Patrick Mahomes is 25 years old. He has already achieved more than just about every quarterback to play in the NFL before him.
Mahomes has been the Kansas City Chiefs’ starter for three seasons. He has one overtime loss in the AFC championship game, a Super Bowl win and he’ll be going to his second Super Bowl after the Chiefs had a surprisingly easy 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC championship game on Sunday. They’ll play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady — who handed Mahomes and the Chiefs that AFC championship loss a couple seasons ago — in Super Bowl LV.
The Chiefs are a machine. The Bills were a more dominant football team over the second half of the season, a Hail Mary from winning 12 in a row before the AFC title game. It didn’t matter. The Chiefs can turn it on when they need to. The way they outclassed the Bills on Sunday was proof that when they play their best, they are clearly the top team in football.
The Chiefs can probably count on playing late into the postseason for many more years, as long as Mahomes is their quarterback.
Chiefs cruise to Super Bowl with easy win
Mahomes left the divisional round game against the Browns with a concussion. When Mahomes has been on the field this postseason, the Chiefs offense has been unstoppable.
Mahomes was incredible against the Bills, despite coming off the concussion and dealing with turf toe. He made his typical trick passes that nobody else can pull off. He peppered Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill with precision passes all night. He was 29-of-38 for 325 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Aaron Rodgers will win MVP and Josh Allen might get the second-most votes, but Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL.
The Chiefs fell behind 9-0, mostly due to a muffed punt by Mecole Hardman. The Chiefs scored 38 of the next 44 points in the game. Bills coach Sean McDermott kicked field goals on fourth-and-short twice, seemingly unaware that short field goals aren’t going to beat Mahomes and the Chiefs. The Bills simply weren’t ready to compete with the Chiefs on a championship stage.
The Chiefs put the game away in the fourth quarter. Rashad Fenton picked off Allen and had a 30-yard return. Mahomes lofted a 5-yard touchdown to Travis Kelce on third-and-goal shortly after. Mahomes gave a big fist pump and a yell after Kelce scored, punctuating his second AFC championship.
The Bills and their exciting young quarterback should feel like they will have more chances to make a Super Bowl in the upcoming years. But they also know they’ll have to beat Mahomes and the Chiefs to make it there. That’s daunting.
Patrick Mahomes continues to impress
Only Jim Brown has an argument against Mahomes when it comes to the greatest start to a career in NFL history. That’s the kind of company Mahomes is in already.
What Mahomes is doing isn’t easy. Ask Rodgers, who is still chasing his second Super Bowl appearance, or Dan Marino, who never got back to a second one. Other great quarterbacks like Dan Fouts and Warren Moon never got one shot to play in a Super Bowl, and Mahomes has made it twice by age 25. Mahomes is one of 13 players in NFL history with a regular-season MVP award and a Super Bowl MVP, and every other eligible player on that list is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mahomes might be the first player ever who could retire after three years as a starter and still be a Hall of Famer.
Mahomes is adding to his legacy each week. It’s hard to master the mental part of playing NFL quarterback while your physical skills are still at their peak, but Mahomes has done it. He never struggled in any aspect of playing the toughest position in sports. What he and the Chiefs did Sunday, easily dispatching the Bills, probably won’t get proper credit because we’re already used to seeing Kansas City dominate. It shouldn’t take away from the greatness we’re witnessing.
Mahomes is a superstar in every way, and he’ll be back on the biggest stage in sports. He’s just 25, but he’s already chasing the accomplishments of Brady, who awaits him in Super Bowl LV.
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