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“Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills are being hailed as the new Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. As unquestioned field leaders, these two quarterbacks command their respective teams with distinction.”

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Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills are the new Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. They are two quarterbacks who are the unquestioned field leaders of their respective teams and improve each other every time they meet.

 

 

Their record against one another, alone, proves the point: prior to Sunday’s game, the quarterbacks faced each other six times, splitting those games 3-3 and scoring close to the same number of points as each over the course of rivalry

 

Sunday marked the seventh time they’ve played against each other and the third time in the playoffs. Mahomes’ Chiefs won all three playoff games, so Mahomes would arguably be considered the more successful of the two, yet nobody could deny they demonstrate a model rivalry.

 

 

Several years ago, a study based at New York University described the three conditions needed for a true rivalry. The conditions included similarity, repeated competition and competitiveness. If all three factors were operable in a relationship — as they are in the case of Mahomes and Allen,

 

whose personal stats are nearly interchangeable — then a rivalry can be declared. The NYU researcher argued further that a “motivation to win” will become the dominant driver in the rivals’ relationship.

 

 

Nobody can argue that Mahomes and Allen not only want to win, but also see in their rival a mirror image of that fierce determination. For example, Mahomes, who threw 23 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, once told ESPN analyst Chris Berman that what he liked about Allen was that,

 

“He’s one of the guys who likes to go out and compete with his guys. He likes to compete.” But liking to compete isn’t enough to forge a rivalry; you have to share an equal distaste for losing, a point Mahomes emphasized when he told Berman, “I always remember a loss. It sticks with me more than the wins I had. That’s my mindset. I never leave anything on the field.”

 

 

Well, if hating to lose more than loving to win is one of Mahomes’ key attributes, he has found a worthy rival in Allen, who answered the first batch of post-game press conference questions about losing 27-24 to the Chiefs by repeating, “It sucks. Losing sucks. Losing to them, losing to anybody, at home, sucks.

 

” When pressed further on Bills kicker Tyler Bass missing a 44-yard field goal wide right with 1:43 remaining in the game that would have tied it, Allen demonstrated another way in which he is similar to Mahomes by taking responsibility for the outcome of the game.

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