Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes Claps Back at Ravens Kicker Justin Tucker

There were numerous incredible moments during the Kansas City Chiefs’ win over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship round. However, an incident that happened before the game even started captured viewers’ attention.

Patrick Mahomes

About 90 minutes before kickoff, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce got into it with Ravens kicker Justin Tucker. NFL Network’s James Palmer shared a video that showed Tucker stretching amidst the Chiefs stars. Perhaps, too close.

While Mahomes warms up, Kelce kicks Tucker’s ball and flings his helmet out his quarterback’s way. In another video, Mahomes kicks Tucker’s holder. Fans on X, formerly known as Twitter debated who was in the wrong. While some people thought Mahomes and Kelce were acting childish, others believed Tucker was simply asking for it.

During an appearance on “The Drive” radio show on Tuesday, January 30, Mahomes addressed the incident. While Tucker told reporters on January 29 that he’s warmed up on the opposite side of the field for the past 12 years, and that’s “the way kickers around the league have always done it,” Mahomes disagreed.

The two-time Super Bowl MVP said he’s only seen a kicker do that three times in his career, and all three incidences happened in Baltimore. “He does that little stuff, I think, to try to get under our skin,” Mahomes said.

“I asked him to move his stuff. He got up and moved it, I think, two inches but didn’t move it out of the way. I was gonna let it slide, but Travis got in and moved it for me. And after that, I wasn’t gonna let him put it back down.”

Patrick Mahomes & Justin Tucker Still Have a Lot of Respect For Each Other

Justin Tucker

Mahomes noted that he’s not holding any grudges toward the five-time All-Pro and is ready to “move on.” He said of Tucker, “I have a lot of respect for him as a player, one of the best kickers of all time, probably the best kicker of all time. But at the same time, you’ve got to have respect for each team, and we all share the field, and we try to do that in a respectful way.”

Tucker, however, said he’s warmed up in that spot his entire career and “never really had a problem with anybody” until now. “I happily got up and I moved my helmet out of the way. At least, I thought it was enough out of the way,” he said.

“And then Travis comes over and just kicks my stuff, throws my helmet. I thought it was all just some gamesmanship, all in good fun but they seemed to be taking it a little more seriously… It’s not like I’m out there trying to be problematic. I’m just trying to get ready for the football game just like they are.”

While the playoffs create an “intense environment,” Tucker is also ready to move on from the incident. “I think if you just see the whole interaction and then you just see us at the coin toss, we’re all dapping each other up and then we just get on with the football game. ” He called Mahomes and Kelce “two of the best players that have ever played the game at their respective positions.”

Patrick Mahomes Said the Incident With Justin Tucker Only Fueled Travis Kelce’s Performance

While the respective fan bases may never agree on who’s right or wrong in the pregame scuffle, Mahomes said the incident only fueled Kelce’s fire. Not only did Kelce make an incredible touchdown catch in the opening drive, he surpassed Hall of Famer Jerry Rice’s NFL record by catching the most receptions (156) in postseason history.

Kelce was perfect against Baltimore, hauling in 11-of-11 targets for 116 yards. “Any time you make a Travis a little upset, he starts playing even better,” Mahomes said. “That’s the type of competitor he is.”

However, he didn’t give Tucker full credit for Kelce’s record-breaking performance. “He was fired up all week long… I don’t think it was anything the Ravens did personally,” Mahomes said, noting how discussion over Kelce’s lack of production in the back half of the season was a factor. Kelce wanted to show everybody he’s still elite.

“He plays better whenever the lights bet bigger and there’s more pressure on him,” Mahomes said. “He wants to compete and win, man. It’s all about that at the end of the day… He’ll leave it all on the football field… that’s the guy you want to go to battle with.”


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