In today’s game, two unbelievable streaks went against each other: Trevor Lawrence’s undefeated Saturday streak, and Patrick Mahomes undefeated Divisional Round streak, and Patrick Mahomes came out on top. Patrick Mahomes suffered a right leg injury, sidelining him for most of the second quarter, but despite this, the Chiefs remain on top of the AFC for a moment.
The Jaguars were coming off of a 27-point comeback victory over the Chargers just last week and had a mountain of momentum heading into Missouri to face the Chiefs. The Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence were flaunting a 2022 Bengals playoff look; a sophomore quarterback with a college teammate, and nothing but an underdog reputation. Unlike the Bengals of last year, there will not be a flight to Arizona to play in the Super Bowl this year. The Jaguars kept this entire game competitive, something not many teams can say they did against the all-mighty Chiefs. Trevor Lawrence threw for 217 yards, a touchdown and an interception in their narrow loss to the Chiefs. The run game for Jacksonville was the biggest surprise, rushing for a combined 144 yards with Travis Etienne Jr. leading the way on the ground. Zay Jones was one of the most impactful receivers on the night, averaging 16.6 yards per catch and finishing with 83 yards receiving total.
Jamal Agnew was the biggest story of the night, having a huge kickoff return to keep the Jaguars in the game, but then fumbling near the five yard line on what would have been a touchdown for Jacksonville, pretty much ending the game there. Jamal Agnew isn’t the reason the Jaguars lost tonight, it was a team effort, but shade should not be thrown to the young returner for his one mistake, even if it did lose them the game. On the defensive side of the ball, Jacksonville may not have recorded a sack, but the pressure was applied to Patrick Mahomes, seemingly taking a big hit every drive. The last unsung hero for the Jaguars has to be their Punter Logan Cooke. Cooke punted four times, landing two of them inside the twenty yard line of Kansas City, finishing with 191 yards on the day.
Even with a leg injury, Patrick Mahomes played amazing today, throwing for 195 yards and two touchdowns, a signature divisional round performance for him. Mahomes is now 5-0 in the divisional round with 14 total touchdowns and no turnovers, and is heading to his fifth straight AFC Championship. While Mahomes played incredible, he wasn’t the only quarterback getting it done. Backup quarterback Chad Henne filled in for Mahomes in the second quarter, passing for 23 yards and a touchdown, completing five-of-his-seven passes.
Travis Kelce was easily the MVP of the game with an unstoppable performance. Every time Travis Kelce got the ball, you knew it wasn’t going to end well for Jacksonville. Kelce ended up leading both teams in receiving yards with 98, as well as two touchdown receptions. The most unlikely star was born tonight with Rutgers alumni Isiah Pacheco rushing for 95 yards, averaging 7.9 yards per rush, doing his job well for Kansas City. The defense of KC was better than usual, getting to Trevor Lawrence in the backfield and sacking him twice alongside a crucial fumble recovery and a game-sealing interception by Jaylen Watson.
With the location of the AFC Championship uncertain, the Chiefs are hoping for a Bengals win to play in Arrowhead one more time this season, but with a Bills win, the AFC Championship will be held in Atlanta. The Jaguars season may have ended today, but the steady flow of hope should not. Kansas City proved why they’re the best team in the AFC, and regardless of where they play next week, it will be a tightly contested game. Like Chris Collinsworth said, I don’t expect this to be the last time we see Trevor Lawrence and Patrick Mahomes faceoff in the playoffs.