VIDEO: Was the AFC Championship game Patrick Mahomes’ best NFL performance?
In this week’s episode of “4-Down Territory,” powered by KIA, Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar and Luke Easterling of Bucs Wire and Draft Wire went over the idea that Sunday’s AFC Championship game was Patrick Mahomes’ ultimate NFL performance.
In the Chiefs’ 23-20 AFC Championship win over the Bengals, Patrick Mahomes completed 29 of 43 passes for 326 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 105.4. And he did it against a defense that had had his number in each of the last three times these teams played. Moreover, he did it on an obviously injured right ankle,and down multiple receivers due to injury. We’ve seen all kinds of amazing things from Mahomes since he started terrorizing the NFL in 2018, but was this the most impressive game of Mahomes’ NFL career?
Doug: I think it was. It’s certainly in the top two or three. In this spotlight, against a defensive coordinator in Lou Anarumo who had taken his lunch money over and over, and down four receivers due to injury, Mahomes took the field (just barely), and you could see as the game went on that whatever he took to make his performance possible in the first place was wearing off. He was more and more hampered as things went along. And still, he got it done as he hadn’t before against this team.
The most remarkable turnaround came in the second half. The Bengals had made Mahomes look like an undrafted free agent in the second halves and overtime in the three previous Chiefs losses: He completed 25 passes on 44 attempts for 503 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions, and a passer rating of 54.5. In the second half of this game, with his body and his receiver corps falling apart, Mahomes completed 16 of 24 passes for 161 yards, a touchdown, no picks, and a passer rating of 99.5. Mahomes doesn’t have a lot of demons to exorcize in his career, but he certainly took care of a few on Sunday.
Luke: Yeah, we’ve seen some otherworldly things from No. 15 already in his career, but this was so important. Just like you said, the recent history against the Bengals, the high stakes, the injuries (both his own and his teammates’)…he had every reason to fold and let Joe Burrow take another one from him in front of his own home crowd. Instead, he delivered the kind of gutsy performance we’ll be talking about for years to come, especially if the Chiefs go on to finish the job in Arizona.