The Kansas City Chiefs got Mahomes’d by Aaron Rodgers and Packers

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 27: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 and wide receiver Allen Lazard #13 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate after a touchdown during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on October 27, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 27: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 and wide receiver Allen Lazard #13 of the Green Bay Packers celebrate after a touchdown during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on October 27, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs got a taste of their own medicine from Aaron Rodgers during the loss to the Packers on Sunday Night Football.

“I sure did.”

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur agreed with a reporter immediately after the team’s victory over the Kansas City Chiefs when he was asked about an incredible fourth quarter touchdown throw from quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The reporter’s question: “Did you think Rodgers was throwing it away?”

LaFleur thought Rodgers was simply getting rid of the football with a pass that seemed to be sailing way too high and right of the end zone to be of any offensive use. The Chiefs had been applying serious pressure on Rodgers all night—to the tune of 5 sacks and several more hurries—and it wasn’t the first time the future Hall of Fame quarterback had to simply get rid of the football faster than he wanted.

Then the unthinkable happened: halfback Jamaal Williams worked his way free in the back of the end zone and hauled in the pass that originally looked like a desperate heave. In a few milliseconds, the Chiefs defense went from excited to exhausted, from believing they’d done what they were supposed to do to giving up seven points in a tight game in the final quarter.

“That was one of the best — if not the best — pass I’ve ever seen live in person,” said LaFleur after the game. “That was incredible. I couldn’t believe it. Just a great play because he was under duress, too. I know he ended up on the ground. Credit to Jamaal. He kept working for him. It was just one of those plays that kind of leaves you speechless.”

Speechless. That’s how most teams end up describing (or unable to describe) the sensation of facing Patrick Mahomes. It’s interesting that on the one night that the Chiefs don’t have their own magician available under center, they were forced to watch the dazzling act of another. Aaron Rodgers gave the Chiefs a taste of their own medicine on Sunday night. In fact, you could say the Chiefs were Mahomes’d.

“How did he do that?”

How many times has that question been asked of a Patrick Mahomes throw? Countless, to be sure.

Even in such a short career, Mahomes has put together the sort of resume that should just make you laugh out loud. In one year as a starter, he was a Madden cover athlete, the NFL’s reigning MVP, a record-setter who earned constant comparison to the single best quarterbacks to ever play the game of football. The number of superlatives used to describe the athletic ability and arm strength that comes so naturally to Mahomes has been exhausted.

There was the left handed throw and the no-look pass. Wait, which no look pass are we talking about? There are impossible lasers and incredible deep tosses. There are throws across the body on the run in the other direction and other completions while being tackled into the ground.

With Mahomes under center, the unpredictable is the only predictable element. Given Andy Reid’s creative play calling and the impressive group of elite skill position players available to Mahomes, the Texas Tech product has been such a bright light of inspired play that he overshadows all of his superstar teammates.

As a defender, it’s not only exhausting but demoralizing to do everything right and still come away burned on a given play. A cornerback can provide lockdown coverage and still lose the battle. A pass rusher can have him firmly in his grasp and still watch him make a play. A defensive coordinator can call the perfect play and still find himself frustrated.

“How did he do that?” It’s asked time and time again.

“The play is never over.”

Ask any pass catcher for the Kansas City Chiefs and they will tell you the primary lesson learned when playing with Mahomes as your quarterback is to never, ever stop running.

One of my favorite anecdotes about Patrick Mahomes so far comes from opposing cornerback Chris Harris of the Denver Broncos. At one point last season, Harris wore his FitBit on game day and said he ran 15 miles against the Chiefs. He couldn’t recall ever going more than 11 miles.

The lesson is simple: with Mahomes, the play is never, ever over. Mahomes has an incredible ability to wiggle free of any collapsing pocket, to turn and make an impossible throw, to create something out of nothing (ex nihilo).

Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and company know that until the whistle blows, you just keep running. The moment they let up is the moment the unexpected pass sails overhead right to the very spot they would have been if they’d only maintained their speed. In fact, it can be frustrating at times as Chiefs fans to see certain missed opportunities because Mahomes was able to do what even his own teammates didn’t think he could.

They thought the play was over. They were wrong.

“This is how they must feel.”

Here’s what I kept thinking for most of the night while watching the Packers and the Chiefs: this is how everyone else must feel.

For every time I stand up and yell, for every clap or cheer, for every speechless drop of the jaw, there are opposite and equal reactions on the other side. There are heads in hands. There are screams of frustration. There are fans pouting and yelling and crying and maybe even hitting something.

On Sunday night, Aaron Rodgers made several throws that made me ask,  “How did he do that?” Throughout the game, I realized the play is never over for Rodgers either. That fourth quarter throw to Williams was the ideal example, a miraculous throw on a play that went on for way too long. The Chiefs did an incredible job in coverage there, and the pass rush was finally getting to him.

We thought he was throwing it away. His coach thought he was throwing it away. Most players likely thought the same. He wasn’t. He was making some magic on primetime television.

It’s what we’re used to rooting for. It’s another feeling entirely to have the same thing served up from the opposing team.