KANSAS CITY Ben Powers Jersey , Mo. (AP) — Nobody in the Kansas City Chiefs locker room is more keenly aware of the franchise’s heartbreaking playoff history than Xavier Williams, who grew up a short drive away from Arrowhead Stadium.He was just a toddler when his hometown team lost in the AFC title game in January 1994, the last time they were on the cusp of playing in a Super Bowl. He endured the childhood disappointments, and the playoff losses while he was starring in high school and at Northern Iowa.So when the Chiefs finally punched their ticket back to the AFC championship game with a 31-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, there was nobody better to put it into perspective.“I think if you’re not from here, you don’t know,” Williams said. “People have been waiting for a long, long time. You could just feel how electrifying it is around the city, from the start of the season until now, tonight. A blizzard going on and the crowd sold out. It’s something.”The Chiefs certainly gave them a reason to brave the weather.Patrick Mahomes threw for 278 yards while running for a touchdown. Damien Williams ran for 129 yards and a score against a Colts defense that had not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. Tyreek Hill also had a touchdown run, while Travis Kelce topped 100 yards receiving.The Chiefs’ defense http://www.ravensfootballauthentics.com/iman-marshall-jersey-authentic , which was so maligned all season, shut down Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis offense in helping Kansas City to its first playoff win over the Colts in five tries.“Everybody grows up talking about playing for the hometown team,” Williams said. “I mean, it’s a great opportunity we’ve got. And now we’ve got an even bigger opportunity, a chance to bring a Super Bowl to your hometown. That’s what dreams are made of.”Standing in the way: The Los Angeles Charger, who split with Kansas City during the regular season with each team winning on the road, or the New England Patriots, who rallied in the final seconds to beat the Chiefs in a 43-40 barnburner at Gillette Stadium in Week 6.The Chiefs don’t really care who earns the right to visit them Sunday.“We don’t care who we’re going against. We can be going against brick walls and will find a way to beat them,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said. “We’re peaking at the right moment.”The Colts thought they were, too.They started 1-5 before ripping off nine wins in 10 games to reach the playoffs. Then they joined the 2015 Chiefs as the only teams in NFL history to start so abysmally and win a postseason game, romping through the Houston Texans a week ago to earn a shot at the AFC’s top seed.They faced a 17-0 hole before they realized what had happened Trace McSorley Jersey , and it was 24-7 at halftime with their only points coming on a blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone. In fact, the Colts didn’t score on offense until Luck hit T.Y. Hilton with 5:31 left in the game.By that point, the Chiefs were cruising toward the next round of the playoffs.“This is the type of game you dream about playing on the road,” Luck said. “It seemed, myself at the top of the list, we took our turns sort of messing the plays up. And when that’s happening and you can’t stop the bleeding, it’s tough. It’s too hard to win on the road against the No. 1 seed.”As the Chiefs move on and the Colts hit the offseason, here are five takeaway items from Saturday:VINATIERI’S MISSES: Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 23-yard field goal just before halftime that could have made it a 24-10 game. He also missed an extra point in the fourth quarter. “The first one I just didn’t get good footing. It’s silly,” he said. “You need every point you can in a playoff game and we needed that one for sure. That’s a momentum swing.”SACK ATTACK: Justin Houston had two sacks and Dee Ford had a strip-sack, something he had done seven times this season. The Chiefs also batted several of Luck’s passes at the line of scrimmage in what was easily their best defensive performance all season.HOBBLED HILTON: The silver lining of the loss for Hilton is that he can finally rest his ankle, which has been bothering him for some time. “It needs rest Kyler Murray Jersey ,” he said. “I got a low and a high ankle sprain on one ankle, so I’m dealing with two injuries in one, which is pretty rough. But I dealt with it. Gave the team everything I had. It was a great season.”INJURY WATCH: The Chiefs played without safety Eric Berry (heel) and running back Spencer Ware (hamstring), and it’s unclear whether either will be available next week. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins played for the first time since hurting his foot in November and made it through the game.RUNNING WILD: Kareem Hunt was supposed to lead the Chiefs into the playoffs, but he was thrown off the team midway through the season. Ware has been hobbled by shoulder and hamstring injuries. But Kansas City hasn’t missed a beat because of Williams, a journeyman who has played so well in climbing from the No. 3 running back to the starter that he’s already earned a contract extension. “He runs his tail off for everybody on this team,” Kelce said. “Sure enough, he showed today he can finish a game for us.”
