 75-yard drive which included the future Hall-of-Famer converting three times on 3rd-and-10. The game wrapped up with running back Rex Burkhead punching in a two-yard score.
While Brady did throw two interceptions, he racked up the aforementioned 348 yards and one touchdown as well. After looking at the numbers by opposing quarterbacks in postseason games played in Kansas City, it just makes his performance even more impressive.