Patrick Mahomes-Josh Allen ready for next big battle in latest episode of star wars

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Marv Levy knows exactly what enabled his Bills, behind quarterback Jim Kelly, to appear in four consecutive Super Bowls:

“Resilience,” Levy, the longtime Buffalo head coach, told Serby Says from his Chicago home. “The ability to bounce back. I quoted some words from Winston Churchill: Never, never, never, never surrender. And that’s the way they were.”

Levy, the 97-year-old Hall of Famer, will be just like any other member of his beloved Bills Mafia when the marquee showdown between two quarterbacks who never surrender and two teams that never surrender unfolds at Arrowhead Stadium with the possibility that the winner will be hosting the AFC Championship game.

Just as the Bad Boy Pistons were the obstacle the Michael Jordan Bulls had to overcome, the Chiefs are the obstacle standing in the Bills’ way:

2020 AFC Championship at Arrowhead Stadium: Chiefs 38, Bills 24.

2021 divisional round at Arrowhead Stadium: Chiefs 42, Bills 36 (OT).

Patrick Mahomes in those games: 62-for-83 with 703 passing yards, six touchdowns, zero interceptions, 11-for-74 rushing with one TD.

Josh Allen in those games: 55-for-85 with 616 passing yards, six TDs, one INT, 18-for-156 rushing.

“They’re like Peyton and Tom,” Giants center Jon Feliciano told Serby Says, no last names required there. “But they do it differently. They’re athletic and running around and doing backyard football things. That’s how I look at them.”

Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes greet each other after the Chiefs' 26-17 win in a 2020 regular-season game.
Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes greet each other after the Chiefs’ 26-17 win in a 2020 regular-season game.
AP

Feliciano, who played three seasons in Buffalo, was on the Bills’ sideline on Jan. 23 when Allen and Mahomes staged an epic shootout for the ages. Giants backup quarterback Davis Webb, with the Bills at the time but inactive that night, was standing next to Allen after the Buffalo quarterback threw the 19-yard TD pass to Gabe Davis that made it Bills, 36, Chiefs 33 … with 13 seconds left in regulation.

Never, never, never, never surrender.

“We were both like, ‘It’s over,’ ” Webb recalled. “I’ve never celebrated a touchdown before. That one I did.”

But the other quarterback never, never, never, never surrendered either, and next thing the Bills knew, following some Mahomes magic and a 49-yard Harrison Butker field goal, it was overtime.

Allen called tails.

It landed heads.

Allen never saw the ball again.

Mahomes moved the ball down the field, and Webb won’t forget what he was feeling.

“Hopeless,” he recalled. “Knowing I’m sitting next to the starting quarterback and we’re kind of watching this unfold, you just kind of feel like hopeless. Especially that last touchdown, it was [Matt] Milano on [Travis] Kelce, a little out and up, and it was a great throw, a great catch, and the season’s over.”

The playoff rules subsequently were changed to guarantee both teams a chance in overtime.

“You kind of know you’re a part of that game that got the rule changed. But I wish we were on the other side of it,” Webb said.

Allen is Buffalo’s modern-day Kelly.

“He’s just a big goofball,” Feliciano said, and smiled. “It’s hard not to like him. He’s literally like a grown 8-year-old who just wants to ball out. The best thing about Josh is it’s not a selfish endeavor. He wants just to win, and he wants to get his guys their due. They love him just because he gives his all, he gives his body, he gives everything every single week.”

Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes
Getty Images

All the reasons why Kansas City loves Mahomes.

“Him and Josh I believe are similar in the way they run around back there in the pocket, kind of like it’s backyard, and their ability to make great plays out of that,” Feliciano said. “It’s hard to stop. It’s not sound, but that’s why it’s hard to stop. And when you’re players of that caliber, you just get to be able to do crazy things like that.”

Webb has a unique perspective on both Allen and Mahomes. When Mahomes was a freshman, he was Webb’s precocious backup at Texas Tech. They remain friends.

“Quite different runners with the ball in their hands,” Webb said. “Josh is a tight end body, runs like a running back. And then Pat is a dynamic point guard running the ball. They both have big arms, both have different clubs in their tool box that not many people have.”

They both have an engaging charisma.

“Both super-competitive,” Webb said. “Josh is gonna do some movie quotes, Pat’s more of a show-music guy. Josh has every movie quote ever memorized. When I was with Pat in college, he could rattle off musical lines, he could rattle off TV shows.”

Levy likes the fact that Allen has a relationship with his old quarterback.

“He gets a lot of counseling by the way from Jim Kelly,” Levy said.

The one and only Jim Kelly … who never, never, never, never surrenders to cancer.

Josh Allen
Josh Allen
USA TODAY Sports

“Jim was one of a kind, boy oh boy,” Levy said, and chuckled. “Jim not only has character, he was a character.”

Levy likes the way Bills coach Sean McDermott operates.

“His work ethic, his honesty, his caring about the fans, and your ability to teach,” Levy said. “A great coach is a good teacher.”

Levy, to this day, applauds and thanks Bills fans.

“They were instrumental in helping prepare us to get back after losing those Super Bowl games,” he said.

He was overwhelmed by his Hall of Fame induction in 2001, a no-brainer.

“Certainly it hurts not to have won the Super Bowl, absolutely,” Levy said. “We can’t change it. I still admire the guts of our guys and the support of our fans to help us come back.”

Feliciano’s disdain for the Chiefs dates back to his days as a Raider.

What’s that, Marv?

“The Kansas City Chiefs fired me,” Levy said. “Five years later, Lamar Hunt called Ralph Wilson when the Bills had an opening and said, ‘I made a mistake.’

“I was undermined by a guy in the front office that was his business manager. He kept telling me you gotta change quarterbacks, you gotta do this, you gotta do that, and I told him to shove it.”

It worked out just fine. Maybe this can be the year that Allen and the Bills tell Mahomes and the Chiefs to shove it.

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