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Mahomes vs. Allen: the next great NFL quarterback rivalry

The thrilling AFC Divisional Round matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs showed that the NFL could have its next great quarterback rivalry.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 23: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs that ran into overtime was an instant classic that saw stellar performances from the team’s quarterbacks.

It was the fourth time KC’s Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo’s Josh Allen went toe-to-toe in two seasons, and their meeting lived up to and even exceeded expectations.

Perfect match

Mahomes and Allen delivered numbers that were almost identical- the Chiefs' quarterback with 378 passing yards, 69 rushing yards, and four touchdowns, and the Bills' signal caller with 329 passing yards, 68 rushing yards, and four touchdowns.

The heart-stopping game saw the lead swinging back and forth, with both young quarterbacks one-upping each other down to the wire.

The Chiefs eventually won 42-36 on the first possession during overtime, bringing the team to their fourth AFC Championship in a row. It was a heart-breaking loss for 25-year-old Allen, as he was hoping to bounce back from last year’s loss at the AFC Championship at the hands of the same team.

The 26-year-old Mahomes sought out his counterpart after the game to give him an embrace and some slaps on the back, a scene that highlighted their mutual respect. It was a meaningful moment, and could have marked a transition in terms of an era-defining rivalry.

The old guard

Veteran quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are both out of playoff contention after being booted out this weekend, the first time since 2009 that neither of them will be seeing action in a Conference Championship match.

Brady has still been producing MVP-level numbers, and being out of this year’s Super Bowl does not necessarily mean that there’s been a changing of the guard.

After Sunday’s showdown though, football fans will undoubtedly be keeping an eye on the rivalry that’s been ignited between Mahomes and Allen. The dramatic game that has already been called one of the greatest in league history could be a preview of the football excitement that is yet to come from these two.