Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs were eliminated from the 2021 NFL Playoffs in the AFC Conference Championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs got off to a fast start, with Mahomes throwing a touchdown pass on each of their first their offensive possessions. They quickly jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the first half of the game.
Everything changed from that point forward. The Chiefs managed just one field goal for the rest of the game while being outscored 24-3 in a 27-24 loss in overtime. Mahomes played poorly in the second half and overtime, throwing two interceptions. One of them was in overtime after the Chiefs won the coin toss and received the ball first. The interception set up a game-winning field goal for the Bengals.
Frustrating play in the second half of games has been a theme for Mahomes in each of the Chiefs' last two postseason losses. They made it all the way to the Super Bowl last season after winning the AFC where they would face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mahomes also threw zero touchdowns and two interceptions in the second half of that game, contributing to the loss.
Combined between his last two postseason losses, Patrick Mahomes has combined to complete just 25 of his 48 passes with zero touchdowns and four interceptions. Regardless of the circumstances, that is an unacceptable stat line for a player of his caliber and getting paid as much as he is. He is the highest paid player in NFL history.
The way the Chiefs have built their team and designed their scheme, they rely on Mahomes to be spectacular. Their defense and rushing game are both below average, so it's all on Mahomes and the passing attack.
He is capable of carrying them to victories, as he has done plenty of times, but these two performances are legitimate causes for concern. The Chiefs aren't built to survive bad games from Mahomes, they need him to be elite in every game.
Patrick Mahomes' postseason career
While the two poor second halfs of his last two playoff losses are noteworthy, Patrick Mahomes is still off to an excellent start in his postseason career. In just four years as a starter, he has accumulated a 8-3 record with 28 touchdown passes and seven interceptions.
He has won two AFC Championships, one Super Bowl ring and a Super Bowl MVP award. When he's on top of his game the Chiefs are almost unstoppable, but when he's off, they don't stand much of a chance.
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