Travis Kelce professed his love for the NFL's "best quarterback" after Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs past the Tennessee Titans and into the Super Bowl.

Mahomes starred in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, throwing three touchdowns and rushing for a sensational 27-yard score to help the Chiefs clinch a 35-24 victory.

Kansas City will now face either the San Francisco 49ers or the Green Bay Packers in their first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years and tight end Kelce was in the mood to celebrate.

The 30-year-old interrupted Mahomes' post-game interview with broadcaster CBS to boisterously praise the reigning NFL MVP.

"This is the best quarterback in the National Football League right here, baby," Kelce said.

"And he shows it every time! Humble as can be. I f****** love you!"

Mahomes went 23 of 35 for 294 passing yards as he became the first player in the team's history to record multiple passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a postseason game.

The two-time Pro Bowler called the victory a vindication of the Chiefs' willingness to succeed in any manner necessary.

"I knew going into the NFL I was going to do whatever it took to just win games," Mahomes said.

"You can see that in every single player on this team. We don't care if we win 10-7 or 35-24. We're just going to go out there and find a way to win the football game, whatever it takes."

Patrick Mahomes inspired the Kansas City Chiefs to a 35-24 victory over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game and a first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years.

Chiefs quarterback Mahomes went 23 of 35 for 294 passing yards and three touchdowns at Arrowhead Stadium, while also rushing for an incredible 27-yard score at the end of the first half.

The reigning NFL MVP became the first player in Chiefs franchise history to record multiple passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a postseason game.

Tyreek Hill had two receiving touchdowns and Sammy Watkins found the end zone off a 60-yard reception from Mahomes to end the Titans' impressive playoff run, which included victories over the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.

Running back Derrick Henry started positively with a four-yard rushing touchdown for Tennessee, but Hill hit 21.27 miles per hour off an eight-yard reception to reduce the arrears.

After a string of penalties from the Chiefs defense, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill found Dennis Kelly with a one-yard touchdown pass at the end of a 15-play, 75-yard drive that lasted nine minutes and seven seconds to restore his team's 10-point advantage – the 321-pound offensive lineman becoming the heaviest player with a receiving TD in postseason history.

Hill crossed for a 20-yard receiving touchdown before Mahomes took matters into his own hands with a stunning solo score 11 seconds before half-time, sending the Chiefs into the interval with a 21-17 lead.

Kansas City's defense frustrated the Titans in the third quarter and Damien Williams made it seven touchdowns in four postseason games as a Chief when he finished over the ground from three yards at the start of the final period.

Mahomes' stunning pass to Watkins put the Chiefs 18 points clear and a 22-yard touchdown reception for Anthony Firkser after pulling off a fake punt proved to be solely a consolation for the Titans.

Patrick Mahomes scored a sensational 27-yard rushing touchdown to send the Kansas City Chiefs into half-time of the AFC Championship Game against the Tennessee Titans 21-17 up.

Reigning MVP Mahomes sprinted out of the pocket to the left sideline and managed to stay inbounds, before evading tackles from Tramaine Brock and Amani Hooker to reach the end zone with 11 seconds of the half remaining.

The quarterback consequently became the first player in Chiefs franchise history to record multiple passing touchdowns – having twice found Tyreek Hill – and a rushing touchdown in a postseason game.

Tennessee beat the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens to reach the AFC Championship Game.

They had led 17-7 after a four-yard rushing touchdown for Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill's one-yard touchdown pass to offensive linesman Dennis Kelly.

Odell Beckham Jr. has had his simple battery arrest warrant rescinded, the Cleveland Browns wide receiver's attorney confirmed on Saturday.

Daniel Davillier, Beckham's lawyer, released a statement confirming no charges against the 27-year-old have been sought because the security officer from New Orleans Police Department involved does not want to pursue the matter.

The warrant had been obtained on Thursday after an alleged incident that occurred at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday.

NFL star Beckham appeared to slap the officer's buttocks in the LSU locker room during the celebrations after their 42-25 victory over Clemson in the National Championship Game.

"The arrest warrant stemming from the postgame locker room celebration at the Superdome on January 13, 2020, has been recalled; there is no warrant outstanding for the arrest of Odell Beckham, Jr.," Davillier confirmed in a statement to Omnisport.

"The security officer involved does not wish to pursue charges in this matter. This legal matter has been resolved." 

The Browns released a statement of their own saying on Thursday revealing they had contacted their player regarding the warrant, insisting he was "cooperating with the proper authorities".

While one matter has now been resolved, Beckham still faces scrutiny for another incident that took place at the game, having been spotted handing out notes to players on the field.

The NCAA has rules that bar college players from receiving certain benefits.

Having initially said they believed the bills to be fake, LSU later released a statement saying "information and footage received since shows apparent cash may have also been given to LSU student-athletes" and that they had contacted NCAA regarding that incident.

