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Hurley's Picks: Patrick Mahomes has simply decided that he is not injured

BOSTON -- There's the old "mind over matter" saying, which exists to illustrate the power of the human mind.

This week, Patrick Mahomes is taking that philosophy to the extreme.

From essentially the moment he was dragged down by Arden Key and Corey Peters, Mahomes made a decision:

I'm not injured. This doesn't hurt. I shall continue to play football. Everybody stop looking at me. I'm going to chuck the pigskin now.

He popped off the bench and jogged back onto the field after the injury happened, staying in and finishing the drive before fighting with Andy Reid and the training staff about even getting checked out. The injury looked bad to everyone ... except Mahomes.

It's admirable, obviously, and his determination has been evident in the little clips shared by the media this week. Just LOOK at this man gently remove himself from the stage:

 And a day later -- a TWIRL:

At this point, you could slice the man open and he wouldn't bleed a drop. He just would simply not allow it.

That's all well and good, but playing quarterback in an NFL game is a bit unlike walking down a single step or lightly jogging at practice. And playing quarterback like Patrick Mahomes plays quarterback is still another thing entirely.

So one has to wonder if Mahomes would be better resting as much as possible, wearing a walking boot, doing everything to try to improve that issue instead of pushing it. The medical staff likely has its set of recommendations, but Mahomes is handling this one the way he wants.

Unfortunately, I think regardless of the treatment method (or lack thereof), the injury is going to be a problem. Whether it's escaping a collapsing pocket, or dodging a pass rusher, or stepping into a throw to the sidelines, or trying to hit a deep pass, there will be points where Mahomes has to place undue stress on his high ankle sprain, and it will be too much.

That's not to say he's going to collapse and writhe on the ground at some point. He's proven that he will mentally not allow that to happen. But it's going to make him a lesser player. And in a matchup against Cincinnati that the Chiefs have struggled with even when Mahomes is a full go, that figures to be too critical a matter to overlook in this one.

The Bengals just have that certain spunk that's hard to combat this time of year. And they'll be heading back to the Super Bowl, this time looking to finish the job.

The Line: Kansas City -1
The Pick: Bengals 30, Chiefs 20

Over in the NFC, there's plenty of reason to like the 49ers. I think because Brock Purdy has been the quarterback, folks have been reticent to call them a buzz saw, but that team has been damn good. I know last week's showing wasn't ideal, but they're now 7-0 since Purdy became the starter, but it's really 8-0, as Jimmy Garoppolo lasted one drive before getting injured in Week 13. The 49ers have averaged 32.6 points per game since then. They've allowed 17.3 points per game during that stretch.

Buzz. Saw.

It felt good to say, but I do think their run comes to an end this week. 

Putting aside injuries to two of San Francisco's running backs and their dynamic wide receiver, the Eagles are the gold standard for buzz saws in the NFL this season. It's indisputable. Undeniable. Irrefutable. Unassailable. I'm running out of options in the thesaurus here, but you get the idea.

With Jalen Hurts at quarterback, the Eagles have lost one game this year. And it wasn't even a heavy-duty matchup where the Eagles came up short. It was more of a no-show against the Commanders in the middle of a long season. 

Odds are, the Eagles will be showing up this week at home, against a rookie quarterback, with everything on the line. They've been the best team in the league from wire to wire, and they're in position to simply be better than their opponent this weekend.

The Line: Philadelphia -2.5
The Pick: Eagles 23, Niners 16

Last week: 2-2
Postseason: 6-4
Regular season: 125-138-8

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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