AFC championship game preview

Payson Davenport

The divisional round of the NFL Playoffs have finished and the outcome of the games this past weekend is looking like the Green Bay Packers will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship game on Sunday at 2:05 PM and the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at 5:40 PM. The biggest news that was coming out from the games this past weekend is the status of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes who left the game in the second half against the Cleveland Browns due to a tackle made by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson. But Patrick Mahomes has now been cleared to play Sunday for what will be an exciting matchup.

The Kansas City Chiefs barely made it past the Cleveland Browns in Sunday’s game as they were led by their second-string quarterback Chad Henne at the end of the game due to Patrick Mahomes exiting the game earlier because of a tackle made by Mack Wilson which looked like he had grabbed Mahomes around the neck to make the tackle. Mahomes got up from the tackle, shaken up, and was walked to the sideline but minutes later he was seen jogging to the locker room which was a good sign for Chiefs fans. Mahomes would then be evaluated for a concussion and he would soon be out for the rest of the game with a concussion. This meant Patrick Mahomes would need to undergo concussion protocol which is a five-step process before the game this Sunday in order to play which he did clear. Those 5 steps that he passed include:

First phase: Symptom Limited Activity. The player that has a concussion must rest or limit or even avoid activities depending on the severity of the concussion. But can start stretching and balance training under trainer supervision

Second phase: Aerobic Exercise. The player can now move to dynamic stretching and balance training under the supervision of the team’s medical staff

Third Phase: Football Specific Exercise. The player is now allowed to practice with the team but in a limited capacity and begin strength training all under trainer supervision

Fourth Phase: Club-Based Non-Contact Training Drills. The player continues to do strength training, balance training, and cardiovascular exercises but the player can now do non-contact drills at practice so for Mahomes this would mean he would practice running and throwing

Fifth Phase: Full Football Activity/Clearance. The player is now examined by the Independent Neurological Consultant (INC) and if the player’s concussion looks cleared, he can now practice in full capacity or play in the next game.

Now that Mahomes is cleared to play, we have a great game on our hands as two young quarterbacks go head to head; Patrick Mahomes v.s. Josh Allen. The Chiefs have now hosted the AFC Championship Game for the third year in a row and are looking forward to winning it for the second year in a row and as for the Bills, the last time they went to the AFC Championship game was in 1994 and it was also against the Chiefs. The Football Power Index (FPI) predicts that the Chiefs have a 58.3% chance of winning by an average of 2.7 points. This game could definitely come down to the wire.