Whatever curse may or may not have loomed over the Kansas City organization is gone. It’s done. It’s over.
For some, it ended Week 17 of 2017 in Denver when Patrick Mahomes first gave hope to an organization that didn’t draft a quarterback in the first round for a generation. Others waited for mile markers like somewhere around the 10th touchdown pass of Mahomes’ first year as a starter, the 2018 AFC Divisional round or late in the second quarter last week against the Texans.
If you’re still holding any belief that a cloud sits over this organization after the best player in the National Football League delivered an all-time touchdown run to give the Chiefs their first lead in the 2019 AFC championship game, I am out of answers.
Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games pic.twitter.com/ZC8Ts5dHqK— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 19, 2020
With 23 seconds remaining in the second quarter — and the Chiefs trailing 17-14 after a slow start saw them down 10-0 early — Mahomes was forced to create out of the structure of the play after the Titans took away Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill with good coverage. Any inconsistencies in the pocket Mahomes may have had at times this season were present on this play — a clean step up against a four-man rush afforded him a hole to scramble to the left. Rookie pass rush Derick Roberson missed at his feet and linebacker Rashaan Evans looked to have an angle on him to the sideline.
Unfortunately for Evans, the MVP was playing 3-D chess while he was playing checkers. A stutter move as if he was cutting inside and a burst down the sidelines gave Mahomes the space he needed. With defensive lineman Jurrell Casey chasing and Tremaine Brock between the quarterback and paydirt, Mahomes ran through an arm tackle and bounced off rookie safety Amani Hooker on his way to yet another amazing moment in a career that has yet to complete its rookie deal.
The Chiefs’ drive started with 1:51 left in the first half and two timeouts. Twitter was firing off its Andy Reid time management jokes as the Chiefs sat on both timeouts up to that point in the drive. As it turned out, Mahomes’ talent transcends any jokes about the head coach’s shortcomings, first-half deficits or the idea of a curse hanging over this franchise.
If Reid’s flaws have been the ultimate reason a championship has eluded him to this point, Mahomes is proving capable of masking them. That line of thinking diminishes the environment Reid has cultivated to help Mahomes reach his full potential — but I digress.
In a career already highlighted by no-look passes, fourth-and-9 conversions, left-handed throws and full-field escapes leading to touchdowns — Mahomes left his arm out of the defining moment of his young career. It’s abnormal for so many magic moments to be crammed into such a short period of time.
Players with gold jackets don’t have the quality of highlight reel that Kansas City’s quarterback has already. He’s making up for lost time for an organization defined by playoff failure. Most of the greatest highlights in franchise history have happened in the regular season. That is changing every week in the new era of Chiefs football as defined by the greatest player the franchise has ever seen.
Super Bowl championships are coming to this city — yes, plural. Mahomes’ first crack at one happens in two weeks on the back of an already stellar postseason career.