Kansas City Chiefs star defensive tackle Chris Jones entered Sunday's AFC Championship Game without a postseason sack in 13 games. The drought ended in a massive way in the Chiefs' 23-20 win over Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jones collected his first career playoff sack midway through the first quarter, one of four the Chiefs would generate in the opening half.
"My whole offseason was dedicated to this game," Jones said after the win, via the official transcript. "I missed a few big plays last year, (it's) unfortunate they were able to move forward, and I put that on my shoulders. So this offseason, I dedicated my whole offseason to making sure that when that moment calls, for me specifically, that I'll answer the call."
Answer he did.
Jones was a force, wrecking a banged-up Bengals offensive line that had played well the previous week in Buffalo. The O-line couldn't contain the 6-foot-6, 298-pound behemoth.
Jones generated four tackles, including three for loss, two sacks, five QB hits and six quarterback pressures.
"He set the tone," Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark said. "He finished the game. Christopher Jones. He did his thing. Chris Jones -- the most unstoppable man in football."
Jones spent most of the night battling through double teams inside, but on the pivotal sack, Steve Spagnuolo split the DT out to the edge, getting Jones in a one-on-one with right tackle Hakeem Adeniji. The offensive lineman was no match for Jones, who bullied his way into Burrow's face for the takedown.
"He's so good. He makes it so hard on you," Burrow said of Jones. "He's so big, strong and physical. He really understands what you're trying to do to him up front. You have to give them credit, they had a really good rush plan. They let their big-time pass rushers go to work."
With the offense seeing receivers suffer injury after injury and Patrick Mahomes gritting through an ankle injury, the Chiefs defense needed to step up and make a play to send K.C. to the Super Bowl.
They made them.
Burrow got the ball back twice in the fourth quarter with the game tied and a chance to put the Bengals up. Twice, the defense stood tall.
First came Joshua Williams' interception off a nice tip by Bryan Cook. Then Clark ended Burrow's season with the Chiefs' fifth sack of the game.
"I just think the backend showed up really, really well for us," Jones said. "(They) gave us an extra second to get to the quarterback and the front five -- front four played resilient tonight. Those guys just showed up (and) answered the call when needed. Mike Danna, George Karlaftis, Frank Clark -- being Frank Clark, doing Frank Clark things. He's moving up in the record books. I think we just played resilient and stopped the run and we were able to get after him."
Now the Chiefs will move to the Super Bowl, where they'll attempt to get after Jalen Hurts behind an Eagles offensive line that represents the best in football.