The Chiefs have an official bye for the wild-card round. At a minimum, their quarterback has an unofficial bye for Week 17.
This decision prevents Mahomes from securing his second 5,000-yard passing season (he has 4,760 yards), and it likewise would prevent Mahomes from nailing down his second MVP award. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who currently is a -344 favorite to win the award, will be playing this weekend as Green Bay tries to win the NFC’s top seed.
Apart from the individual accolades that Mahomes won’t realize, the decision means that Mahomes will have a three-week break between meaningful games. While that ensures Mahomes won’t be injured against the Chargers on Sunday, it also means that Mahomes may be a little rusty when the divisional round comes along.
Last year, the Ravens gave quarterback Lamar Jackson a three-week break from Week 16 to the divisional round, and it didn’t work out for Baltimore. Whether the Chiefs regret taking their foot off the gas will be one of the questions to be resolved when the Chiefs play their first postseason game.