The Kansas City Cheifs were just one play away from making it to their third Super Bowl in a row!
The home team would have been favoured by many to be the team to advance and represent the AFC in the main event of the NFL season, especially as they managed to create an 18-point gap midway through the second quarter; taking the score to 21-3.
However, in a completely shocking fashion, Kansas City simply appeared to choke as the Cincinnati Bengals managed to rally back and take the game to overtime after tying the scores at 24-24.
Indeed, after they won the coin toss to get the ball to begin overtime, many will have been expecting a repeat of the AFC Divisional Game where they managed to use their one possession to score a touchdown and end the game against the Buffalo Bills.
But, it simply did not go that way as Patrick Mahomes could not be his usual self and the quarterback ended up throwing an interception, meaning the Bengals could capitalize on it. They would go on to drive down the field and score a field goal that provided them with their ticket to Los Angeles, California, for Super Bowl LVI and end Kansas City’s hopes of getting back to the showpiece for the third game in a row.
Indeed, in the aftermath of the defeat, it would appear that many had decided to take aim at Mahomes and felt that he was largely to blame for the team falling short in a year that many may have fancied winning, especially with the four teams that were remaining.
Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless stated on Undisputed that he was not shocked it had happened, as he had been “trying to tell you all year that Patrick Mahomes has declined.” His co-host Shannon Sharpe admitted he was “beyond shocked” with what he saw amid the meltdown the entire organisation had suffered.
ESPN’s Rex Ryan also placed the blame on the QB as he said: “You play at such a high level. For you to come up so small in that second half of the game? He looked like he lost his confidence!”.
Trey Wingo stated that the loss – which we know happened – was “squarely on Mahomes”, whilst the ProFootballTalk Twitter account perhaps had the best way to describe the performance as they wrote: “Has there been a more stunning change from Superman back to Clark Kent in one playoff game?”
It certainly was not his best night, something he referenced on Twitter himself, but there is no doubt that he will come back stronger next season.