Patrick Mahomes Capture The Scene As He Playdown Injury In Kansas City Chiefs Playoff Win

Patrick Mahomes Guts Through Injury In Kansas City Chiefs Playoff Win

The Kansas City Chiefs’ 27-20 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars started like their wins often do — with a heavy dose of Mahomes Magic. The Chiefs quarterback threw from a variety of arm angles, connecting on jump passes, sidearm passes and option pitches. But then with 2:40 left in the first quarter of the divisional playoff game, Jaguars defenders Arden Key and Corey Peters converged on Patrick Mahomes, and Mahomes’ right ankle bent awkwardly. “I’m not coming out of a playoff game unless they take me out,” Mahomes said. “I love this sport too much. I love this game. I love playing with my teammates.” Mahomes indeed remained in the game before being replaced by backup quarterback (and former Jaguars player) Chad Henne, who led a 98-yard touchdown drive, later in the second quarter. And getting Mahomes out of the game even for X-rays was not easy. Mahomes wanted to wait until halftime, but Chiefs head coach Andy Reid insisted he get the X-ray before he would allow him to return to the game. “He’s a tough nut,” Reid said. “He’s very, very competitive.” Mahomes got his ankle taped up and told his coach he felt good enough to protect himself from further injury. Reid, though, said he kept him on “a short leash.” “If I felt like he wasn’t able to handle it,” he said, “he would’ve been out.”

With the Arrowhead Stadium chanting “MVP,” Mahomes returned on the first possession of the third quarter and even threw a touchdown in the fourth quarter as part of his 22-of-30, 195-yard, two-touchdown performance. He was aided by his go-to-guy, Travis Kelce, who caught 14 passes — the most by a tight end in NFL postseason history. “Every time I stand up here,” Reid said at the podium of his postgame press conference, “I feel he breaks another record.” Kelce and Mahomes helped the Chiefs defeat the Jaguars by a margin three points fewer than they did in Week 10. Before that 27-17 win, Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones spoke to Jaguars senior defensive assistant (and former Chiefs defensive coordinator) Bob Sutton. Jones told him, “We may see you again in the playoffs. You got a good, young team.” Jones’ words proved prophetic, and Sutton is one of the many connections between the two teams.

Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell were on same Philadelphia Eagles team coached by Reid in 1999 in Reid’s first year as head coach, and Caldwell also later coached under Reid in Philadelphia. Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson played under Reid with both the Green Bay Packers and Eagles and coached under him in Philadelphia and Kansas City, where he was offensive coordinator from 2013 to 2015. Pederson left to become Eagles head coach before Mahomes joined the Chiefs. Mahomes would go on to win regular-season and Super Bowl MVP honors in the coming years. Arguably the best player in the game, Mahomes is also the highest paid. His nearly half-billion dollar contract goes through the 2031 season. He is likely this season’s regular-season MVP, having demonstrated his brilliance by leading the NFL in touchdown passes and passing yards. Now he’s also proven his toughness. While overcoming an ankle injury, he has the Chiefs on their way to their fifth straight AFC Championship Game. “It feels better than I thought it was gonna be now,” Mahomes said Saturday night. “Obviously, I have a lot of adrenaline going right now. So, we’ll see how it feels. But I’ll hop right into treatment tonight and try to do whatever I can to be as close to 100% by next week.”

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