For the first time in his NFL career, Patrick Mahomes looked confused and out of ideas on Sunday night in the biggest game of all.
Twelve months after winning his first Super Bowl, Mahomes failed to outfox the master, Tom Brady, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cruised to a comfortable 31-9 victory on home soil.
While Brady took the spotlight by winning an incredible seventh Super Bowl, Mahomes charged down the tunnel after a lacklustre performance.
We take a look where it went wrong and what to expect of Chiefs’ quarterback going forward.
Mahomes Humbled in Tampa
Heading into Super Bowl LV, Mahomes had won 25 of his last 26 games. A staggering achievement for the 25-year-old, who has pretty much only ever known success in the NFL.
In his three-year career so far, none of his nine losses as a starter had been by more than one score. Mahomes has dragged the AFC champions out of the mud on numerous occasions, but on Sunday he had no answers.
The last time a Mahomes-led offence had failed to score a touchdown was during his high-school days. It is fair to say that Sunday’s game in Tampa was his worst-ever in the NFL and the 25-year-old credited Tampa’s defensive gameplan.
Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles devised a plan that silenced star wide receiver Tyreek Hill and Mahomes struggled to find his rhythm, despite his best efforts.
What Does the Future Hold for Mahomes?
Well for starters, it looks like Mahomes needs to go under the knife due to a toe injury. Mahomes didn’t look comfortable for the majority of the game, but he refused to blame the injury for his disappointing display.
Mahomes says he and the club’s medical staff will assess his options on Monday, but the Chiefs need him back fully fit for the 2021 season.
There’s no doubt that Sunday’s defeat was a humbling occasion for the Chiefs, with the world watching they let themselves down.
Several of their players were unable to keep their cool, and when tested, they buckled under pressure. That is something that comes with experience, and quite simply, Mahomes and the Chiefs are not used to losing.
Other coaches will try and use the Bucs’ blueprint for success against Mahomes, but the Chiefs ace has time on his side to learn from the experience.
He has already broken numerous NFL records and will likely break several more. In 2020, he was rewarded with a 10-year contract, making him the “first half-billion-dollar player in sports history”.
4/1 favourites to win the Super Bowl again next year, have placed their faith in Mahomes and rightly so. He has a killer arm, incredible feet and a never-say-die attitude.
Even when the Bucs were smothering his every move, Mahomes brushed himself off and tried another option.
This year, like it has been on so many occasions, was Brady’s year. Once the dust has settled, and his injury has healed, Mahomes will bounce back and show why he led the Chiefs to two straight Super Bowls.
Their team is still young, hungry and ambitious and there is no reason why they cannot make a third straight Super Bowl appearance and fourth consecutive AFC Championship game.
*All odds correct at time of writing