How did the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes blow it?

Patrick Mahomes vs Bengals 2022 playoffs

What happened? The Kansas City Chiefs were on a roll and they had just stunned the Buffalo Bills the prior weekend in one of the most thrilling playoff finishes in memory. Patrick Mahomes was on a roll after an early season slump. He was taking what the defense gave him and letting his playmakers do the rest. The Chiefs seemed unstoppable and they were a touchdown favorite against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Chiefs were in command of the game. They were up 21-3 at one point in the first half. The Bengals cut the lead to 28-3, but then Mahomes worked his magic at the end of the half to set up the Chiefs in the red zone, poised to at least get a field goal before the half. But they got cocky. Mahomes wanted to take another shot with 5 seconds left in the half, and Andy Reid let him do it. But Reid didn’t stress the obvious . . . take your shot but don’t let the clock run out. This play needed a quick read and immediate throw. If it wasn’t there then Mahomes needed to throw it out of bounds. But instead Mahomes threw a flair pass in the flat to Tyreek Hill, but the elusive Hill got tackled in the field of play. Time ran out, and the Chiefs squandered an easy three points.

This brings up a quick side issue . . . some coached are being way to cavalier about not getting the easy three points. Of course you need to be aggressive, and there are plenty of scenarios where going for it makes sense instead of settling for three. But you have to have situational awareness. Three points can dramatically alter a game, and this was one of those instances. A field goal here would have put the Chiefs up 14 points instead of 11 points. Those were precious points in a playoff game at the end of the half. Mahomes admitted he got greedy after the game.

But nobody was prepared for how bad the Chiefs offense and Mahomes in particular would be in the second half. Mahomes went from being dominant to being clueless. He tried too often to scramble and make a play, but he often made things worse.

You also have to give credit to the defense of the Cincinnati Bengals. They made adjustments after Mahomes and the Chiefs torched them in the first half and gave Mahomes all sorts of looks in the second half to confuse him. In many cases they dropped 8 men into coverage to take away the easy throws that Mahomes has been relying upon in his recent resurgence.

Things completely fell apart at the end of the game. The Chiefs were down 3 and Mahomes drove them to the 5 yard line with under 2 minutes left in the game. Tony Romo suggested that the Bengals might want to let the Chiefs score so they could get the ball back, but instead they actually tried to play defense. On second and third downs, Mahomes tried to scramble and make plays. It blew up in his face. He got sacked on second down. On third down he got sacked again, fumbled, and got lucky that it was recovered by the offense.

Mahomes was any better in overtime, quickly throwing an interception to give the Bengals the chance to win, which they quickly did.

Nobody will question the talent of Patrick Mahomes. But he has been anointed as the natural successor to Tom Brady, but we may be a bit premature. Mahomes is so talented that he often plays recklessly, and this is starting to catch up to him. Can he gain more discipline and be less careless? We’ll see.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Related Posts