Former Super Bowl MVP and (soon to be two-time) league MVP Patrick Mahomes’ legacy was already pretty solid ahead of Sunday night’s AFC championship game. But his performance as he played through a painful ankle injury immediately skyrocketed Mahomes’ status as one of the best quarterbacks in his 103-year history in the NFL. I was.
A week after his ankle sprain, Mahomes was hoping for a 23-20 Chiefs victory over the Bengals. The Bengals are the same team that gave Mahomes one of his toughest defeats in this game a year ago. Mahomes threw for his 326 yards and he scored twice, but his 5-yard run (a 15-yard penalty after being thrown out of bounds by Bengals linebacker Joseph Ossai) including) was Harrison Butker’s game-winning field goal on the Chiefs’ last play in regulation.
Mahomes, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Ben Roethlisberger, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Jim Plunkett, Bob Griese, Bert Starr, John Elway, Peyton, Eli Acquire the right to play as a multiple-win starting quarterback in addition to Manning. Super Bowl ring, for which Mahomes needs to break the Eagles’ defense, which recorded an astonishing 70 of his sacks during the regular season.
But before we look ahead to the Super Bowl, let’s take a historical look at Mahomes’ performance against the Bengals, along with other notable playoff performances by a player who was dealing with serious injuries.
Mahomes’ effort on Sunday was arduous, but Jack Youngblood holds the mantle as the bravest playoff performance in postseason history. Young, Rams Hall of Fame linebacker Brad faced the Steelers in Super Bowl XIV. with a broken legWith Yungblud on the field, the Rams nearly upset the highly favored Steelers. The Steelers won his fourth Super Bowl in six years after taking away Youngblood’s best punch.
“Pittsburgh has won the championship three times in the past, but I was confident that I could play with them.” Yungblud told CBS Sports in 2022“We were a firm believer that we could stop running and catch up. [Terry] Bradshaw and we could cover [Lynn] with swan [John] Stallworth. To be honest, we hurt ourselves. They didn’t hurt us. Knocked each other down with two touchdowns. We did double coverage and they scored his 14 points on those two plays. ”
Here’s the really crazy part of Youngblood’s story. He played in the Pro Bowl the following week. When asked decades later why he played in the Pro Bowl, Yungblud didn’t want to miss the party, he said.
“I mean, we’re done with the season, so it’s time to let our hair down a little bit,” said Youngblood. It wasn’t. It was a show. Please don’t do that.”
It was a Steelers player who later made history by playing in the Super Bowl with a major injury. Steelers, 49ers and Ravens Hall of Fame defensive defender Rod Woodson, his back, tore his AFC while attempting to tackle Barry Sanders in the 1995 season opener, and the MCL was also injured.
Woodson was able to convince Bill Cower to remain on the active roster even if the Steelers made the playoffs. It didn’t seem like a possibility as they stepped into a 3-4 start.
The Steelers won 10 of their next 11 games to earn their ticket to the Super Bowl, thanks to a tough defense, a five-wide receiver set, and receiver/running back/quarterback Cordell Stewart’s credit. And while he wasn’t 100% yet, Woodson had rehabilitated well enough for the big game.
Woodson played well and actually broke a pass to Michael Irvin in the second half. However, two interceptions proved costly as the Steelers lost a close game to the Dynasty Cowboys.
“Bill was open enough to listen.” Woodson told CBS Sports in 2021“I don’t think any other coach in the league did that. He left that light at the end of the tunnel for me.
“Obviously if there were more injuries or if the secondary had been injured and devastated they would have had to put me in the IR. We’re back in the Super Bowl. That’s me But it started with what Bill Cauer said, we gotta get you in the IR. can do.
Like Yungblud, Terrell Owens also played through a broken leg in the Super Bowl. The Hall of Fame receiver played in Super Bowl XXXIX against New England despite breaking his leg seven weeks ago and tore a critical ligament in his right ankle. Not only did Owens play, with nine catches he was the Eagles best player with 121 yards. Owens’ efforts helped the Eagles stay in the game, but Philadelphia ultimately lost to the Patriots and Brady.
During practice the week of the 2017 AFC Title Game, Brady suffered a deep cut just below his right thumb after colliding with a teammate. His injury was so bad that Brady wondered if he would ever be the same.
Luckily for Brady, the injury didn’t lead to structural damage, so despite the pain and lack of full ball holding ability, Brady went on to face the Jaguars for Super Bowl rights. Brady’s injury seemed to affect his play early on as the Patriots fell to an early 14-3 hole. But, as he’s done throughout his career, Brady hoped his team would win on the strength of two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.
Brady then set a Super Bowl record with a 505-yard loss to the Eagles in the Super Bowl. He then went on to win his sixth and seventh Super Bowl in his later years. Brady’s final Super Bowl in his ring came at the expense of Mahomes, who was returning to his game at Big for the third time in his still young career.