The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Baltimore Ravens to claim the AFC Championship on Sunday and earn a fourth trip to the Super Bowl in five years where they will face the San Francisco 49ers, who brought the Detroit Lions' storybook playoff run to an end.
The Lions had appeared headed to their first Super Bowl appearance after building a 24-7 half-time lead in the NFC title clash in San Francisco.
But the 49ers needed just eight minutes in a stunning third-quarter comeback to erase a 17-point deficit before grinding out a 34-31 win.
Earlier in Baltimore, reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City scored all its points in the first half and then held off the Ravens 17-10.
The Chiefs head to the Feb. 11 Super Bowl in Las Vegas where they will bid to become the first team to hoist back-to-back Lombardi trophies since Tom Brady led the New England Patriots in 2004 and 2005.
The AFC Championship game was highlighted by a marquee matchup at quarterback between the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, the twice, and reigning, NFL Most Valuable Player, and the Ravens' Lamar Jackson, who claimed the honour in 2019 and is favoured to add another for his work this season.
Mahomes completed 30 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown, that to Travis Kelce in the first quarter that had pop star girlfriend Taylor Swift jumping up and down in jubilation in a private box at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium.
The first Super Bowl to be held in Las Vegas is already expected to be one of the splashiest ever but the buzz around America's biggest football party is sure to be dialled up a few notches with Swift and her legion of fans known as 'Swifties' onboard.
"It's been a heck of a year, we're not done yet," said Mahomes. "We've been underdogs the last few games but we never feel like underdogs.
"We've got a lot of guys on this team that know how to win.
"When the playoffs came around we were going to make it happen and now we're in the Super Bowl the job's not done."