The dynasty is dead and it was killed by the newly anointed Grim Reaper, Patrick Mahomes. You can argue Reid’s play-calling, missed sacks, or untimely drops, but Patrick Mahome’s erratic second half lost this game. The longtime members of the Kingdom know this feeling of record-setting, in this case tying, acts of ineptitude by the Chiefs, but the Mahomes Era was supposed to end all of that. Instead, Mahomes was the reason the Bengals are now tied for the biggest comeback in AFC Championship history. At the end of it all, those thoughts of a Chiefs Dynasty are dead and should never be spoken again and Patrick Mahomes is not the best QB in the NFL or the second coming of Tom Brady.
The Chiefs had an up and down season mired with moments of both sides of the ball failing to deliver. There is no doubt, especially after watching the Rams, this defense needs a serious overhaul. Next season the AFC west and the overall conference will be better. The decision to re-sign Sorensen and Niemann in the off-season is a head-scratcher for sure, and #49 was a liability again today. There needs to change, but this loss is on Mahomes. To say Mahomes is the GOAT or the best QB in the NFL should be buried along with the nickname the Grim Reaper. Burn all of that merchandise. The best quarterback in the league should not be sitting in the locker room while the Cincinnati Bengals are awarded the Lamar Hunt Trophy on your field, nor is the best QB in the league sitting at home during the Super Bowl after holding an 18-point lead, the best QB doesn’t have a stat line in the 2nd half of the AFC Championship Game of 55 yards, 0 TDs, and 2 picks. No, the best QB in the NFL is better than that.
Early in the season the reports of Mahomes regressing or being broken were echoed across the sports universe. The problem was a lack of maturation and arrogance, shared with Andy Reid, that the Chiefs offense was going to keep doing the same thing they had done since Mahomes took over the reins. The problem was the NFL wasn’t going to let that happen season after season. As Reid and Mahomes finally accepted the fact that there were not going to be multiple 25-yard-plus plays every week, we started to see a change. We witnessed Patrick Mahomes, reluctantly, mature to a more patient take-what-the-defense-gives mentality. Unfortunately, in the 2nd half of Sunday’s AFC Championship, we saw all that goes out the window. Mahomes pressed, made unexplainable decisions, and pirouetted his way into his best Demarcus Robinson “let’s run the wrong way” impression. The best QB in the league does not have some of those mental errors in their bag of tricks. The admitted, greedy throw before the half was the beginning of the end of this Super Bowl run for the Chiefs.
That sequence and the potential field goal left on the field was a critical mistake made by a QB still maturing into possibly someday the best QB in the league, but not at this point of his career. The best QB in the league throws that ball away, takes the field goal, and walks into the locker room at halftime with a 21-point lead. The 3rd quarter was an unmitigated disaster. If you had made a checklist of everything the Chiefs couldn’t afford to do in the 3rd quarter, the Chiefs did not miss checking one of those boxes. Even after all that they were still in the game, although the writing was on the wall. It was late in the game where Mahomes withered to a level the Kingdom has not seen too often and hope they have seen the last of, particularly the final drive. Set-up at the 10-yard line the Kingdom stood poised to witness another feat in the legend of PM 15, but with open running lanes early in the play, Mahomes started erratic scrambles, running backward and taking a huge sack that made the Butker kick longer than necessary. What was the mindset? Running out the clock maybe? Fear of another pick? Either way, this was not the actions of the #1 QB. Mahomes, as expected, fell on the sword post-game, class act. However, nobody is arguing that PM 15 isn’t a consummate pro, but nobody should be arguing that he is the best QB in the NFL either. If he was an 18-point lead, at home in the AFC Championship should be a ticket to the Super Bowl. The season ends without a Super Bowl Championship and that falls squarely on Mahomes, who is not the best QB in the NFL.