In the AFC championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens, the result wasn’t the only storyline sticking around after. A brewing feud between star quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Ravens kicker Justin Tucker unfolded, injecting unexpected drama into the clash of titans.
The controversy unfurled in the moments leading up to the highly anticipated matchup at M&T Bank Stadium when Mahomes, accompanied by tight end Travis Kelce, found himself entangled in a peculiar incident with Tucker during their warm-up routine. Mahomes, with calculated intent, repeatedly kicked Tucker’s ball holder out of the way, and Kelce took it a step further by clearing a path for the Chiefs quarterback.
Tucker, known for his poise and professionalism, initially downplayed the incident, attributing it to harmless banter. According to him, kickers routinely warm up in both end zones to familiarize themselves with the stadium and prevailing conditions. However, Mahomes perceived Tucker’s actions as intentional, aiming to disrupt the Chiefs’ preparation.
Mahomes opened up about the incident
“He does that to get under our skin,” Mahomes stated, shedding light on the underlying tension. He recounted asking Tucker to move his equipment, claiming that while Tucker complied, the adjustment wasn’t enough. Kelce then intervened, physically removing Tucker’s gear. Despite the confrontation, Mahomes acknowledged Tucker’s status as one of the greatest kickers of all time, expressing respect for his prowess on the field.
“I have a lot of respect for him as a player and as a kicker. He’s one of the best kickers of all time, probably the best kicker of all time. At the same time, you’ve got to have respect for each team. We all share the field and we try to do that in a respectful way,” Mahomes added, emphasizing the importance of mutual respect amidst fierce competition.
As the Chiefs secured a hard-fought 17-10 victory over the Ravens, their passage to the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers was secured. The stage is set for the Big Game in Las Vegas as the Chiefs will be turning the page on the AFC Championship and start their prep to secure yet another championship.