The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans have become playoff mainstays over the last few years, which has been led by their young star quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, respectively, leading the way for each franchise. That has led to them facing off in the playoffs for the first time in their careers for a chance to reach the AFC Championship game. Beyond that, it has put a focus on whether the two have any connection, which they have addressed.
Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson’s NFL Careers
Following sitting almost his entire rookie campaign, Mahomes got the nod as the full-time starter for the Chiefs in the 2018 season. That saw him take the league by storm with his production by becoming the youngest player to win the MVP award behind 50 touchdown passes.
Mahomes has dealt with injuries in his third year, but he has continued to prove to be a game-changing talent with his arm. His play has guided the Chiefs to once again be in the position to make another serious run towards the Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, Watson’s path to stardom has been a little different with the Texans. He was taken a few slots below Mahomes at the 14th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, where he quickly grabbed ahold of the starting job in his rookie campaign. Although it abruptly ended due to a torn ACL, Watson has bounced back the last two seasons behind historic numbers.
These two quarterbacks have both put a bright future ahead of themselves and their respective teams and have seen them build a budding friendship.
Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson’s friendship
Since entering the NFL back in 2007, Mahomes and Watson have had the connection of being a pair of the top few quarterbacks taken in their draft class.
That has led to a healthy relationship developed between them over the last few years. It’s something that both addressed ahead of this week’s matchup, as Watson voiced much respect and admiration towards Mahomes. (H/T Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk)
“It’s cool to see a friend of mine and a guy that’s playing the same position as me have so much success,” Watson said. “It’s going to be dope. We played earlier this year, it was a good game, went back and forth. It’s just two good teams going head to head and we’re just trying to be the best we can for our team and help our team win.”
Mahomes also voiced a similar sentiment towards Watson, stating that he’s a player who can keep his team in the game no matter the circumstances. It’s clear that these two have a great deal of respect for each other that ventures back to their collegiate days that has brought another element to the table to Sunday’s matchup.
Round 2: Mahomes vs. Watson
Following an exciting wildcard round last week that featured the Texans’ comeback win over the Buffalo Bills, it pits Watson and Mahomes facing off for a chance to compete in the AFC championship game.
Sunday’s contest will mark the second time that these two teams played this season, as the Clemson product led Houston past Kansas City in a thrilling 31-24 win on the road back in Week 6 action. The Chiefs had grabbed a 17-3 lead early in the game, but the Texans responded with scoring 20-unanswered points.
Mahomes led Kansas City to retake the lead in the third quarter, but it was Watson coming through in the clutch in the fourth quarter with a 12-play, 93-yard drive that he capped off by a one-yard touchdown run. These two teams are drastically different from the last time they faced off, but it sets up what should be a highly entertaining playoff matchup between two of the game’s best young quarterbacks.