By Alex Raskin Sports News Editor For Dailymail.com
03:47 01 Jan 2024, updated 12:37 01 Jan 2024
- Kelce and Swift were seen arriving separately earlier on Sunday morning
- The two are believed to be spending New Year’s Eve with friends and family
- READ MORE: Swift and Chiefs fans rejoice as Kansas City beats Cincinnati, 25-17
Afterwards the couple was chauffeured in a golf cart to the players’ parking lot, where DailyMail.com cameras caught Kelce absconding with Swift in his Rolls Royce. While Swift sported a Chiefs varsity jacket adorned with her nickname, ‘Tay-Ta,’ Kelce was dressed comfortably in sweats and a knit hat covering his shaved head.
And, like the gentleman he is, Kelce was sure to open the door for his New Year’s Eve date.
The two are believed to be ringing in 2024 with family and friends at a private party in the Kansas City area. Kelce’s mother, Donna, was seen in Swift’s luxury box earlier in the evening.
Late in the fourth, cameras caught Swift celebrating the impending victory with a young fan when Kansas City’s Chris Jones sacked Bengals quarterback Jake Browning on Cincinnati’s final drive.
Kelce was nearly a non-factor for Patrick Mahomes & Co., finishing the game with only three catches for 16 yards on four targets. He remains only a few yards short of his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season.
But for the 10-6 Chiefs, the victory was significant. Not only does Kansas City win its eighth consecutive AFC West crown, but it comes after a miserable 3-8 stretch that threatened their entire season. Naturally, many have suggested that Swift was somehow to blame for distracting Kelce, and the Chiefs from the job at hand, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday as Kansas City came back to beat the Bengals, who fell to 8-8.
Swift joyously reacted to the victory along one young fan, sticking her finger in the air and screaming in the boy’s face.
And as a number of fans noticed, Swift was wearing a Chiefs jacket with ‘Tay-Tay’ embroidered near the pocket – a reference to Kelce’s rumored nickname for the 34-year-old singer. Swifties went wild over this on social media, noting that they are happy he’s adopted the fan base’s nickname for her.
And as has become a familiar scene at Arrowhead, fans brought signs in hopes of catching her attention.
One clever Chiefs supporter referred to the romantic couple as ‘T-N-T,’ writing that: ‘They’re Dynamite!’
Another young attendee wrote that she was ‘only here for Taylor.’
Harrison Butker was a career-best 6 for 6 on field-goal attempts, Kansas City held the Bengals scoreless over their final seven possessions.
Patrick Mahomes had 245 yards passing and a touchdown for Kansas City (10-6), which also secured at least the No. 3 seed and one home playoff game. Isiah Pacheco ran 18 times for 130 yards while Rashee Rice had five catches for 127 yards.
The Bengals (8-8), fighting for their own playoff lives, led by 10 early but found themselves trailing 25-17 when Butker hit the last of his field goals — a 46-yarder through blustery wind — with 2:59 remaining in the game.
With one last chance, Jake Browning hit Tyler Boyd to convert a long fourth down and get into Kansas City territory, but back-to-back sacks by George Karlaftis and Chris Jones gave the Chiefs eight on the day and ended the Bengals’ comeback hopes.
Browning finished with 197 yards passing and a touchdown. Joe Mixon ran for 65 yards and had the TD reception.
Butker converted from 54, 43, 27, 24, 48 and 46 yards, accounting for the game’s final 18 points.
The Bengals and Chiefs are accustomed to playing high-stakes games when the weather turns frigid, meeting for down-to-the-wire nail-biters in each of the past two AFC championship games. And they are usually accompanied by plenty of trash talk, be it from elected officials or — in the case this past week — players such as the Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase.
The animosity usually spills onto the field, too. Midway through the second quarter, Chase and Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed got into a heated argument, and eventually a team-wide scrum resulted in offsetting personal fouls.
The Bengals jumped ahead 10-7 when an 8 1/2-minute drive resulted in a field goal and a 6 1/2-minute march ended in Mixon’s touchdown catch. Cincinnati then got the ball back when Trey Hendrickson ran right around rookie right tackle Wanya Morris, stripped Mahomes from behind and Sam Hubbard was there to pounce on the loose ball.
Pass interference on Sneed in the end zone set up Browning’s 1-yard TD run.
Butker’s first field goal got the Chiefs within 17-10, and they had a chance to take the lead when Mahomes saw Marquez Valdes-Scantling wide open on their next possession. But yet another dropped pass — the NFL-leading 40th by Kansas City this season — forced the Chiefs to settle for a field goal to trail 17-13 at the break.
As the Chiefs’ defense stiffened in the second half, their offense began showing signs of life.
They stuffed the Bengals on fourth-and-1 at the Kansas City 6, then drove 82 yards for Butker’s third field goal. And after the Bengals had to punt, Mahomes hit Rashee Rice for 67 yards to set up Butker’s chip shot and give the Chiefs the lead for good.
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