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Patrick Mahomes Called 'Greatness' by Chiefs Fans After Beating Jags Despite Injury

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 22, 2023

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 21: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 21, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
David Eulitt/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes briefly left his team's AFC Divisional Round game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with an ankle injury, but he returned to the game and threw a crucial touchdown pass late to help lead his team to a 27-20 victory.

Mahomes completed 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and two scores. Those are pedestrian numbers by the superstar's standards, but that stat line proved quite impressive, considering that he missed the entire second quarter with the ailment and played hurt all of the second half.

Mahomes suffered the injury late in the first quarter after a hit from pass-rusher Arden Key.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Patrick Mahomes went down with an ankle injury but is staying in the game 🙏 <a href="https://t.co/PvTM5PNx0T">pic.twitter.com/PvTM5PNx0T</a>

He stayed in the game until the end of the first quarter but eventually left for the locker room.

Sunday Night Football on NBC @SNFonNBC

Patrick Mahomes is being checked out by the medical staff between quarters. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ChiefsKingdom?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ChiefsKingdom</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JAXvsKC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JAXvsKC</a> on NBC and <a href="https://twitter.com/peacock?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacock</a>. <a href="https://t.co/t0jbOr8SZk">pic.twitter.com/t0jbOr8SZk</a>

Sunday Night Football on NBC @SNFonNBC

Patrick Mahomes has gone to the locker room. Chad Henne is now in at QB for the Chiefs.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ChiefsKingdom?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ChiefsKingdom</a> <a href="https://t.co/gZ52YYcZpX">pic.twitter.com/gZ52YYcZpX</a>

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that his X-rays taken during halftime were negative but that the star signal-caller apparently suffered a high ankle sprain.

That didn't stop Mahomes from returning for the second half, which started with the Chiefs leading 17-10 after backup Chad Henne led Kansas City on a 98-yard touchdown drive capped by Travis Kelce's second touchdown of the game.

Sunday Night Football on NBC @SNFonNBC

Make that TWO for <a href="https://twitter.com/tkelce?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@tkelce</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ChiefsKingdom?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ChiefsKingdom</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JAXvsKC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JAXvsKC</a> on NBC and <a href="https://twitter.com/peacock?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@peacock</a>.<br><br>(Via: <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>)<a href="https://t.co/WpEbbAoUae">pic.twitter.com/WpEbbAoUae</a>

The tight end starred on this evening with 14 receptions, 98 receiving yards and his pair of scores, and he and Mahomes ultimately led Kansas City to the AFC Championship Game alongside a gritty defensive effort.

Mahomes helped close this one out late with a fantastic 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with a one-legged pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a six-yard score.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

PATRICK MAHOMES OFF ONE FOOT 😮<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>)<a href="https://t.co/HDHQvGm66g">pic.twitter.com/HDHQvGm66g</a>

It was a huge moment after the Jags had just cut the Kansas City lead to 20-17 following Travis Etienne Jr.'s four-yard touchdown run.

Jacksonville nailed a field goal in the final minute, but it was too little and too late as the Chiefs emerged victorious despite Mahomes playing through injury.

Twitter recognized his efforts postgame.

Harold R. Kuntz @HaroldRKuntz3

Simply watching greatness from Mahomes. The MVP to MVS Touchdown. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Chiefs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Chiefs</a>

Rich Eisen @richeisen

New topic for discussion: Is half a Mahomes still better than most QBs?

Warren Sharp @SharpFootball

KC OLine helping Mahomes to the sideline after yet another TD pass <a href="https://t.co/CFPTXzQLbB">pic.twitter.com/CFPTXzQLbB</a>

Seth Keysor @RealMNchiefsfan

Build a statue of Mahomes and Kelce. <br><br>This is unbelievable.

Cameron Wolfe @CameronWolfe

What an MVP TD drive by Patrick Mahomes. Hurting &amp; hobbled, playing on one leg. But it's Patrick Mahomes. Elite.

Dov Kleiman @NFL_DovKleiman

One-legged Patrick Mahomes is still one of the best QBs in the league. Unstoppable. <a href="https://t.co/ubdzSf1Di9">pic.twitter.com/ubdzSf1Di9</a>

Rich Ohrnberger @ohrnberger

Patrick Mahomes is the most talented QB we've ever seen.<br><br>It's okay to say it, we have a large enough sample size. He's an outlier in a time filled with greats.

Arif Hasan, but NFL 🏈 @ArifHasanNFL

How is Mahomes jump passing without an ankle

Matt Verderame @MattVerderame

That's the gutsiest win of the Patrick Mahomes era. Just an incredible effort.

Rodger Sherman @rodger

Patrick Mahomes is actually winning an NFL playoff game like this <a href="https://t.co/FWEvGgpxPj">pic.twitter.com/FWEvGgpxPj</a>

Derrick Johnson @superdj56

Man all the words to describe how special <a href="https://twitter.com/PatrickMahomes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PatrickMahomes</a> is. Now add the word Grit. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ChiefsKingdom?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ChiefsKingdom</a>

The Chiefs will now play the winner of the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills matchup.

If the Bengals win, the game will take place in Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium. If the Bills win, both teams will head to Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a neutral-site game.

Either way, the matchup will take place on Sunday, January 29, at 6:30 p.m. ET.