Beckham spent three years with LSU between 2011 and 2013, accumulating 2,340 receiving yards and catching 12 touchdowns.

The New York Giants selected him with the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and he shot to prominence during his rookie year with an incredible one-handed catch against the Dallas Cowboys.

Beckham went to three straight Pro Bowls with the Giants and was traded to Cleveland back in March.

In his debut season with the Browns, the 27-year-old had 74 catches for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns - the lowest totals he has achieved across a full 16-game season.

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle feels "fabulous" heading into the NFC Championship Game despite missing practice on Wednesday.

Kittle, a star performer for the Niners in their outstanding NFL season, appeared on the injury report and sat out with an ankle problem.

But the 26-year-old was in high spirits as he returned to the field on Thursday ahead of the title game against the Green Bay Packers.

Asked for an assessment of his ankle, Kittle told reporters at a news conference: "I feel fabulous, thanks for asking."

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan discussed the decision to keep Kittle on the sidelines the previous day, having earlier given no indication of the issue.

"The soreness did [surprise me] a little bit," Shanahan said. "That's why I didn't bring it up in here before practice [on Wednesday].

"We knew he had some wear and tear from the game. It was a little sorer than we thought before practice, so that's why we held him out."

However, Shanahan was confident there would be no further surprises on that front.

Shanahan replied when asked if he was concerned by Kittle's ankle before Sunday: "No, I'm not."

Kittle started 14 of San Francisco's 16 regular-season games, missing two weeks with knee and ankle problems in November.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) has obtained an arrest warrant for NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. on a charge of simple battery.

The alleged incident occurred at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday, when Cleveland Browns wide receiver Beckham was in attendance to watch his alma mater LSU defeat Clemson in the National Championship Game.

Footage emerged of Beckham appearing to slap a security officer's buttocks in the LSU locker room during the celebrations after their 42-25 victory.

A statement from NOPD read: "Today, the NOPD has obtained an arrest warrant for Odell Beckham Jr. on a charge of misdemeanour simple battery in regards to an incident that occurred on January 13, 2020 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome."

Cleveland later released a statement of their own saying they had contacted Beckham regarding the warrant.

"We are aware of the incident and have been in touch with Odell and his representatives on the matter," the Browns said.

"They are cooperating with the proper authorities to appropriately address the situation."

Beckham had already been involved in one controversial incident after LSU's victory, having been spotted handing out notes to players on the field.

The NCAA has rules that bar college players from receiving certain benefits.

Having initially said they believed the bills to be fake, LSU later released a statement saying "information and footage received since shows apparent cash may have also been given to LSU student-athletes" and that they had contacted NCAA regarding that incident.

Beckham spent three years with LSU between 2011 and 2013, accumulating 2,340 receiving yards and catching 12 touchdowns.

The New York Giants selected him with the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and he shot to prominence during his rookie year with an incredible one-handed catch against the Dallas Cowboys.

Beckham went to three straight Pro Bowls with the Giants and was traded to Cleveland back in March.

In his debut season with the Browns, Beckham had 74 catches for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns - the lowest totals he has achieved across a full 16-game season.

For the Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl LIV is tantalisingly close.

Andy Reid's Chiefs are hoping to go one step further after being beaten in last year's AFC Championship Game and they will host a Titans team that has already upset the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens on the road.

In the NFC Championship Game, the 49ers host the Packers in a contest between two offensive-minded head coaches in Kyle Shanahan and Matt LaFleur, both of whom have had success without their quarterbacks lighting up the stats sheet.

We preview the AFC and NFC Championship Games using Stats Perform data.

 

SUNDAY (All times Eastern)

Titans (9-7) @ Chiefs (12-4). 3:05pm

- The Titans have won each of the last four meetings between the two, including the 2017 Wild Card Game at Arrowhead Stadium. In the previous three meetings, including one back in Week 10, Tennessee have erased a fourth-quarter deficit to win.

- Tennessee had 418 yards combined on the ground while totalling only 154 passing yards in the wins over New England and Baltimore. In the postseason, their defense has produced five takeaways and as many fourth-down stops.

- Red-hot Titans running back Derrick Henry has amassed 812 rushing yards in third quarters of games this season. The last player to rush for at least 800 yards across quarters was Terrell Davis in 1998 (824 yards, first quarters).

- Kansas City beat the Houston Texans the hard way in the Divisional Round, overturning a 24-point deficit - the largest in franchise history - to win 51-31.

- The Chiefs are looking to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years since they won Super Bowl IV.

 

Packers (13-3) @ 49ers (13-3). 6:40pm

- Only the Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams (nine) have met more frequently in the playoffs than the Packers and 49ers, who will face each other for the eighth time.

- Should Green Bay beat the 49ers and win Super Bowl LIV, they would equal the NFL record for the most postseason wins (37 - New England Patriots).

