Patrick Mahomes has already said he’ll be ‘good to go’ for the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game but he’ll need help for KC to get back to the Super Bowl.
Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs and the AFC Championship Game — that’s a combo as reliable as a Big-Mac (with ketchup, naturally) and fries. And after Saturday’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Andy Reid’s team is heading back to the conference title game for the fifth consecutive year.
This time, however, they’ll be doing so with their superstar quarterback at less than 100 percent.
During the first quarter, Mahomes was taken down awkwardly by his ankle and came up limping. He was soon after pulled from the game and taken to the locker room before missing the remainder of the first half. The QB returned to play the second half but his mobility was clearly limited due to the ankle.
While we are still awaiting official word on the severity and diagnosis of the injury, Mahomes said in his postgame interview that he’s “good to go” for next week in the AFC Championship Game against either the Bills or Bengals. But if that’s true, there’s almost no chance he’s at full strength. As such, these Chiefs players should be under pressure to step up so Kansas City can return to the Super Bowl.
Chiefs: 3 player who must come to play vs Bills or Bengals with Patrick Mahomes injured
Orlando Brown Jr.
OT Kansas City Chiefs
Orlando Brown Jr. has to protect Patrick Mahomes well for Chiefs to succeed
During the first quarter when Mahomes was healthy and on the field, the Jaguars and their formidable pass rush were getting some heat on the quarterback. That’s ultimately what helped lead to the play where the injury occurred. That’s something that can’t happen.
The good news for Kansas City is that we saw the best from the group once Chad Henne came in and then once their superstar signal-caller got back onto the field. They gave up only six pressures in the game according to the PFF postgame review and also didn’t give up a sack. With Mahomes playing through limited mobility, something that’s often a strength for him, that’s highly impressive.
While we could put the entire offensive line here, though, we’re really putting the spotlight on left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to step up in the AFC Championship Game. As the blindside protector for Mahomes, it’s most definitely on him to make a big impact by not letting anyone from the Bills or Bengals get consistent pressure on his quarterback.
No matter who the matchup is against, Brown will be facing quality pass rushers coming off the edge. For a player who has experienced some ups and downs this year, that could be slightly concerning. But if he can rise to the occasion and not allow Mahomes’ limitations become too apparent, that’s going to be massively important for this offense.