Sports

Chiefs discover a way, win behind Chad Henne after Patrick Mahomes’ blackout

The Kansas City Chiefs got two major plays from their quarterback close to the game’s finish to protect Sunday’s 22-17 divisional-round playoff triumph over the Cleveland Browns, yet that player wasn’t Patrick Mahomes.

With Mahomes in the locker room subsequent to enduring a blackout and being taken out of the game, Chad Henne made two major plays to save the Chiefs. On the Chiefs’ last drive he mixed 13 yards, finishing with a plunge to get to the first-down marker to set up a fourth-and-1 throw.

He finished a 5-yard pass to Tyreek Hill to permit the Chiefs to proceed with the drive and run out the clock.

“When you’re around him, you just know,” Reid said of why he trusted Henne, who hasn’t been a regular starter since 2014, when he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars. “Everybody has full confidence in him.

“I think we’ll all remember the run, that dive, and then the throw.”

Mahomes saluted his backup, tweeting “#HenneThingIsPossible” after the game.

Told by columnists that “#HenneThingIsPossible” was trending via online media, Henne said the solitary social media platform he utilizes is LinkedIn.

“But I don’t think #HenneGivenSunday or #HenneThingIsPossible is going to be on LinkedIn,” he said. “… Once I got in that huddle, everyone had confidence for me. They were pushing for me, had my back, and this is a great team. This a great opportunity to go and play with this team and come out with a victory.”

Henne supplanted Mahomes in the second from last quarter. Mahomes was hit hard by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson on a second from last quarter hurrying endeavor and seemed unsteady as he got to his feet. He was taken to the injury tent on the sideline for a quick examination prior to heading to the locker room.

“He’s actually doing very well,” Reid said after the game. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow, but right now, he’s feeling pretty good.”

Mahomes’ status for next Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium is indistinct. The Chiefs beat the Bills 26-17 in Week 6 in Buffalo with Mahomes at quarterback.

After the game, Wilson tweeted that he trusted Mahomes will have the option to return for the AFC title game, to which Mahomes answered: “All good brother!”

In the event that Henne needs to play all things being equal, the two plays he made on the Chiefs’ last drive will help give his partners some certainty they can beat the Bills and advance to Super Bowl LV.

“That’s all heart,” defensive back Tyrann Mathieu said of Henne on the final drive. “Those are the moments that lift teams.”

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