- San Francisco are bidding to win two home playoff games for the fifth time in their history. On the previous four occasions the Niners are have won two home playoff games (1981, 1984, 1989 and 1994), they have gone on to win the Super Bowl.

- Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed just 16 passes - his fewest in a postseason start - in the Divisional Round win over the Seattle Seahawks. Meanwhile, Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a season-low 131 passing yards in their win over the Minnesota Vikings last weekend.

- The home team will be concerned about the threat of Davante Adams, who has 17 catches for 175 receiving yards and three touchdowns against the Niners. He also set a franchise playoff record with 160 receiving yards in the win over Seattle.

Larry Fitzgerald will return to the Arizona Cardinals for a 17th NFL season after signing a one-year deal on Wednesday.

The veteran wide receiver, who turns 37 in August, has amassed 17,083 career receiving yards from 1,378 catches in the regular season, with both marks the second-most in NFL history behind only the great Jerry Rice.

Fitzgerald has played in 250 games for the Cardinals, who drafted him with the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.

He has been named to 11 Pro Bowls and has twice led the NFL in both receptions and receiving touchdowns.

Despite his advancing years, in 2019 he still led the Cardinals in receptions (75), yards (804) and touchdown catches (four) under Arizona's rookie duo of head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray.

"This season was among the most fun of my career," Fitzgerald wrote on Twitter.

"The future is so bright for this team and I relish the opportunity to build with this talented young nucleus.

"Arizona is where I started and where I will finish. 2020! Let's get to work!"

Fitzgerald is 5,812 yards behind Rice in receiving yards and has made 171 fewer catches.

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly has announced his shock retirement from the NFL at the age of 28.

A seven-time Pro Bowler, Panthers star Kuechly dropped the bombshell on Tuesday following eight seasons in the league.

Kuechly, pick nine in the 2012 NFL Draft, finishes his career with 1,092 tackles – the most in the league since he was drafted – and 18 interceptions.

He was also part of the 2015 team that reached the Super Bowl, while he helped the Panthers claim three NFC South titles.

"I think now is the right chance for me to move on," Kuechly said. "It makes me sad because I love playing this game, I've played it since I was a kid. It's my favourite thing in the world to do.

"The memories I have from this place and this organisation and being on the field with these guys – they'll never go away.

"In my heart I know it's the right thing to do… There's only one way to play this game since I was a little kid – play fast, play physical and play strong. And at this point I don't know if I am able to do that anymore."

Panthers owner David Tepper added: "Beyond his extraordinary performance on the field, Luke has had a tremendous impact on this organisation and region.

"In my two seasons with Luke, I quickly recognised how special of a person he is. The respect he gives and garners from others as well as the positive impact he has on his peers is second to none.

"It's obviously going to be very difficult for all of us because we know that no player can replace what he's been for this organisation for the last eight years. His presence can't be replicated."

Former New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur has been appointed offensive co-ordinator at the Denver Broncos.

Shurmur was sacked by the Giants in December after two seasons in charge of the NFL franchise, where he managed a 9-23 record.

The 54-year-old, however, has landed on his feet after joining the Broncos for the 2020 season.

"Pat is an established play-caller with significant experience leading an offense as both a co-ordinator and head coach," head coach Vic Fangio said on Tuesday.

"Having coached against Pat for a number of years, he's always impressed me. His track record of developing younger players is outstanding.

"Pat brings a collaborative approach to working with the staff as well as a flexibility to adjust the offense to our players and opponents. We're excited to add someone of his calibre to our coaching staff."

Prior to his role as head coach of the Giants, Shurmur spent two years as offensive co-ordinator with the Minnesota Vikings.

Antonio Gates has officially announced his retirement from the NFL.

The tight end compiled a Hall of Fame resume in 16 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers franchise he joined as an undrafted free agent in 2003 following a workout.

A former basketball player who never played college football, Gates racked up 11,841 yards, with his 116 touchdowns the most by a tight end in NFL history.

Gates, who did not play in the 2019 season, was a three-time All-Pro and was named to the Pro Bowl eight times in a career that will likely see him inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"After 16 seasons in the NFL, 16 seasons as a Charger, eight Pro Bowl appearances and many records broken, I find it hard to officially put this statement out and retire from the game of football," a statement from Gates read.

"I never dreamed that I would play this game of football so long or how fortunate I would be to play it with just one organisation. I want to thank the Chargers organisation, Dean Spanos and the Spanos family, and the National Football League for the opportunity to live out a dream and play the game I love.

"And to the fans in San Diego, Los Angeles, across the country and around the world, thank you for your unwavering support all these years. There would be no NFL without you.

"While today I am officially retiring as a Charger, I am grateful that I will still be lending my services to the Chargers organisation - just now in a completely different capacity through the team's community engagement initiatives and public facing events.

