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Pat Mahomes passed his first playoff test with flying colors against the Colts

SB Nation logo SB Nation 1/13/2019 Harry Lyles Jr.
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The Kansas City Chiefs finally won a home playoff game for the first time since 1994, after knocking off the Indianapolis Colts 31-13 Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium. It was Mahomes’ first playoff test, one that he handled with ease.

BOX SCORE:  CHIEFS 31, COLTS 13

Mahomes has had statistically better games than the one he had on Saturday night. He finished the game 27-of-41 with 278 yards, as well as eight yards rushing and a touchdown. But it was more than enough to get the Chiefs into the Championship game next Sunday. In fact, the game was never really close.

The Chiefs got the ball first on offense, and had a promising start, which was hardly surprising for one of the NFL’s most prolific offenses.

Patrick Mahomes found Sammy Watkins early for a big completion, when Watkins showed a Le’Veon Bell-esque patience for a big gain:

The Chiefs led the game 7-0 from there, and never lost the lead again. And while Mahomes’ literal cannon arm and passing abilities have been the eye-popper from his game this season, he knew when to use his legs to help his team as well:

This was a below-average game for Mahomes, which is amazing because it wasn’t a bad one. If any other rookie has this same game, it’s considered a “step up” or some such. But Mahomes and the Chiefs came in, and easily handled one of the hottest teams in the NFL.

And hey, even though his numbers weren’t the ones we’re used to being impressed by, he still managed to WOW us with throws.

Cris Collinsworth’s “ping pong ball” analogy here didn’t make too much sense, but the throw was still damn impressive:

The precise arm angle, and timing to get the ball to Kelce there is something that we just don’t see from other quarterbacks. It’s why Mahomes is likely going to be the MVP this season.

The Chiefs’ defense stepped up, and made Saturday’s game easier than what it could have been.

As good as the Chiefs’ offense has been all season, the defense has nearly been their equivalent — except bad. That wasn’t the case on Saturday, as they held the Colts to just 13 points.

They also kept Andrew Luck relatively quiet for the majority of the night. Luck finished the game with 18-of-35 with 196 yards and a touchdown, but outside of a no-huddle drive just before the first half, the Chiefs defense made Luck seem like the first-year starter in this game. There was never a real flow to the offense, and with the Chiefs putting up a quiet offensive night for them, it was more than enough to get by at home.

Next week, Mahomes will get the biggest test of his career.

It’ll come either against the most complete Chargers team we’ve ever seen, or the great Patriots dynasty with Tom Brady seeking a sixth Super Bowl. The Chiefs are 1-1 against the Chargers this season, and 0-1 against the Patriots — but Mahomes played well in all three games.

The most impressive part about Mahomes, is that we wouldn’t be shocked for a second if he were to beat either team and advance to the biggest game in American sports. He had one of the most impressive seasons at quarterback we’ve ever seen this season with 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.

For a guy who is just 23 years old, it’s amazing. But for Patrick Mahomes, we’re already at a point now where we expect success. That’s a lot of pressure, and kind of unfair to an extent.

But it also speaks volumes to just how good he is already. Next week, he’s got a chance to add to his legend.

Related slideshow: NFL playoffs (Provided by USA Today Sports)

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