Losing to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game will be singed into Patrick Mahomes' memory for at least the next year.
During Sunday's Pro Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs star explained how only earning another berth in the Super Bowl will allow him to move on.
"I’m still not over it," he told ESPN's Lisa Salters. "I don’t think I’ll be over it until we’re playing in another Super Bowl. So, I’ll have to use that as motivation going forward."
By now, most fans know the circumstances behind Kansas City's defeat.
The Chiefs were up 21-3 in the second quarter before mustering only three points in the second half. Andy Reid's decision to call a pass play on the 1-yard line with five seconds also backfired as the Bengals got the stop and headed into halftime with a lifeline.
Reid took the blame and said he "could’ve given [Mahomes] something better than that, but Mahomes accepted some accountability as well and said he "got a little greedy there" by looking for the touchdown.
Tom Brady's seven Super Bowl titles have somewhat skewed what fans expect from a quarterback on a legendary career track.
Joe Montana was widely regarded as the greatest QB ever before Brady, but his four rings in 15 seasons look pedestrian by comparison. For years, two-time winners John Elway and Peyton Manning had faced questions over whether they could deliver in the postseason. Aaron Rodgers might retire one day with fewer championships than Eli Manning (two).
Mahomes stewing on a loss in the conference title game is understandable, but it's important to keep his career in perspective so far. In only five years, he has collected a league MVP, one Super Bowl title, a Super Bowl MVP and two AFC championships.
That's not a bad career, and the 26-year-old might have another decade-plus to run before he hangs up his cleats.