"Thank you to everyone that helped me create memories that will last a lifetime, both on and off the field. Thank you to my agent, Tom Condon, and management team, Denise White and EAG, for helping me navigate this sport over the last 16 years.

"Thank you to my family for your love and support through the years, and a special thank you to my kids - I am hopeful to have left a legacy that you can be proud of, not just as a football player but also as a father.

"I'm looking forward to beginning the next chapter of my career and am grateful for the opportunity to be back around the team and our fans.

"Thank you to everyone who has been part of this remarkable journey with me. I can't wait to see what's next."

Joe Burrow fulfilled a childhood dream on Monday by winning the National Championship for LSU.

Quarterback Burrow, the favourite to be selected first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, inspired LSU to a 42-25 win over defending champions Clemson at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

The Heisman Trophy winner threw for 463 yards and five touchdown passes, breaking the record for touchdown throws in a single season with 60.

Afterwards Burrow, who transferred to LSU from Ohio State in 2018, spoke of his delight at delivering a title for LSU in Louisiana.

"This is what I wanted to do from the time I was five years old, was hoist this trophy, and bringing it back to Louisiana," he said.

"I guess we're in Louisiana, but staying in Louisiana, we weren't going to let someone come in here and steal this from us in our home state.

"We have a great fan base that came out and supported us. We were going to keep this thing right here."

LSU coach Ed Orgeron said of Burrow: "He's one of the greatest players in LSU history. He's done so much for the state of Louisiana and LSU. We are so grateful to Joe Burrow.''

Meanwhile, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney expressed pride in his team's performance despite seeing them denied a 30th straight win.

"Just an unreal year, incredible two years, we've won 29 games in a row and it's been a long time since I've stood in front of a team with a loss," said Swinney.

"This team in particular, just really special. Coming into this year 80 freshman and sophomores out of 120, to get back to this point, I'm just super proud of them.

"It's incredibly difficult to even get here and super hard to win it that's for sure. I'm proud of our guys, a lot of history made by this group.

"It was all about LSU, what an unbelievable game. We just couldn't quite put enough plays together. Give them credit."

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, considered a near certainty to be the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, added: "You get so busy, looking for what's next and a moment like this happens.

"It sucks but you've got to look back on what you've done. We've done some great things and we've got a lot more in store ahead for sure. 

"You've got to look back and enjoy all the things you did accomplish because what were able to do is pretty amazing to be a part of."

Joe Burrow led the LSU Tigers past the Clemson Tigers 42-25 in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Sunday.

Burrow is the favourite to be the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and the quarterback showed just why at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The 23-year-old threw five touchdown passes and rushed for another as LSU completed a perfect season to win a fourth national title.

Heisman Trophy winner Burrow went 31 of 49 for 463 yards and the five TD passes, breaking a record for most TD passes in a single season with 60.

Ja'Marr Chase had 221 receiving yards for LSU, who completed a perfect season by going 15-0.

The Cleveland Browns have officially appointed Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach.

Reports emerged on Sunday that the Browns had secured the services of Stefanski, previously the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Browns have now confirmed those reports, hiring Stefanski after the Vikings' season was brought to an end with a 27-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round of the NFC playoffs.

Stefanski replaces Freddie Kitchens, who was fired after the Browns endured a disappointing 6-10 season in his only campaign at the helm, with many having considered Cleveland postseason contenders at the start of the year.

"It's very exciting obviously for me and my family," Stefanski said. "We're really looking forward to moving out here and getting situated in Cleveland and the adventure of it all.

"From my professional level, I just could not be more eager to get to work with this group. I think we have some really good players here. I think we have some outstanding people in this building.

"I know we have to add a GM and add some more pieces to this puzzle. I think the eager part for me is to get to work, buckle down and start to put together a program.

"Before you know it, the players are back in the building and we're going to be putting a system together offensively, defensively, etc. I think that's the fun part, when these guys get back in this building."

The Browns will now turn their attention to finding a replacement for former general manager John Dorsey, who also departed after a season that saw the Browns miss the playoffs for the 17th straight year.

 

John DeFilippo is out as offensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who will have a third coach fill the position in as many years next season.

The former Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings OC arrived at the start of a 2019 season in which the Jags ultimately disappointed in going 6-10.

Tom Coughlin was fired as the Jaguars' VP of football operations in December, but head coach Marrone held on to his position and will lead the search for DeFilippo's replacement.

"The Jacksonville Jaguars and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo have mutually agreed to part ways," the team announced on Monday.

DeFilippo was formerly quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles during their Super Bowl win at the end of the 2017 season and had been mooted as a head coaching candidate prior to his spells with the Vikings and Jags.

The Eagles have a vacancy at OC after Mike Groh was removed from that position, while the coach who succeeds DeFilippo will inherit a quarterback battle between Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew.

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