Mahomes’ magic diminishes with limited mobility

An ankle injury and poor pass protection made for a long day for Patrick Mahomes against the Colts.
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Caught up in the spell of Patrick Mahomes’ wizardry, the always enthusiastic Sunday Night Football crew ended up witnessing an old-fashioned whooping by the Colts instead of more magic by the league’s reigning MVP.

Before the biggest stunner in a slate of games that included one Gruden brother getting fired up and the other one getting fired, Chris Collinsworth said he and Al Michaels were “really just fans” and they couldn’t wait to see the hocus pocus like everyone else at Arrowhead Stadium.

“It’s exciting to be here, it really is,” Collinsworth said before kickoff. “There is a fever in this town. They know how close they were a season ago, and they think they’re going to take that next step.”

What they Chiefs took was a step back with their 19-13 loss.

Collinsworth did get his wish when Mahomes avoided a 15-yard sack on third-and-18, darted down the right sideline and fired a 27-yard frozen rope to Byron Pringle for a touchdown to put KC ahead 10-7 early in the second quarter.

“Stop it! Stop it!” Collinsworth whooped. “You can’t do this! You can’t make these plays! You can’t make this throw! We haven’t seen this. I mean, we’ve seen Brett Favre, we’ve seen Aaron Rodgers, we’ve seen John Elway. I, I, I just don’t remember anybody doing what this young man is doing so far in this league.”

Collinsworth and Michaels had good reason to believe more Mahomes magic was on the way, too.

Kansas City had scored at least 26 points in 22 consecutive regular-season games, and Indy’s secondary was banged up. They predicted tight end Travis Kelce would have a field day finding holes in the Colts’ zone coverage scheme.

What they saw instead was defensive dominance by the Colts, who sacked Mahomes four times and constantly crashed the pocket, leaving Mahomes limping and the Chiefs’ high-powered offense wheezing. Kelce had just one catch after the first quarter.

“I think the lesson learned for me here tonight is that part of the Mahomes magic, a major part of it, is his ability to move,” Collinsworth said as the Colts finished off an old-school thrashing that featured 45 runs and 29 passes.

“I didn’t know this kind of football still existed in the NFL,” Collinsworth said.