Can Patrick Mahomes Get to the Super Bowl on One Leg?
Patrick Mahomes became the fulltime starter for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018. In that season he absolutely dominated on his way to an MVP and an overtime loss to Tom Brady's New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Since then, Mahomes and the Chiefs have been to every AFC Championship game and played in two Super Bowls with a Super Bowl Championship after the 2019 season.
The former Texas Tech quarterback has never lost an AFC Divisional Round game. The most recent notched a 5-0 record after beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20. Mahomes played well, despite suffering a high ankle sprain and missing a chunk of the second quarter. During the missed time, back up Chad Henne led a 98-yard touchdown drive, but Mahomes returned to finish the game.
On that TD drive Henne was 5 of 7 for 23 yards and a touchdown pass. In the rest of the game, Mahomes was 22 of 30 for 195 and two touchdown passes. On the other side of the field, young gun Trevor Lawrence played well, but couldn't outduel the Chiefs even with Patrick hobbled late.
Next up is the AFC Championship though, and the level of competition is upped considerably.
The Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs are playing for the second straight season setting up a rematch after the worst second half performance of Patrick Mahomes' life in last year's matchup when the Chiefs fell to the Bengals. The Bengals lost the Super Bowl to the Rams.
So, can Mahomes avoid a second straight loss in an AFC Championship game? Even more, can Mahomes avoid fourth straight loss to Joe Burrow who has a 3-0 record against the Chiefs with 982 passing yards and 8 touchdowns and one interceptions in those three victories. Burrow is the only quarterback to defeat Mahomes three straight times, let alone four straight.
Sure, football is a team game, but so often wins and losses are boiled down to quarterback play in the NFL, see the Dallas Cowboys, so Mahomes vs Burrow holds a ton of weight. Not only is it for a trip to the Super Bowl, a win can keep Mahomes on his rapid ascent in the NFL QB all-time rankings, and on the opposite sideline a win for Joe Burrow can cement him as the Venom to Mahomes Spiderman. Or something like that.
Maybe if Mahomes is Superman, Burrow would be kryptonite. I tried.
Regardless, for Superman to cape up for the Chiefs this weekend, he'll need to do so on a bum ankle and against a Bengals defense that has improved as of late and held Josh Allen to zero passing touchdowns and just 10 points in the AFC Divisional round.
The bad news for the Bengals is that they've won three straight times against the Chiefs and are favored on the road in Kansas City and have players calling the stadium Burrowhead instead of Arrowhead. If there's a quarterback you don't want to poke or go up against as an underdog it's Patrick Mahomes.
I'll take the Chiefs to make their third Super Bowl in five seasons and Mahomes to get his first win against Joe and the Bengals.