Patrick Mahomes severely outplayed the Chiefs defense in their loss to New England in a game that was originally going Kansas City’s way until fate intervened.
In week 17 against the Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes threw three interceptions. Then Kansas City lost to New England in a game they had been favored to win, giving the Patriots their first trip back-to-back Super Bowl appearances since 2003 and 2004 respectively. When asked about his performance, Mahomes said “I don’t know what happened.”
Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, was born in Texas. He is a big fan of Applebee’s and has been seen wearing their t-shirts on multiple occasions. Patrick Mahomes lost his team the AFC Championship Game before Walker Hayes could even start singing about Applebee’s. Read more in detail here: when was patrick mahomes born.
In a tight game, momentum is key, and once it shifts, it’s difficult to regain. In their AFC Championship Game defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs learned this lesson the hard way.
The game was officially lost in overtime, but Mahomes and the Chiefs let up three vital scores before halftime, and that one play absolutely tilted the game in favor of the Bengals.
At the halftime break, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs had lost a critical three points.
Even though three points in the second quarter may not seem to be significant, even one point might make the difference between winning and losing. That is the difference between playing in the Super Bowl and watching it in the conference championship game.
So, what precisely happened?
With just a few minutes till halftime, the Chiefs were on their way to a 21-3 lead. Joe Burrow answered with a seven-play, 70-yard touchdown drive of his own, bringing the Bengals within 11 points and forcing a game. However, with 1:05 left in the half, we discovered against Josh Allen and the Bills that even 13 seconds is too much when Mahomes is receiving the ball back.
Mahomes marched the Chiefs down the field and into scoring position when a defensive pass interference penalty gave them a first-and-goal situation from the one-yard line. The Chiefs didn’t have any more timeouts, but they were in a great position to score at least three points, if not more.
On first down, Mahomes fired an incomplete throw that cost him four seconds. Kansas City executed a play-action pass with five seconds left on the clock, and Mahomes took his time finding Tyreek Hill in the flat. Hill attempted to proceed forward but was stopped short of the end zone by Eli Apple, who had just been called for pass interference. The clock reached zero with no more timeouts remaining, and the Bengals stormed into halftime with a lot of momentum. The Chiefs headed into the locker room with an 11-point lead instead of a 14-point advantage.
By the time the fourth quarter began, the Bengals had erased that advantage.
At the conclusion of the half, Mahomes admitted that he became greedy.
During the first half of the AFC Championship Game, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 lines up against the Cincinnati Bengals | Jamie Squire/Getty Images
That stop just before halftime gave Cincinnati all the momentum it needed to rally, and it cost the Chiefs another Super Bowl appearance.
After all, had Kansas City scored three before halftime, Evan McPherson’s 52-yard field goal with 6:04 remaining in the game would have knotted the game instead of giving the Bengals the lead. Harrison Butker’s 44-yard return with no time left would have been the game-winner for Kansas City in that scenario. Rather, it was the kick that forced the game into extra time.
For the remainder of the game, the Chiefs were virtually chasing those three points, and it cost them when it counted most. When asked about the pass to Hill in the flats, Mahomes conceded that he had been a little greedy.
“We planned a play to get someone over the middle quickly, and I was supposed to throw the ball away,” Mahomes told KSHB Kansas City. “I got a little greedy there and wanted to hand it over to Tyreek for a touchdown.” There were two of them out there.”
Mahomes claimed he’d do it again if he had the chance, but would he? Andy Reid, the Chiefs’ head coach, faulted his playcalling for the blunder.
Reid remarked, “I was hopeful we could get the ball in the end zone.” “First and foremost, I’m quite sure I gave them the incorrect play. I could have given them something better, like a play open in the end zone, and we wouldn’t have had to go through all of that. That’s something I’ll take responsibility for.”
When the Chiefs needed him the most, Mahomes couldn’t deliver.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 warms up before the AFC Championship Game against the Cincinnati Bengals | Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Early in the game, it seemed like Mahomes and the Chiefs would continue their offensive assault that began against the Bills the weekend before. Kansas City got out to a fast start and was ahead 21-3 before Cincinnati really realized what had happened. Mahomes tossed touchdown passes to Hill, Travis Kelce, and Mecole Hardman, and the Chiefs seemed to be on their way to scoring 50 points or more in a single game.
The Bengals’ last-second stand truly shifted the momentum. Cincinnati emerged at halftime with a fresh sense of confidence and intensity, while Mahomes and Kansas City were flat.
In the second half, Kansas City only managed to score three points. The Chiefs punted on their opening two third-quarter possessions, then Mahomes threw an interception on the third. They punted two more times before putting together a good drive late in the game.
The Chiefs had a game-winning drive in them, but they couldn’t put it together. With 1:30 remaining, Mahomes drove Kansas City down to the Cincinnati five-yard line on a first-and-goal situation. The Chiefs lost 21 yards on three plays and had to settle for a field goal. Mahomes was sacked for five yards before being sacked for 15 yards the following play. In fact, he nearly cost Kansas City the game right then and there. Sam Hubbard sacked him, and he really mishandled the ball. Kansas City would not have had a chance to play for OT if Joe Thuney hadn’t fallen on it.
Of course, in overtime, Mahomes threw an interception. He completed 26 of 39 passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions in the game. His passing rating was 91.3 and his QBR was 40.8. Both are below par.
Mahomes believed he had no one but himself to blame after the game.
According to ESPN, Mahomes remarked, “In the second half, we were just off a tick, and that’s all it takes to lose a football game.” “I have to improve.” We were ahead 21-3 at one point and there was no way we could lose. That’s something I placed on myself.”
Mahomes was focused on his team’s meltdown in the second half, but the wheels had fallen off well before Walker Hayes started singing about Applebee’s at halftime.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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