For the second straight season, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are headed to the Super Bowl and have a chance to become the first back-to-back champions since Tom Brady — who has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in the title game for the first time in 18 years — and the New England Patriots accomplished the feat following the 2004 season.
Some weren’t quite sure what to expect from Mahomes in the AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills. He’d been knocked out of Kansas City’s divisional-round win over the Cleveland Browns and was dealing with a case of turf toe so he wasn’t at 100 percent, which may have been the reason that ESPN disrespected him a little bit leading into his matchup with Josh Allen.
But as he’s done for three seasons now, Patrick Mahomes went out and delivered yet another incredible performance in the Chiefs’ 38-24 win and took a hilarious shot at ESPN on Twitter a short time later.
Patrick Mahomes wasn’t at 100 percent in the AFC Championship Game
Patrick Mahomes wasn’t at 100 percent heading into the Kansas Chiefs’ AFC Championship matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
Just about midway through the third quarter of the divisional-round matchup against the Browns, Mahomes was wrapped up by Cleveland linebacker Mack Wilson while attempting to run for a first down on 3rd & 1. He looked extremely dazed when he got to his feet and was taken to the injury tent on the sideline before being taken to the locker room and ruled out for the rest of the game.
Mahomes cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol the Friday before the matchup with the Bills and the bigger concern became the turf toe diagnosis on his left foot. He was limited in practice in the week leading into the AFC title game but still took the majority of the offensive snaps. But if you didn’t know a thing and saw his performance against Buffalo, you’d never know there was anything wrong with him.
He lit up the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game
If Patrick Mahomes was hurting in the AFC Championship Game, he certainly didn’t show it.
The former NFL MVP lit up the Bills to send the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl, completing 29 of 38 passes for 325 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, earning him a 127.6 quarterback rating, his highest since a Week 8 win over the New York Jets.
Patrick Mahomes took a little dig at ESPN, who gave Josh Allen the edge at quarterback ahead of the AFC title game
So here’s what happened with ESPN.
Ahead of the AFC Championship Game, the “Worldwide Leader” ran a “Tale of the Tape” segment during Sunday NFL Countdown and posted a graphic in which boxes were checked in four separate categories to determine whether the Chiefs or Bills had the advantage in that particular aspect of the game.
For head coach, Andy Reid won out over Sean McDermott. On defense, the Chiefs won there as well. For No. 1 receiver, the Bills were given the edge there as Stefon Diggs did lead the NFL in both receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535). And when it came to quarterback, Josh Allen was given the edge over Patrick Mahomes.
Now, maybe ESPN just checked the Allen box because Mahomes was dealing with turf toe. Who knows, right? As for how Allen fared in the AFC title game, he completed 28 of 48 passes for 287 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, earning an 80.8 quarterback rating. It certainly wasn’t a horrible performance but it certainly didn’t match up to what Mahomes.
And Mahomes had no problem having a little fun with the graphic on Twitter after the game.
Just one little yawn emoji was all it took to throw a little shade.
Patrick Mahomes didn’t have to say a single word to get his point across, which is just how he does things on the football field.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference