KANSAS CITY Kansas City Chiefs Jerseys Stitched , Mo. —trick Mahomes merely to make the playoffs.Matt Cassel accomplished that, and quarterbacks Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac, Trent Green and Alex Smith went one better by making it to the divisional round. Smith even won a wild-card game, the first playoff victory by the long-suffering Chiefs since Joe Montana led them to the AFC title game in the 1993 season.No, the Chiefs didn’t trade up to select Mahomes just to make the playoffs.They did it to win in the playoffs.Now, Mahomes gets his first chance when the first-year starter leads the AFC West champions against the Colts — their longtime playoff nemesis — on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.Win and the young All-Pro quarterback has the Chiefs one game away from playing in the Super Bowl. Lose and Mahomes must wait a full year to get another crack at wiping away the stink of all those playoff failures.“A playoff run in general would mean a ton to everyone in this community, including us. I know the history,” Mahomes said, “but at the same time, we are a different generation.”That may be true, but he was on the sideline last season for the latest postseason letdown.Mahomes was given his freshman season to learn the ropes under Smith, who ended a Chiefs streak of eight straight playoff defeats by beating Houston in the wild-card round in January 2016. But they lost the following week at New England to end their playoff run, then lost at home to the Steelers in the divisional round in 2017 and blew a big lead at home against the Titans in the wild-card round a year ago.Three defeats after that rarest of playoff wins.The sting has been even more brutal at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Colts have won just as many playoff games as the Chiefs (two apiece) over the years. Both of the Chiefs’ wins were in the wild-card round.They’ve never won a home playoff game in the divisional round or beyond.Yet if there’s any reason to believe that stretch of futility will end Saturday, it just may be the optimistic kid with the big arm and curly Mohawk. Bono Discount Darwin Thompson Jersey , Grbac and the rest never put up the kind of numbers that Mahomes has this season, nor did they engender the same kind of confidence in their teams.Mahomes exudes poise. And the rest of the Chiefs can feel it.“It’s the way he plays,” Chiefs center Mitch Morse said recently. “Not only his talent, which is uncanny, but the way he prepares, the way he conducts himself in the huddle, and then the guy has got a swagger about him that’s infectious.”There is no denying this is a new experience, though. Mahomes played in only one bowl game in three seasons at Texas Tech, which would be the only thing even remotely close to an NFL playoff game with the entire football world watching.“So far I haven’t seen anything that’s too big for Pat. I’m not even worried about that,” coach Andy Reid said Monday, just before the Chiefs resumed practicing following a well-earned week off.“He’s going to get himself ready, just like he does every week, to play against a good football team,” Reid said. “But I don’t think he’s wired the other way. I’m not predicting anything, I’m just telling you, matter of fact Super Bowl Darwin Thompson Jersey , how he’s wired, how he goes about his business.”That doesn’t mean Reid hasn’t pulled him aside for a few extra chats.“Everything is a little faster in the playoffs. That’s how things go,” Reid said. “At the same time, he has to be himself and continue to lead and play like he has been doing. I don’t think he will have a problem with that. I think he understands that. He is wired the right way to handle all of it.”Mahomes said he’s chatted with Smith about his postseason experience, and he’s soaked up what he can from the veterans in his locker room. Defensive back Ron Parker, linebacker Justin Houston and fullback Anthony Sherman are among those who have been part of several postseason letdowns.As they take the field with Mahomes on Saturday, they have a chance to scribble over that history.“I mean, we are definitely ready. We know what it’s going to take,” Mahomes said. “It’s going to take a full effort from everyone, every single day, to the game and hopefully on. We know that you have to capitalize on every single play. You can’t let one play get you down for the next. The next play is the most important play. We are excited we get the chance to do that.”100 Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj Mehta As we saw on Tuesday’s pundit power rankings, the Kansas City Chiefs got a boost from the pundits for their lopsided 35-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders to close the regular season on Sunday, but it doesn’t count for as much with the number-crunchers.So the Chiefs hold steady in the data-based models, and with Tuesday’s boost, return to second place in the season’s final Arrowhead Pride True Power Rankings.Here’s how the crunchers see the NFL after the final week of the regular season.Cruncher Power Rankings for Week 18Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC TeamsThe Chiefs hold steady or improve in all of the data-based models, and remain in second place.On Tuesday Darwin Thompson Jersey nfl draft , we saw how the pundits placed all of the playoff teams somewhere in the top 12 of the rankings.This is to be expected since the pundits know they will look dumb if they put playoff teams outside of the top 12.But the crunchers don’t care; the data says what it says.Still, the conclusion is not much different.On Tuesday, the pundits saw the Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles as the most likely teams to make an early exit from the postseason.The crunchers identify the same four teams — just in a somewhat different order.From the crunchers’ point of view, the Cowboys’ postseason chances look pretty grim, the New England Patriots got a much better seeding than they probably deserve, and the Pittsburgh Steelers... well, like USA Today’s Nate Davis said on Tuesday, they’d probably like to forget this season as soon as possible.That tie against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1 — along with losses to the likes of the Denver Broncos and the Raiders — not only kept the Steelers out of a playoff spot they might easily have deserved, but it pretty much set the tone for the whole season.It’s nice to see other teams fail to take care of business against lesser opponents, isn’t it?When we throw the cruncher rankings in with the pundit rankings, here’s what we get as the regular season concludes.True Power Rankings for Week 18Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC TeamsNo big surprise here: the Chiefs move back into second place in the combined rankings.As far as the crunchers have been concerned, the Chiefs have been no worse than third since Week 3 of the season. As we might expect, the pundits have been a little less generous with a small-market Midwestern team — but not really by all that much.In fact, if you want to see an example of consistent media disrespect in 2018 Xavier Williams Jersey , the Baltimore Ravens probably have the best case.The Chicago Bears could make a case for media disrespect, too.As always, we suspect that teams like the Patriots get all the media love.While this is generally true, it wasn’t quite to the extent you might have imagined in 2018. Now let’s move on to our final reality-check of the season: the Week 18 cruncher grades.Cruncher Grades for Week 18Chiefs AFC West Teams Other AFC TeamsAs we’ve seen several times, there’s a small difference in how the teams are ranked when we average the numbers behind rankings — rather than the rankings themselves — and that math put the Chiefs at the top of the heap.But let’s not get too excited, OK?The difference between the Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints is the difference between 1.54473 and 1.49318 — which in the world of standard deviations from average is completely insignificant; on a neutral field, these two teams would probably each win five out of ten games.But now with seven teams — instead of the usual five or six — showing B grades at the end of the season, we can see which teams are the most likely to have postseason success.But we also see that the NFC is going to be a dogfight, while in the AFC, the Chiefs have a measurable — albeit statistically insignificant — edge over the other AFC contenders.Hmmm.Maybe it’s not so crazy to think the Chiefs could make it to Atlanta.Thanks for coming along on this ride during the 2018 season.Once again, we’d love to have your feedback.Did you like this weekly dive into this data, or was it silly?What could we do better?And with that... we’re off to the postseason!