ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – All of the attention is on the status of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes leading up to Sunday’s AFC Championship game.
Mahomes left their divisional round game against the Browns in the third quarter with a concussion and did not return. Right now he’s in the concussion protocol and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid didn’t have much of an update on Monday.
“We’ll follow that [the protocol] and see how he does here the next couple days,” Reid said on a zoom call with reporters.
Backup quarterback Chad Henne stepped in when Mahomes went down and converted the game-clinching 4th and 1 with a five-yard pass to Tyreek Hill with 1:14 left in the game.
So now the question is who will play at quarterback for the Chiefs come Sunday’s game and the Bills coaching staff knows this impacts their preparation.
“It makes a difference, he’s the reigning MVP, he’s a special quarterback who can do everything. Pocket passer, mobile quarterback that can get out of the pocket and make plays so it will definitely affect our preparation. They are a very good football team and Patrick Mahomes is special talent,” Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said.
“We’ve got work to do to prepare, certainly have a lot of respect for Patrick and how he plays the game and what he adds to their offense. As you saw with the weapons that they have and the system that Andy runs I thought Henne came in and did a really good job and won the game for them there. So we’ve got a lot of work to do as a team but also in this case on our defense to get ready,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott explained.
Obviously Mahomes is the biggest threat on that Chiefs offense and their best player. But even without him, this offense can still produce given the level of talent throughout that unit.
“They’re so good with the weapons that they have around Patrick. Andy does such a good job, they’re well coached that we’ve gotta prepare for that system, we’ve gotta prepare for both quarterbacks and that’s why we’ve got a lot of work to do this week,” McDermott said.
But if Mahomes plays, the Bills defense will once again have its work cut out for it because of his mobility, arm strength and vision downfield just to name a few things.
“It’s probably what everybody talks about but it’s hard to do and that’s keep him in the pocket, don’t let him scramble around and make plays, you know try to confuse him, try to make it hard for him and if he gives you opportunities to make plays on the ball make those plays,” Frazier said.
“You gotta do a good job in the run game to try and make them one dimensional as much as people talk about how good he is throwing the ball you really don’t want them to be a balanced offense and try to make them be one dimensional. And if you can, then your defensive line and your secondary has to step up and make some plays and that’s what we’re counting on.”