Chiefs vs Patriots: 5 things to know about the AFC Championship game

The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots will face off in the AFC Championship game Sunday, with the Patriots looking to go back to the Super Bowl and avenge their close loss from last season.

The Chiefs defeated the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, 31-13, to reach the conference championship. The Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, 41-28, to reach the title game.

Here are some things to know before next Sunday’s game.

5. Welcome back

FILE - In this Dec. 30, 2018, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid gestures during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders, in Kansas City, Mo. 

FILE – In this Dec. 30, 2018, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid gestures during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders, in Kansas City, Mo.  (AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File)

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Indianapolis Colts at home Saturday to get them back to the AFC Championship game for the first time since 1994. Dave Krieg and Joe Montana were quarterbacking that Chiefs team and lost to the Buffalo Bills, 30-14. Prior to that game, the Chiefs hadn’t been to a conference championship since January 1970.

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Chiefs coach Andy Reid was 1-for-5 all-time in conference championship games during his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s the first time he’s gotten the Chiefs this far. It will also be a playoff first for many of the Chiefs’ young players, including quarterback Patrick Mahomes, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and linebacker Justin Houston.

4. Been there, done that

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, right, gives a high-five to quarterback Tom Brady during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, right, gives a high-five to quarterback Tom Brady during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Chargers. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The New England Patriots, who defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday, return to the AFC Championship game for the eighth consecutive season. Since 2002, the Patriots have won eight AFC championships — all with quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick.

The last two AFC Championship games have been in Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., and the Patriots have won both games. However, the last time the Patriots won the AFC title game on the road was in 2005, at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

3. Chiefs, Patriots don’t have much playoff history

Fans cheer and hold a sign referring to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Patriots.

Fans cheer and hold a sign referring to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Patriots. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The Chiefs and Patriots franchises both go back to the days of the American Football League. Ironically, the Chiefs and Patriots never met each other in the playoffs or a championship game until a divisional round game in 2016.

In that game, the Patriots edged the Chiefs, 27-20. New England had a 27-13 lead with almost all of the fourth quarter to play. Chiefs running back Charcandrick West scored with under two minutes left to bring the game within one possession, but the Chiefs never tied the score.

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Overall, the Chiefs are 18-18 in 36 games against the Patriots

2. Earlier matchup was a shootout

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates a touchdown with running back Damien Williams (26) during the first half of an NFL divisional football playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates a touchdown with running back Damien Williams (26) during the first half of an NFL divisional football playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

The Chiefs and Patriots met in Week 6 of the 2018 season in a shootout.

New England, at home, handed Kansas City its first loss of the season in that game. Brady had one touchdown pass and one rushing touchdown, while Sony Michel led the way with two rushing touchdowns. Patrick Mahomes had four touchdown passes and two interceptions in the game. He threw for 352 passing yards in the loss.

1. When does the showdown begin?

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel heads for the goal line and his second touchdown during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel heads for the goal line and his second touchdown during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Chargers. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The Chiefs and the Patriots will play on Sunday, Jan. 20 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The game is set to kick off at 6:40 p.m. ET. and will be broadcast on CBS.

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