Mahomes in the head of the teams and they play in his hands
Patrick Mahomes gets into the heads of his opponents, and they play straight into his hands.
The Kansas City Chiefs are on a roll again thanks to enemies in the division who were scared off by Mahomes, as opponents used to go wild against a young Peyton Manning.
The Chiefs lead a seven-game winning streak after a 3-4 start and rose to pole position in the blocked AFC playoff race as they prepare for their third Super Bowl trip in four years.
They can thank their AFC West rivals in Denver and Los Angeles for their helping hand.
The Broncos and Chargers were determined to score touchdowns instead of field goals so they could keep up with Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and more. Al.
Those rivals who think they have absolutely no margin for error against the Chiefs are playing Mahomes’ game by wasting golden scoring opportunities.
Ahead of the Broncos’ trip to Kansas City on December 5, Denver quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was asked about the lessons he learned from his 33-31 loss at Arrowhead Stadium last year while with the Carolina Panthers.
âThey didn’t kick until the fourth quarter. They had a punt in that game, âsaid Bridgewater. âWhen you play against a team like this you have to get 7. You have to score seven. Three is not enough. This is one of the things that stood out. “
That was exactly the thought employed by Broncos coach Vic Fangio and beleaguered offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur that day in Kansas City. The Broncos lost 22-9 despite keeping Hill and Kelce under 50 combined yards and limiting Mahomes to 15 of 29 passes for just 184 yards without touchdowns and an interception.
During an epic second-quarter practice, the Broncos did exactly what they set out to do, chewing on yards and a clock, swimming and soaking themselves in the field while keeping Mahomes and his offensive teammates in hint. high octane cooling their cleats on the Kansas City sideline.
Trailing 10-3, the Broncos took over at their own 3 with 12:16 left in the second quarter. Eleven points and eight assists later, they found themselves facing the fourth and second Kansas City 8.
Instead of taking the points, they went for it and rookie running back Javonte Williams was dropped for a one-yard loss.
Fangio said he had only a fleeting idea to settle for the field goal that would have reduced Denver’s deficit to 10-6 with one minute left.
âThere were, but very few. I’m comfortable with this decision, âFangio said after the game. âWe had converted a few fourth downs to continue. One was fourth and 7, I believe. You just finished telling me about the points. You have to score touchdowns to beat this team.
The next day, Fangio was still adamant, saying trying the fourth down was one of his easiest decisions in this game.
Yes, the scans say to go there almost every time, and it’s almost always the right thing to do. But at that point, the Broncos brain trust miscalculated the psychological cost of an empty bet – and the big boost it would give the Chiefs.
âWhen you’re in a situation where you really push the ball back and then take it all the way down the pitch and you don’t score, that sucks, man,â Bridgewater said.
When they pissed off Williams, the rejuvenated Chiefs defenders screamed and yelled to leave the field.
They did the same on Thursday night in a 34-28 overtime win at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles when the Chargers failed to kick the ball into the end zone in the game’s first practice and again. on the last play of the first half.
Justin Herbert’s pass for the fourth and 5-yard line goal on the Chargers’ opener possession was abandoned when tight end Donald Parham suffered a concussion hitting the ground, then Herbert threw incomplete to the wide receiver Keenan Allen on the fourth and the 1 goal on the last play of the first half.
The Chiefs celebrated their way to the locker room as the Chargers left the field even though they were leading 14-10 at the break.
Chargers coach Brandon Staley is a defensive follower of Fangio, and he made the same psychological mistake avoiding three valuable points in favor of the game for seven, because when he looked across the pitch he saw Mahomes look back.
It is reminiscent of how teams that faced Manning were often victims of their own forced mistakes.
Even Bill Belichick, who won seven Super Bowl rings as a head coach and a record eight overall, fell for Archie Manning’s son in 2009.
With two minutes left in their game, the Patriots led the Colts 34-28, but they were backed at 28 and needed two yards for a first down. Belichick chose to give it a shot on the fourth down rather than handing the ball over to Manning.
Kevin Faulk caught Tom Brady’s pass but was pushed back by Melvin Bullitt. When the chain gang came in to measure it, the ball was short on the first down.
Three games later, Manning’s touchdown to Reggie Wayne gave the Colts a 35-34 victory.
The Colts won the AFC Championship that year and faced New Orleans in the Super Bowl, where Sean Payton’s bet paid off with a surprise from Manning & Co.
Just like Manning did, Mahomes puts himself in the heads of his opponents. And just like the Colts always seemed to do, the Chiefs played with other teams early in the season before they got down to business.
Would anyone be surprised to see them return to the Super Bowl – with a little help from their friends?
Follow Arnie MelÃ©rez Stapleton on Twitter at https://twitter.com/arniestapleton and his work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/arniestapleton
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