It’s hard to say how calm I felt watching the divisional game unfold until the final two minutes of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 27-24 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night. The calm nature of Patrick Mahomes surgical performance now has his team one win away from back-to-back Super Bowl appearances.
The Kansas City Chiefs are simply the best team in football. From coaching to their preparation to play big games and ultimately to execute a game plan so well, you never felt the Kansas City Chiefs were in jeopardy of losing their divisional match against the Buffalo Bills.
For starters, Bills Quarterback Josh Allen did everything he could to defeat the Chiefs, but in the end, he was betrayed by drops that plagued Kansas City all season. Stephon Diggs missed a long pass, ultimately taking the wind out of their offense. They had to fight, crawl, and scratch yards to get in field goal range in hopes of tying the game, but Tyler Bass’s missed field goal secured Kansas City’s 27-24 win.
But his missed kick isn’t why the Bills lost this game.
I’ve written many articles about Patrick Mahomes, and I admit I’ve doubted him far more than I should, simply because the NFL Gods don’t allow anything in the NFL to last forever. Well, Mahomes appears to be challenging his immortality.
Against Buffalo, he was surgical and sharp and made the most of every passing play the Bills gave him. They tried to blitz him, sat in the zone, and even played man-to-man on the outside, but nothing worked. Mahomes orchestrated one successful drive after another.
Statistics are good for geeks, but Mahomes defies the numbers. He had a pair of touchdowns to Travis Kelce, his first score since the Eagles game in November in Kansas City. With their two scores, they become the top quarterback, receiver/tight-end connection in NFL post-season history. The duo surpassed Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.
As the week unfolded, I had little doubt the Chiefs would win this football game. They were the better team from top to bottom. Going on the road didn’t faze me or Mahomes. He relished going to Buffalo and sending the faithful home with another playoff loss.
I have the same feeling next week in Baltimore.
As a diehard Chiefs fan, I marvel at the way Mahomes plays football and thank my lucky stars that he’s the quarterback guiding this franchise. He’s ended January football in the AFC Championship game for six straight seasons. Until Sunday, he’s never played a playoff game away from Arrowhead.
On Sunday, he’ll play in his 17th postseason game, and after winning his first postseason road game, he has a chance to go back-to-back road wins, giving the Chiefs a chance to repeat as Super Bowl Champions.
Still, the Chiefs have some issues to solve. The run defense was poor until the fourth quarter. Steve Spagnuolo was fit to be tied as the Bills efficiently ran the ball. Finally, after the Bills could not make big plays down the field, he stacked the box with eight defenders. However, he did that without Willie Gay and Mike Edwards, who both were lost to injuries in the first half.
However, the most significant item of note was the Pectoral injury Guard Joe Thuney suffered on the Pacheco touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He is scheduled to get an MRI this morning, but his loss will be one more thing the Chiefs have to overcome.
Yet, with Mahomes leading this team, the man understands the task ahead and what another Super Bowl victory would mean for the 2023 team, which has underachieved offensively for much of the year.
Mahomes is just clutch. He’s the best quarterback in the NFL in the last six years, and he’s beaten every challenger. On Sunday, he gets to eliminate another challenger, Lamar Jackson.