Patrick Mahomes injury among key Chiefs-Jags takeaways

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Five thoughts about a bruising, injurious game at Arrowhead:

This might be insane, but I say Patrick Mahomes will play okay with a high ankle sprain. I point to the winning TD pass in the divisional round win over Jacksonville. Obviously hobbling up in the pocket with the right ankle killing him, Mahomes zipped a ball off his left foot 19 yards in the air to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. So it wasn’t an Aroldis Chapman fastball; it was plenty fast and right on target, and it won the game. As former Mahomes right tackle Mitchell Schwartz tweeted: “Can’t plant and push off for down the field throws. He’s going to change his mechanics now and start throwing with all arm.” Talk about a prescient tweet. As I see it, what changes now with Mahomes is the fact that throwing on the run mostly goes away. Maybe the gameplan will be to have a more consistent sixth blocker (extra tight end?) in on obvious pass plays. The sheer force of will of Mahomes will help carry him through, I believe. And if he’s ineffective Sunday night, Andy Reid will have the guts and common sense to play Chad Henne—which would not be a disaster.

Orlando Brown pointed out two benefits to Mahomes playing hobbled. “When something like that happens,” said Brown, KC’s left tackle, “it forces us up front to play even harder to make sure he doesn’t get hit. That’s one thing about it—you get motivated to up your game even more.” This is corny, and I’m not sure how much it actually improves the quality of play of the other 10 players. But Brown said seeing the leader of the team fight with coaches to stay in the game and insist on playing through an injury many would not play with does something in the alpha-male world of football. “We have a ton of grit instilled in us here, and we love the sport and love each other. I don’t know how to explain it, but we just want to rally behind 15. He’s the epitome of what our team is.” It’s not the same as Mahomes being completely healthy, of course, but other factors may make the other 10 play better.

Travis Kelce showed he’s the best and surest-handed of the short and intermediate receivers in football. He caught 14 balls Saturday. He might catch 44 in the championship game. Coverage patterns in this game will be interesting. If I were Cincinnati, I’d put a consistent second cover player, a physical one like a rangy linebacker, on Kelce.

(Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Losing home field would’ve been a factor, but I doubt a big one. “We’ll play in a CVS parking lot, man,” Brown said. “We don’t care.” Even before Sunday’s game would determine their championship foe, there wasn’t much of a trend when Kansas City played the other two teams. Since 2020, in regular- and post-season games, KC is 2-1 against Buffalo at home, 1-0 at Buffalo, 0-1 against Cincinnati at home, 0-1 at Cincinnati.

The Jags should be proud. Count the accomplishments: After “winning” the first overall draft pick two straight years, Jacksonville won the AFC South, rebounded from a 27-point deficit to beat the Chargers in a Wild Card game, established a raucous, young front seven that the franchise can grow with, hired a coach who can train a franchise quarterback, got that quarterback playing 50 percent better than in his rookie year, and finished with an 8-3 post-Halloween record. On Saturday, coach Doug Pederson got the main point of it all: Trevor Lawrence is good, and he’s a leader. “The success of your football team relies on the quarterback,” Pederson said. “You have to get that piece and that player right. I feel we have that person right. Trevor is just going to get better. He is going to learn from this. He is going to grow with the receivers, tight ends, the backs because they are all young.” He could use a franchise tight end, and one more receiver—either the formerly suspended Calvin Ridley, acquired during the season, or one in the draft. Jacksonville, in the span of a half-season, showed it might be (might being the apt word) the AFC South team to beat in 2023.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

2023 NFL Playoffs AFC, NFC Championship Round Schedule: Dates, start times, how to watch/live stream info for today’s games

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The 2023 NFL Playoffs have been filled with nothing short of excitement! The action continues this week with the Championship Round on Sunday, January 29. First, at 3:00 PM ET Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers will head to Lincoln Financial Field to take on Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. Then at 6:30 PM ET Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

See below for the full AFC, NFC Championship Round schedule as well as additional information on how to watch each game.

Click here for the full 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule

Conference Championship Round Schedule:

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game:

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles – 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox

  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

AFC Championship Game:

Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs – 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS

  • Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

RELATED: Brock Purdy, Jalen Hurts met in a 2019 college football classic


2023 Divisional Round Scores and Recap:

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)


What 4 teams are in the NFL playoffs?

The San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, and Kansas City Chiefs.

Which teams have been eliminated from the 2023 NFL Playoffs?

The Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys have all been eliminated from the 2023 NFL playoffs.

RELATED: FMIA Divisional – Tales Of Outsmarting, Outplaying, And Outbuilding The Other Guys

NFL Super Bowl History:

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2023 NFL Playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

What NFL games are on today? TV, kickoff, live stream for today’s AFC, NFC Championship games

NFL: AUG 21 Preseason - Bills at Bears
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The 2023 NFL Playoff action continues this weekend with two Conference Championship games this afternoon. The action kicks off at 3:00 p.m. ET as Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers will make the trek to Lincoln Financial Field to take on Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. Then at 6:30 PM ET Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals will go head-to-head with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

See below for additional information on how to watch/live stream today’s games as well as the latest NFL playoff scores, schedules, and bracket.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs AFC, NFC Championship Round Schedule – Dates, start times, how to watch/live stream info for Sunday’s games

What NFL games are on today?

Sunday, January 29

NFC Championship Game:

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles – 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox

  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs – What to know about SF QB Brock Purdy Ahead of NFC Championship game

AFC Championship Game:

Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs – 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS

  • Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri

NFL Super Bowl History:

RELATED: FMIA Divisional – Tales Of Outsmarting, Outplaying, And Outbuilding The Other Guys


When is Super Bowl LVII?

  • Date: Sunday, February 12
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Network: Fox

2023 NFL Playoff Bracket:


2023 NFL Playoff Scores:

Wild Card Weekend Scores and Recap:

Seahawks (7) vs 49ers (2)

Chargers (5) vs Jaguars (4)

Dolphins (7) vs Bills (2) 

Giants (6) vs Vikings (3) 

Ravens (6) vs Bengals (3) 

Cowboys (5) vs Buccaneers (4) 

2023 Divisional Round Scores and Recap:

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2023 NFL Playoffs, and be