The latest AFC Championship game victory for Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs puts them in rare company among the NFL elite in historical context. The success of Mahomes since the beginning of his career is quickly approaching the legendary status of Tom Brady, who coincidentally has the only Super Bowl victory against the Kansas City quarterback.
Mahomes has never made it a secret that he wants to win more accolades and Super Bowl titles before his career is over. He spoke with reporters during the AFC Championship postgame press conference about his willingness to change his aggressive, offensive approach to accommodate the spectacular defensive effort of Kansas City in Sunday’s victory.
“It’s special because that’s a great team and quarterback,” Mahomes explained. “Spags (Steve Spagnuolo), when the games get bigger, when the challenges get higher, he performs even better, and the guys executed the game plan well; they got timely turnovers that play down at the goal line, punching the ball out. I think it was (L’Jarius) Sneed and recovering it. That was a timely turnover.”
Mahomes was aggressive with his passing in the first half as the Chiefs jumped out to an early lead following his 19-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce. In the second half, he played a more conservative approach as Kansas City’s defense took control of the game, changing his focus to setting up the run game and protecting the football.
“Whenever they’re rolling like that, I have to kind of manage my game,” Mahomes said. “That’s stuff that I’ve learned throughout the season is even if we’re not having the success that I want to have the defenses rolling and getting stops, just take the safe choice, get the ball out of my hand, don’t turn the ball over and let’s go with a football game.”
Mahomes’ ability to ignore his past ways of being known as a gunslinger for the team’s betterment is the next step in his evolution as a quarterback. He always places the team winning above his personal goals and challenges the game manager’s negative narrative for quarterbacks.