Rex Ryan and the “Get Up“ crew felt that Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes lost his confidence en route to the Chiefs blowing an 18-point lead and losing to the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game, which is something we’ve rarely if ever seen.
“I’ve been coaching for 30 years and I know the sign of a guy who has lost confidence,” said Ryan, who coached the Jets to two AFC Championship Games but never won a Super Bowl.
Ryan insinuated that Mahomes abandoned the game plan and play calling designed by Eric Bieniemy and Andy Reid and basically started playing 7 v 7 Arena League football.
Rex threw some of that shade toward future Hall of Fame coach Andy Reid as well. Ryan says the veteran head coach didn’t do enough to slow Cincy’s momentum and regain control of the game.
“As a coach you have to get back to running the football, to bring it back a little bit,” said Ryan, who was known for his defense and reliance on running the football in his stint at head coach of the N.Y. Jets.
Reid says he was proud of how the players fought back from a 3-4 record to position themselves in the AFC Championship Game, but he was disappointed that they failed to advance for the third straight season.
Ryan also blasted Mahomes’ style of play.
“He tried to make everything about getting separation for his receivers,” Ryan analyzed, before interjecting more opinion. “Thats the mark of a guy who lost some confidence in the game. He turned everything into street ball when he never had too.”
We can’t have it both ways. Analysts and fans alike marvel over Mahomes’ uncanny ability to throw the ball with both hands and make pinpoint throws while off balance, or just creating his own magic with the synergy he’s created with his main receiving weapons.
It wasn’t street ball when he was doing it in Super Bowl LIV. Or just a week earlier when he threw five TD passes in about 10 minutes and then passed for the winning TD with 13 seconds left on the clock in a thrilling AFC divisional win over the Bills.
You live by the sword you die by the sword. Mahomes’ incredible creativity is the same talent that Ryan is criticizing. You can’t expect a baller who has been to the AFC title game every season he’s been a starter to change the game in the ninth inning.
Kansas City was in the driver’s seat and up 21-3, Mahomes was throwing dimes and the game appeared to be headed toward blowout territory, but a questionable decision to go for the TD instead of a chip shot field goal with time expiring in the first half switched the momentum of the game. Before K.C. was stopped in the red zone, the Bengals defense didn’t look like it could match Mahomes’ excellence.
In the second half Mahomes went 9-for-20 for 55 yards, two picks and was sacked four times.
Ryan calls it “street ball.” The Bengals front line calls it “running for your life”
Mahomes is known to scrap the playbook and go for the home run. He admitted that much in his postgame interview, when discussing his failure to score before halftime. It turned out to be the momentum-shifting play of the game and gave Cincy new life.
“I was supposed to throw the ball away. I got a little greedy there and was trying to get the ball to Tyreek for the touchdown.”
Still No. 1
It’s fair for Ryan to criticize Mahomes for trying to be Superman again, but don’t belittle his style of play by calling it street ball.
Because when it works — which is more times than none — he’s the greatest thing we’ve ever seen. When his improvisation and competitive spirt backfires on him, then he’s playing streetball?
Either way, at the age of 26, Mahomes has been great enough to garner a contract potentially worth $500M, he’s been to four straight AFC Championships, has a Super Bowl, Super Ball MVP and a League MVP award.
There’re 31 other NFL teams that would sign up for that kind of street ball success.
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