Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu take a look at the injured Patrick Mahomes after the divisional round game and he knew the quarterback would be ready for the AFC Championship Game. Mahomes, the 2020 Super Bowl MVP, exited the divisional round game in the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns after taking a strong hit to the head and entering the concussion protocol.
Backup quarterback Chad Henne got the job done for the Chiefs in the fourth quarter against the Browns but the Kansas City staff feared Mahomes would not clear the concussion in protocol in time for the AFC Championship Game.
After undergoing a number of tests this past week, it was determined that Mahomes was ready to go against the Buffalo Bills. Mahomes didn't disappoint as he threw three touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 38-24 win over the Bills.
"He was in the locker room and he had that look in his eye like, 'Don't forget about me,''' Mathieu said after Mahomes led the Chiefs to a 38-24 victory over Buffalo and a berth in Super Bowl LV against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Just watching him work throughout the week, he was the same old Pat, the same teammate, the same leader, moving around, trying to extend plays. "On top of that, he's a gamer. It doesn't necessarily matter the situation or the circumstances.
He tends to rise above all that.' '
Mahomes knew he would have a good game
"From the warm-ups on,'' Mahomes said when asked when he first knew he would play well. "We did a good job as far as rehabbing, getting myself ready to go.
I felt like I was myself out there, and we were able to go out there and score points against a really good football team.' ' Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce, who caught two touchdown passes against the Bills, never doubted that Mahomes would be able to suit up against the Bills.
"I know he had to go through protocols and all that, but he never seemed like he wasn't himself,'' Kelce said. "He never seemed like there was a doubt in his mind that he was going to play in this game.
"He was out there, dialed in, throwing the ball all over the field and making the right decisions. Sure enough, today he played his A-game and led us to the Super Bowl.' '