When Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes left Sunday's divisional-round game against the Cleveland Browns, the anxiety level in Chiefs Kingdom rose.
As backup quarterback Chad Henne warmed up to enter the game while Mahomes was receiving medical attention, the anxiety level of the team never rose.
When Kansas City was faced with two crucial plays on third-and 14 and fourth-and 1, the anxiety level of the team never rose.
In the waning moments of the fourth quarter, the Chiefs needed a big play. After taking a sack on second down because of a route miscue, Kansas City was faced with a big third-down play to seal the game.
Henne dropped back and found nothing, but that's when the magic started.
“Yeah, just going through my progressions, I kind of felt the pocket collapse after a certain amount of time, and I looked over at the sideline, felt like I had a lot of running room and just tried to make the first down as much as possible," Henne said about his near third-down conversion. "[I] put my head down, this team has given me so much, so I put my body out there for them.”
If the lore surrounding Chad Henne wasn't already large enough, the next play on fourth-and 1 grew it even bigger.
As the play clock was winding down, Henne took the snap and ran to his right where he found wide receiver Tyreek Hill near the first-down marker.
Hill's three-yard scamper after the run, Henne's gutsy throw and the aggressiveness from Chiefs head coach Andy Reid all helped Kansas City secure their trip to the AFC Championship Game for the third-straight season.
“Obviously, full excitement," Henne said "We knew first down wins the game. Like I said before, we loved the play, loved the match-up. For me, he won the route and just put the ball where it needed to be. We’re a smart team. Coach (Reid) is always reminding us in the headset, ‘Hey, first down is game. Don’t go out of bounds. Stay in bounds.’ Tyreek made a smart play there, and it was icing on the cake.”
After the game, Mahomes tweeted a GIF of former Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett with the caption "#HenneThingIsPossible."
While the hashtag was gaining some popularity on Twitter following the game, Henne said he doesn't think the hashtag will show up on his preferred social media platform but is happy his starter had confidence in him.
“Other than LinkedIn, I don’t think #HenneGivenSunday or #HenneThingIsPossible is going to show up on LinkedIn," Henne said. "But, no, it’s great for him to have confidence, just like I said before, once I got in that huddle, everybody had confidence in me. They were pushing for me, had my back and this is a great team. It’s a great opportunity to go out there and play with this team and come out with the victory.”