Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark held an interview with NFL Media’s James Palmer immediately following Kansas City’s 27-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs. But it was the player that crashed Clark’s interview that got our attention.
“We in this thing — (the) AFC Championship. They doubted us, we’ve got The Shark (Frank Clark) healthy, The Shark is back and we smell blood, baby,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones told Palmer.
Clark, along with Kansas City’s other pass rusher, had a lot of success against Jacksonville. As a unit, the Chiefs’ defense had a total of 18 pressures on Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, which included 10 QB hurries, 6 QB hits, and 2 sacks, per PFF. That, in turn, led to just 217 passing yards for Jacksonville as well as 2 total turnovers.
Although Kansas City’s pressures didn’t consistently result in sacks against Jacksonville, the eye test showed that Lawrence was consistently off schedule, which forced bad passes — including his fourth-quarter interception — throughout the game.
That was needed in a game in which Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain during the first half and it hindered his playmaking ability for the rest of the game. Despite that, Mahomes led two scoring drives in the second half, which was just enough to fend off the Jaguars and advance to the AFC Championship Game, where the Chiefs will face the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I wouldn’t want no other quarterback leading my team,” Clark said when asked about Mahomes’s gutsy performance.
If the AFC West champions can get similar pressure on Bengals QB Joe Burrow as Lawrence suffered in the Divisional Round, then the Chiefs will likely be on their way to a third Super Bowl trip in four seasons.
Frank Clark on Mahomes: ‘He’s Tough as Hell’
Clark was also asked by Palmer what the team mentality was once Mahomes went down early with his injury.
“Of course, the best quarterback in the game just went down, the stadium’s quiet (and) everyone’s hoping that he’s doing well but at the end of the day, you don’t want to see any player go down,” Clark explained on January 21. “In our league today, we’ve seen it over the last few weeks, you see players get hurt and that attention to detail for these players has become a premium. I’m thankful for that – I’m thankful that we’ve taken a step back and actually focused more on the players health and those type of things rather than the game continuing. I feel like we did a pretty good job of that today with Pat (Mahomes).
“With Pat being who Pat is, he’s tough as hell, man. He gets out there and he finishes the game, there’s no telling what’s going on with him. Just like when you saw him a few years (ago) against the Broncos. The guy hurts he knee and comes back and finishes the season strong as ever.”
Twitter Reacts to Chiefs Victory
Twitter users reacted to the Chiefs defeating the Jaguars in the playoffs.
“EVERYBODY had a say in this win, from starters to back ups to coaching staff and fans,” one Twitter user wrote. “What a win!!!! 2 dubs to go.”
“Jags showed they are for real and will be back next year even better..great step in the right direction….All love to Lawrence and coach Pedersen….” another user wrote.
“Very good playoff football game. The Chiefs were obviously the better team but the Jags never stopped fighting,” another user wrote. “Two turnovers late sealed the deal and chiefs get the win. Glad to see Mahomes was able to keep playing on his ankle. Jags will be back next year.”