The pregame warm-up rituals between Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, accompanied by Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, became a focal point of attention before the AFC championship game. Mahomes expressed frustration with Tucker’s warm-up routine, stating that in his seven years, only three occasions involved a kicker not moving out of the way during the warm-up. While Tucker downplayed the incident, Mahomes described how he asked Tucker to move his helmet during warm-ups, and despite Tucker complying, Kelce later kicked Tucker’s equipment and threw his helmet.
Tucker emphasized that he follows the standard practice of going to the other team’s designated warm-up area on the field, but Kelce’s actions were perceived as taking the situation more seriously. The kicker noted that it was all in good fun, but Mahomes and Kelce seemed to be more engaged in the pregame antics. Despite the tensions, the Chiefs emerged victorious with a 17-10 win, securing their spot in the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year. The incident adds a layer of drama to the rivalry between the two teams and highlights the competitive spirit even before the game officially begins.