“It had to be you. It had to be you…”
Yeah, when I woke up at 4:35 a.m. Monday, this 1924 classic from the “American Songbook” was instantly in my mind. “It had to be you…”
Writing credits to two fellas named Isham Jones and Gus Khan.
(Note: I awaken every single morning with a different and completely random song in my alleged brain. The selections are often baffling, and jump across all genres. But this was a Weird Chart-Topper. “It had to be you”? Really?)
A mind is a terrible thing. Especially mine. Damn, Paul, was it the ice cream you ate Sunday night?
And then it hit me. I smiled. I didn’t laugh aloud only because I didn’t want to wake BB up.
“It had to be you…”
Oh, just hellzyeah.
It had to be you, Patrick Mahomes. It had to be you.
And it had to be this SB matchup. Andy’s current team vs. Andy’s former team. Kelce vs. Kelce. Brother on brother crime. Two Texas-bred QBs in Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.
I wrote late last week that if Mahomes pulled this off, he would be elevated from mere folk legend to Myth of the Milky Way.
He pulled it off.
As it turned out, it wasn’t that the ankle was no big deal. It was a very big deal.
But Number 15 was bigger.
Mahomes made a handful of throws that no one else could make. His second TD pass of the game, this one to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, was a jaw-dropper.
And the one time that he had to floor it on that bad ankle, he pushed past the pain, the Bengals and the first down sticks.
If there was still any remaining doubt about how this was going to end, the Bengals’ defensive end Joseph Ossai (a former Longhorn) clinched the “Bum Steer Award” by committing one of the most infamous and boneheaded late hit penalties in playoff history.
So, for the fourth straight time, a Chiefs-Bengals matchup was decided by three points. Cincinnati won the first three.
And for the Bengals, the hell of it is they could very well have won this one by three. And probably should have.
With a minute left in a 20-20 deadlock, Cincy was right on script. The Bengals had the ball and Burrow. The unmistakable vibe was that this was going to end with a game-winning field goal not by Harrison Butker, but by Evan McPherson.
Stop me if you’ve seen this before.
But KC flipped the script. Chris Jones’ second sack of the day forced a Bengal punt. The Cincy punt team turned Skyy Moore loose for a 27-yard return.
And then, it had to be you, Patrick Mahomes. It had to be you.
Think about it. In the last 60 seconds of the game, the Bengals committed fatal mistakes by their offense, their special teams and their defense.
The Turkey Trifecta. And it prevented Cincinnati from repeating as AFC Champions.
Joe Burrow was sacked five times, four in the first half. But as usual, it looked like it just would not matter. Burrow routinely shakes off five, or six—or nine—sacks, and still finds a way to win, often by double digits.
But this time it mattered. Chris Jones saw to that. Next stop for Chiefs Nation, Glendale.
The opener in Philly? It was over the instant Purdy’s right elbow exploded. I mean, I don’t have a thing in the world against Josh Johnson. Why would I? How could I? Hell, I didn’t even know who he was until Purdy exited. And I follow this stuff, you know, pretty closely.
Any grain of remaining doubt was erased by 49er penalties.
But I don’t want to hear any garbage about how that was a cakewalk for the Eagles. They’ve been the best team in the NFC all season. They had the top seed and that first-round bye because they had spent the previous five months earning that.
Oh, and that early “reception” by DaVonte Smith that replay later showed was incomplete? That’s not on the officials. Did YOU know Smith didn’t control it until you saw the replay following the commercial?
No, you didn’t. And neither did I.
That’s on Kyle Shanahan for not challenging the play.
Eagles and Chiefs.
It had to be you.
I’ll get to Kellen Moore later in the day.