Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Chief’s Patrick Mahomes keeps raising the bar on his legacy

Image for article titled Patrick Mahomes keeps raising the bar by which he’s measured

Picture: Getty Photos

Even on one leg Patrick Mahomes is best than Trevor Lawrence on his favourite day. When you weren’t conscious, Lawrence had by no means misplaced on a Saturday till yesterday, when the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs outlasted the Jacksonville Jaguars, 27-20. In a recreation that was supposedly predetermined, postseason soccer occurred and the league MVP caught an ankle harm early on in the first half.

Playoff soccer has a humorous approach of creating the viewers sit up and listen. So with Kansas Metropolis backup QB Chad Henne getting into the recreation in the second quarter with the Chiefs backed up on their very own two-yard line, our collective eyes have been on Arrowhead Stadium.

What occurred subsequent was maybe the most essential drive of KC’s season, and it ended up being the franchise’s longest drive in postseason historical past. The 12-play, six-minute landing march put the house group forward 17-7, and set the tone for the remainder of the afternoon.

Mahomes powered by harm

And simply in case you thought the schoolyard bully had been bloodied, Mahomes returned in the second half and led the offense to drives for a landing and a discipline objective whereas the protection restricted the Jags to a landing and a rubbish time discipline objective that solely served the individuals who took Jacksonville and the factors.

Next Sunday will mark Kansas City’s fifth straight AFC title game, and if the Chiefs can get back to the Super Bowl, the rest of the conference will officially be playing catch up. What we saw Saturday was a confident, well-coached team that knows who it is.

Regardless of who the opponent is, Mahomes will face a week full of questions about his health, and this is the exact kind of scenario that he can rise to in order to solidify his spot as the NFL’s alpha dog. No. 15 makes the game look so easy that it’s only fair that he’s forced to play at a severe disadvantage.

Is the Super Bowl KC’s to lose?

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers’ seasons are done, and the most logical challengers to the throne face off in Buffalo today. We’ve wondered all season if KC is sleepwalking, or isn’t as good as we thought. They were put in a position that would make most teams sweat profusely, and navigated it with the ease of an adult tying their own shoes.

Travis Kelce broke the record for most receptions by a tight end in a playoff game (14), and came one catch away from tying the record for any position. Rookie running back Isiah Pacheco racked up 95 yards on the ground. Kansas City outgained Jacksonville despite their leader missing half a quarter and spending the second half with his ankle under 2 inches of tape.

The caveat for all the Patrick Price commercials and Andy Reid cameos is football fans expect the rings to follow. While Mahomes is separating himself from his peers, he’s entering a new stratosphere, one where we stop comparing him to active signal callers and start measuring him against the greats.

It’s elite company to keep, and can make everyone from Rodgers to Peyton Manning look pedestrian. The chat that Mahomes is about to enter is a beast, and he’s competing for so much more than another Super Bowl appearance. When the game comes as easy to a QB as it does to Mahomes, fans want to see him pushed to the limit.

And that’s what the playoffs are about. Murphy’s law is in full effect, and the hurdles spring up at random. The fun part is seeing who can keep their poise when the house is a smoldering ember, and Mahomes passed his first test of 2023 with relative ease.

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