NEW YORK — Greg Bird was rehabbing a right ankle injury for the first six meetings between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.
He carried a .191 average and several frustrating at-bats into Friday’s series opener. Then he slugged two homers and possibly gave the Yankees something to think about with the first baseman’s playing time against left-handers Chris Sale and David Price and the final two games.
While Bird could get the game off, his New York temmates will get a crack at solving Sale on Saturday night in the second game of three-game series against Boston at Yankee Stadium.
Bird posted his second career multi-homer game and the Yankees opened the series by hitting four homers in an 8-1 rout on Friday. After homering twice, Bird is batting 204 (19-for-93) in 29 games since coming off the disabled list.
“Perhaps, I think about that a little bit http://www.cardinalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-byron-murphy-jersey ,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “It was really good to see Birdie impact the ball. I was happy for him and that’s something that can kind of jump-start him a little bit because what we believe he brings is that left-handed on-base, power guy in this ballpark.”
If Bird is in the lineup, he will be getting his first career at-bats against Sale. If Bird is not in the lineup, it could be Brandon Drury or Neil Walker at first base.
Regardless if Bird plays, the Yankees were glad to see him homer to left-center field and right-center field against Eduardo Rodriguez in the fifth and Justin Haley in the eighth.
“It’s only a matter of time,” Yankees right-fielder Aaron Judge said of Bird. “It takes a lot of time to kind of get in that groove.”
Sale is 7-4 with a 2.56 ERA this season but rolling of late.
He is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts and in the last four starts has totaled 43 strikeouts in 28 innings while allowing a paltry .155 average.
Sale last pitched Sunday when he allowed four hits and struck out 13 in a 5-0 win over the Seattle Mariners. Sale posted his second straight double-digit strikeout game, sixth this season and ended the outing by fanning Mike Zunino with a 100.5 mph fastball — the fastest pitch of his career.
This season as the Red Sox attempt to keep Sale fresh for the final months of the year, his velocity is steadily increasing. His average fastball was 92.5 in April, 95.6 in May and 97.0 this month.
“I think it’s just getting back into a little bit better rhythm,” Sale said of his increase in velocity. “I’ve been saying the same thing over the last three or four starts — it’s feeling good and getting into that tempo and getting back into a little bit better rhythm than I had been starting the year. I put a lot of work into it. I’m glad where we’re at.”
If Sale posts double-digit strikeouts Saturday, it will mark the fourth time he has at least 10 strikeouts in three straight games.
“A lot of people get caught up on strikeouts Andy Isabella Jersey ,” Sale said. “They’re nice, but at the end of the day your job is to pitch as deep into that game as you can and keep as few runs off the board (as possible).”
Sale enters the game with 153 strikeouts, two ahead of Houston’s Gerrit Cole for the league lead. He also is hoping to see his teammates produce a better offensive showing after losing for the second time in eight games.
The left-hander faced the Yankees on April 10 in a 14-1 win at Fenway Park. He is 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA in 16 appearances (13 starts) against the Yankees.
While Mookie Betts was 2-for-4 and had his 25th multi-hit game, J.D. Martinez was 0-for-4 and is now hitless in his last nine at-bats.
New York will counter with Sonny Gray, who is 5-5 with a 4.93 ERA.
Gray is 2-1 with a 3.23 ERA in his last five starts since lasting 3 2/3 innings in an 11-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on May 26. His last outing was last Saturday in Tampa Bay when he allowed four runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 4-0 loss.
Gray faced the Red Sox on April 12 in Boston when he allowed six runs and seven hits in a season-low three innings of a 6-3 loss. Since joining the Yankees, he is 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox. For his career, Gray is 1-5 with a 5.97 ERA in seven games against Boston.