A memorable shootout in their past, former Big 12 rivals Mahomes, Mayfield to duel in NFL playoffs

The Big Game
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February 07 2021 07:30 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time in NFL postseason history, Kansas City will match up with Cleveland in the NFL’s divisional playoff round on Sunday.

Although the Chiefs and Browns are meeting for the first time in the playoffs, their quarterbacks are no strangers to one another.

Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield, both 25 years old, will have their second NFL meeting Sunday, but their history includes an October 22, 2016 Big 12 matchup that crushed record books.

“It’s cool to get to play against him in such a big game in the playoffs. I’ve known him for a long time, since I was a senior in high school,” Mahomes said.

“To be able to play on this stage, it’s going to be special. He went to Oklahoma and I went to Texas Tech. He got the better of me in college, so I’ll try to my best to win in the NFL.”

2016

Mayfield’s Oklahoma Sooners paid a visit to Lubbock to take on Mahomes’ Texas Tech Red Raiders. Mayfield had transferred from Texas Tech to Oklahoma after an injury caused the walk-on to lose his starting spot.

The 125-point game was an offensive showcase as Mayfield and Mahomes exploded for 1,383 yards of total offense, an NCAA record for two opposing players. The Sooners would walk away with a win with a score of 66-59.

Mahomes broke the record for total offense in a game with 819 yards, 734 passing (tied for the most in the NCAA) and 85 rushing. His 88 pass attempts are a Texas Tech record and is one shy of the NCAA record held by Washington State’s Connor Halliday (89) in 2013.

“Someone told me (about tying the passing record) in the locker room,” Mahomes said. “But, like I said, we didn’t win the game, so it really didn’t matter.”

Mayfield set the record for the most yards per play in a game with 14.84, and set a school record with his 7 passing touchdowns.

“I told some of the guys at halftime, ‘If you’re scared and you don’t want to score every drive, then stay in here,’” Mayfield said.

Mayfield got the victory and went on to lead the Sooners to an 11-2 record including a Sugar Bowl win against Auburn.

Mahomes and the Red Raiders finished the season 5-7 and did not play in a bowl game.

Stats

Mahomes: 52/88, 734 yards, 5 touchdowns, 1 interception; 12 rushes, 85 yards

Mayfield: 27/36, 545 yards, 7 touchdowns, 0 interceptions; 2 rushes, 19 yards

Some other notable names that took part in the historic matchup include – Oklahoma: Running back Joe Mixon (Cincinnati Bengals), wide receiver Dede Westbrook (Jacksonville Jaguars) and tight end Mark Andrews (Baltimore Ravens) – Texas Tech: Wide receiver Keke Coutee (Houston Texans) and head coach Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals).

In 2017, Mahomes was drafted 10th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs, and Mayfield was the first overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2018.

2018

The pair faced off in the pros for the first time on Nov. 4, 2018 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.

Although the offensive firepower did not come close to matching the 2016 matchup, the Chiefs came away with a victory 37-21, giving Mahomes the lead in matchups versus Mayfield.

Mahomes was in the midst of an MVP season and was taking the league by storm. Current Brown and former Chief Kareem Hunt was a big factor in the matchup with three total touchdowns.

Stats

Mahomes: 23/32, 375 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception; 2 rushes, 18 yards

Mayfield: 29/42, 297 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception

Sunday’s divisional meeting will be a bit more meaningful than that regular season matchup, as now there is a spot in the conference championship on the line.