Quarterback Chad Henne led a key touchdown drive against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional matchup for the Chiefs.
When Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes came up limping early against the Jacksonville Jaguars, you could feel the tension all throughout Chiefs Kingdom. Social media went ablaze, claiming ill intent from Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Arden Key. Silence fell over Arrowhead. Everyone held their breath. However, there was still a game to play and be won against the Jaguars.
Head coach Andy Reid eventually got Mahomes off the field and turned to backup quarterback Chad Henne—a man who looked anything but shaken in the AFC Divisional round. The 37-year-old veteran led the Chiefs on a 12-play, 98-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, once again proving that Henne-thing is possible.
Henne had not been called upon much in 2022, with only two pass attempts and appearing in three games during the regular season. Henne would only play on that drive, but it proved the scoring difference as the Chiefs won 27-20.
Mahomes was quick to praise Henne following the team’s win Saturday.
“It’s special, man,” Mahomes said on Henne. “He’s in the playoffs, he didn’t get any reps during the week and he prepares himself to be able to go in for stuff like that. He had a 98-yard drive, backed up in a playoff game against a great opponent. To be able to drive the ball down the field and make some big throws versus some pressure looks — I mean, they brought some heat whenever he came into the game — he made some big throws and was able to get us into the end zone.”
Reid agreed, stating that because of Henne’s preparation and readiness, the team trusted he would succeed after Mahomes’ departure. But, Henne himself remained humble about his role in the team’s win.
“I don’t know if it’s just like riding a bike, but you’re always prepared,” Henne said. “With this offense and obviously all the weapons we have and staying prepared each and every moment, I think you just stay ready. When your number is called, you just go in there and do what you did in practice and the meeting rooms and just take it into the game.”
Henne completed five passes for 23 yards and a touchdown to tight end Travis Kelce. Rookie Running back Isiah Pacheco’s 39-yard run was the drive’s longest play, and a dropped interception helped Henne’s drive to continue. But, like a pinch hitter in baseball, Henne came into the game cold and did enough to get a positive result.
“The team has so much belief in Chad,” Mahomes said after the game. “He’s done it before. He’s won Divisional [Round] games by coming in and playing, so they had so much belief in Chad. We saw it in that 98-yard drive, he ran the offense the way the offense was supposed to be run. He threw it to the right guys, and guys stepped up and made plays. That’s what a great team does. It’s not about one guy, it’s about the whole team.”