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Former Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes Leads Kansas City To AFC Championship On One Leg

Peg-legged Patrick Mahomes delivers again for Chiefs.

Former Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes is on the cusp of becoming a legend in the NFL through his first six seasons. Many consider Mahomes the league's top quarterback following another MVP-worthy season with the Kansas City Chiefs. 

But where does one-legged Mahomes rank in the current standings? After his performance in the AFC Divisional Round matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, one could argue that he's No. 2 only behind himself at full strength. 

Hobbling through an ankle injury suffered during the start of the second quarter, Mahomes threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium, leading the Chiefs to their fifth consecutive AFC title game appearance. Since taking over the starting job for Alex Smith in 2018, Mahomes has never lost in the AFC Wild Card or Divisional Round. 

The All-Pro quarterback left the game with 14:09 remaining in the first half after being hit by a pair of Jaguars defenders on a first-and-10 completion to tight end Blake Bell. Mahomes argued with head coach Andy Reid on the sidelines to stay in the game, but the staff wouldn't allow him to return until further evaluation. 

Following x-rays, Mahomes returned for the second half and extended the Cheifs' lead by 10 thanks to a 75-yard drive capped off by a 6-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Mahomes credited veteran Chad Henne and the offense for holding down the fort while he was unable to take the field.

“It’s a credit to the team I have around me, the coaches around me and the organization in general,” Mahomes told reporters. “We try to do whatever we can to be in this position, to get to the AFC championship game and find a way to the Super Bowl.”

Reid said following the win that he wouldn't allow his franchise quarterback to add further damage to the ankle in case the team won and made it to the championship round. After the x-rays returned negative, the head coach allowed Mahomes to make the final call. 

“It was a short leash,” Reid said. “If I felt like he wasn't able to handle it, he would have been out.”

With his right ankle tapped, Mahomes struggled to move outside the pocket. The offensive line stepped up to the plate in the second half, allowing two pressures and zero sacks. Prior to the touchdown pass, Mahomes led a five-play, 29-yard drive, capped off by a 50-yard field goal from Harrison Butker in the closing seconds of the third quarter. 

Mahomes finished the second half 10 of 16 passing for 110 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for four yards on two carries. 

“It's just a different feeling when one-five is in there," tight end Travis Kelce said afterward. "He can make anything happen, even on one ankle.”

Kansas City will now play host to the Cincinnati Bengals for the second consecutive postseason. Last year, the Bengals pulled off the 27-24 upset in overtime thanks to a 31-yard field goal from Evan McPherson to send the AFC North franchise to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1988. 

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