How Patrick Mahomes Led Kansas City Back to the Super Bowl
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City captain has the best record in the NFL over the past five seasons, win 64 games.
For all those victories, however, the Cincinnati Bengals proved to be the kryptonite of Kansas City. Team Bengal have beaten the Captain three times in a row, including in last year’s AFC championship match.
The teams met again Sunday in a rematch that will determine who will face the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl on February 12 in Glendale, Ariz. three times before.
But Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes took over with 30 seconds left in the fourth inning. With a limp in his right ankle, he scrambled five yards to get his first shot at the 42-yard Cincinnati and was shoved after going out of bounds. The next 15-yard penalty was what made the difference for striker Harrison Butker, whose 45-yard winner had just gone over the crossbar with three seconds left to win. won 23-20 for the Captain.
“At some point in the games you have to risk it all,” Mahomes said of his belated scramble.
Kansas City will attend the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons. The game will feature the top seeds from both 14th games in Super Bowl history. Kansas City coach Andy Reid will face his former team, the Eagles, and Kansas City, Travis Kelce, will play his brother Jason, center in Philadelphia.
Captains are only slightly loved when it comes to the game; Mahomes is recovering from a high ankle sprain he sustained a week ago against Jacksonville in the split, and Travis Kelce has a back spasm. Mahomes doesn’t jostle for yards, but he can spend a lot of money to buy time to find a receiver.
“I don’t feel as explosive as usual,” Mahomes said. “But I was able to do enough to break out of bounds.”
Although he was sometimes uncomfortable with his right foot, Mahomes finished the game in 29th place with 43 passes and two touchdowns.
He led Kansas City to three first-half goals, including a 14-yard touchdown for Kelce in the fourth and first half. Kansas City’s defense fired Cincinnati midfielder Joe Burrow four times. in the first half after not scoring when the two teams met in December.
“It was pure humor for him and Kelce,” Reid said of Mahomes and his tight finish.
But the Bengalis did not panic. They have led 7, 14 and 18 points in their last three games against Kansas City, and they have won 3 points each time. After making no fouls in the first half, the Bengal team came alive in the second, scoring two goals and going into the first half after just one score, 13-6.
Burrow, who in his third season has emerged as one of the league’s top passers, passing 26 41s from 270 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also had a 30-meter dash to his teammates.
In the Bengals’ first drive of the second half, Burrow resumed where he had stopped, leading the Bengals on a 62-yard drive that ended with ball receiver Tee Higgins jumping over a defender to grab a 27-yard pass near the post in the second half. area ends to tie with a score of 13.
Just like in last year’s AFC title match, the two opponents were tit-for-tat for most of the second half and seemed to have to play in injury time again.
Mahomes, who clearly limped to the left in his previous hold, led Kansas City in an impressive 11-game run. The game ended with Mahomes, under pressure in his pocket, launching a 19-yard pass to receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling at the line.
On their next trip, the Captains tried to create a cushion that the Bengali would not be able to overcome. But Mahomes, out of handgun, lost control on a pass that tried to be clumsily handled and was recovered by Cincinnati defender Sam Hubbard at the 45-yard line of Kansas City.
The Bengali took advantage of the opportunity. On the 4th and 6th innings, Burrow tossed a 35-yard pass to receiver Ja’Marr Chase in double coverage. Two innings later, running back Samaje Perine crossed the line to equalize the game at 20.
The Bengals defense appeared to have saved Mahomes twice in the next play, but one play was called back because the referee stopped the clock before kick-off. In stoppage time, the Bengal team was asked to organize the defense, which automatically put Kansas City in the lead.
The drive to Kansas City deflated. But Burrow tried to do too much on his next drive. He threw the receiver Tee Higgins in double coverage, and the pass was safely crossed by Bryan Cook and blocked by a Joshua Williams corner.
With less than seven minutes to go, Kansas City looked ready to take the lead after Mahomes connected with a run against Isiah Pacheco, who escaped a tackle and scrambled 16 yards down the touchline. But again, the Bengali turned off the drive. Reid chose to play the game and that forced the Bengal team to start a final strike deep into their back end.
With two and a half minutes remaining, the Bengal team started to win another game from Kansas City. But penalties thwarted their momentum, and Kansas City, after hitting a throwback at 29 yards, won with 30 seconds and two timeouts.
That’s all the time Mahomes and the Captains need to rewrite the script against the Bengals, and earn a return trip to the Super Bowl.
“I was riding the waves,” Reid said of the chance to face his former team.