AFC guard change? Same old Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.

More than half a century ago, The Who released their anthemic rock-and-roll statement, which was published shortly after the National Football League and the American Football League combined in 1970. But it did take place. Wednesday. A time when we were duped.

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who will soon be able to make room in his trophy case for a second league MVP award, was supposed to finally make it to the Super Bowl this year. This was supposed to be the year that he finally made it to the Super Bowl, four years after leading a record-setting, top-seeded team into the AFC playoffs before the team collapsed in the divisional round. This was also the year that quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, who had won the league MVP award twice and the Super Bowl twice, appeared to be mortal. The highlight throws, flashy statistics, and victories came with less frequency and more difficulty.

When I was given the responsibility of predicting the outcome of the AFC championship game, I was one of eight staff members from USA TODAY Sports who unanimously predicted that the Ravens would win. This level of anti-Chiefs unanimity was somewhat remarkable.

Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson revert to form in AFC Championship game

Nevertheless, after the elite quarterbacks competed against each other at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore? Despite the fact that they are both excellent, might they be considered the most important talents of the current generation of quarterbacks? Simply the same Jackson. And Mahomes, the same old guy.

The latter adapted by throwing short passes on Kansas City’s first possession, which resulted in a touchdown drive that lasted 86 yards and ran for ten plays. The scoring drive culminated in a pass of 19 yards to tight end Travis Kelce. The Chiefs were able to qualify for the Super Bowl for the fourth time in the past five seasons because to their efficient and practically error-free performance, which was set in motion by this achievement.

“Pat Mahomes did a great job again, as he normally does,” stated Andy Reid, the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. “But starting the game off with 11 completions, that’s something special, then to manage the game.”

And the fact that Mahomes was able to throw for 241 yards and one touchdown is unquestionably a game-winning example of game management.

Jackson, who had a record of 2-4 in the postseason, underwent a reversal. Despite the fact that he has demonstrated significant development as a passer and offensive surgeon during the whole season, including a superb second half in the rout of the Houston Texans the week before, he has returned to the narrative that he badly wants to escape, which is that he is simply another quarterback who is unable to win it all. Jackson was unable to overcome or adequately feel the persistent blitz that the Chiefs were putting on him, and he was taken out of the game on one of the four sacks that he took. His interception in the end zone, which was lofted toward tight end Isaiah Likely, very certainly should not have been thrown away into triple coverage.

Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson revert to form in AFC Championship game

And although it is impossible to hold Jackson accountable for Baltimore’s baffling decision to virtually mothball their top-ranked ground game on a day when they never trailed by more than ten points, he was unable to pull off the chunk-sized gallops that he so frequently displays in order to throw a defense on its heels.

Despite the fact that the loss was a devastating blow to the top-seeded Ravens as a team, Jackson’s teammates were also aware of the impact it had on him on a personal level.

“I had never seen somebody so locked in and just in their flow and in their era, and I just felt like it was his time,” said Odell Beckham, a wide receiver with the Baltimore Ravens. “However, there are times when life throws us curveballs, and things don’t always go according to our plans. To put it simply, what are you going to do from this point on?

“This was an opportunity for (Jackson) to be able to write some of that stuff off and move on to the next thing,” said Patrick Queen, a line-backer for the Baltimore Ravens. That is the reason why it is painful, because you want to see people like that, teammates who you love and care about, get what they are meant to get, and that did not happen today.

But Mahomes was able to achieve his goal. Once more. There had never been a time in his career when he had won so few regular-season games (10), when he had thrown for so few yards a game in a season (261.4), when he had such a lower quarterback rating (92.6), or when he had been able to overcome his receivers who were, at most, average.

Patrick Mahomes' dad roasted Lamar Jackson and gave SB prediction

He was rolling right and left, passing the ball to seven different pass catchers, but the majority of his completions went to Kelce, who was responsible for 11 of his 30 completions. Despite this, he did not make a single turnover that he was responsible for. To put that into perspective, if you are counting at home, that is seven consecutive postseason games without a selection. At the two-minute warning, Mahomes completed a pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for 32 yards, which effectively concluded Kansas City’s victory by a score of 17-10. This was Mahomes’ most impressive quarterbacking performance on Sunday afternoon.

Now, Mahomes is planning to compete in his fourth Super Bowl, making him the only quarterback in history to accomplish it before reaching the age of 30. Mahomes’ teammates, on the other hand, were not startled by the outcome of the game, even if many others outside of the Chiefs locker room were stunned by it.

When asked about Mahomes’ performance, running back Isiah Pacheco stated, “Nothing impressed me on any level.” “That’s what he does – determined mindset, came out here with a goal.”

As of right now, the most coveted reward is within reach.

“I don’t like losing any games,” added Mahomes, who is currently 14-3 in postseason play thanks to his success.

“And now, we’re going to the Super Bowl, and like I said, we’re not done.”

The Kansas City Chiefs are a small underdog against the San Francisco 49ers, who are the champions of the National Football Conference. It is highly recommended that you do not let the line to mislead you.

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