Ex-NFL QB: Chiefs were ‘ready for moment’ after falling behind with 13 seconds to play

·6 min read
Jill Toyoshiba/jtoyoshiba@kcstar.com

Three plays, 44 yards, 13 seconds.

Days later, there is still a buzz about the Chiefs’ stunning 42-36 win over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Divisional playoff game. That’s especially true about the 13-second drive that covered 44 yards and set the Chiefs up to tie the game when all seemed lost.

On ESPN’s “Get Up,” former Lions/Colts/Bucs/Texans quarterback Dan Orlovsky broke down the 13-second drive and game-winning, 8-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce.

“The Kansas City Chiefs were trained perfectly for this moment,” Orlovsky said, and then broke down multiple small nuances by the KC players to back up his point.

When he was finished, Orlovsky said: “That’s how the Chiefs are going to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. They’re ready for the moment, everybody on the football team, and they executed it perfect.”

This is a good breakdown of three huge plays from Sunday’s game:

Orlovsky wasn’t alone in covering what the Chiefs did against the Bills. Here is a look at other national stories.

The Washington Post’s Jerry Brewer wrote a column with the headline, “Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs march on in the NFL playoffs with magic and majesty.”

This is a snippet of what Brewer wrote: “Production is a skill. Winning, however, is an art. And it took every bit of artistry and belief Kansas City had to outlast Buffalo, 42-36 in overtime. It’s possible you will witness a better NFL game in your lifetime, and if you do so, lucky you. But I’m certain it wouldn’t include a finish as perfect (at least on offense) and frenetic as the final 1:54 of regulation Sunday night. I’m beyond certain that you’ll never see quarterbacks duel the way Mahomes and Josh Allen did in those last two minutes.”

Louisa Thomas of The New Yorker wrote a story with the headline, “The Chiefs’ win against the Bills was ridiculous and perfect.”

Here is a pass from her story: (A) more satisfying finish, at least for those of us not rooting specially for either the Bills or the Chiefs, would have been no finish at all. In a better world, the game would have persisted, in ever wilder fashion. At some point, exhaustion would have set in — for me, at least, if not for the two quarterbacks. At some point, there might have been an interception, or a fumble, or a devastating sack. Games end. Clocks run out. There are winners and losers. Later, there will be a Super Bowl champion. But, for a few minutes at least — which stretched and stretched, thinning time until it lost its meaning — I could forget all that. The score set the stakes, but only these moments mattered.”

In his story, “2021 NFL playoffs: “What we learned from Chiefs’ win over Bills in Divisional Round,” Kevin Patra of NFL.com focused one point on Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.

He is part of what he wrote: “Mahomes was patient all game, willing to spread the ball around and take what the defense provided. But in the big moments, it was Hill and Kelce. The duo combined for 19 catches for 246 yards and two TDs, nearly equaling their output from last year’s AFC Championship Game win over these Bills (22 catches, 290 receiving yards, 2 TDs). It’s no surprise that in those final 13 seconds of regulation, when Mahomes needed plays, first he went to Hill (19 yards), then Kelce (25).”

Peter Schrager of “Good Morning Football” on the NFL Network took note of the incredible plays from the game.

The Ringer’s Steven Ruiz wrote about Mahomes and Allen and the rivalry between the teams.

Here is an excerpt: “With Mahomes and Allen meeting in the playoffs two years in a row — and with both establishing themselves as perennial MVP candidates — this budding quarterback rivalry is already drawing comparisons to the Peyton Manning–Tom Brady saga, which dominated the NFL for the better part of two decades. But none of the 17 matchups we got from those two legendary passers looked anything like this. This was something different. There’s still a place in the NFL for that traditional archetype that Manning and Brady fall into — Joe Burrow is probably the last great hope for that style of passer. But the standard for what an elite talent at the position looks like has been upgraded by all of these physically gifted passers who have entered the league and defied our notions of what quarterbacks are supposed to be able to do.”

Peter King wrote about all four NFL divisional games, and noted how the Chiefs have drafted in recent years.

“Kansas City has drafted so many players with the Mahomes mindset (talent, plus drive, plus intense competitiveness) who showed up in this ultimate test to their greatness,” King wrote. “I thought coming back in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl two years ago, using signature-play 2-3 Jet Chip Wasp to come back on the Niners, was the best illustration of Kansas City’s determination. Maybe not. Mahomes is amazing, obviously. Nothing bugs him. He’s got a chance, long-term, to be one of the all-time greats with his magical style and accompanying grit. ‘But what people don’t see,’ Tyreek Hill told me postgame, ‘is the way he makes us all better.’”

Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop wrote a story with the headline, “Thirteen Seconds: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs Have Just Enough Time to Win Instant Classic.”

Here is part of what he wrote: “The Chiefs celebrated like children in the locker room, piling on top of each other, screaming and yelling. Their triumph wasn’t exactly the same as the Super Bowl, but it was pretty darn close. As they embarked on a well-earned celebration, perhaps they would have been wise to listen to their mothers. Because anything can happen, sometimes a million anythings — and on an epic night to cap off an epic NFL playoff weekend, sometimes winning, however it happens, however far away it seems, is the delightful result.”

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