Mac Jones is playing like the best QB in the AFC right now

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It’s been established there are no great teams in the AFC. But there might not be any great quarterbacks, either.

It was another confounding Sunday, as even the teams that were victorious walked away with questions about their postseason viability. No club represents this dichotomy more than the Chiefs, who handled the Broncos 22-9 Sunday night for their fifth straight win, yet once again delivered a lackluster offensive performance. Patrick Mahomes didn’t throw a touchdown pass for his second straight game.

In fact, Mahomes endured one of the worst efforts of his career Sunday, at least statistically. He put up his worst passer rating ever (57.3), and threw for one of his lowest yardage totals of the season (184). The Chiefs have eclipsed 22 points just once in their five-game streak: a 41-14 win over the Ravens. They’ve scored just 74 points in their other four contests.

Kansas City’s newfound lackluster offense isn’t all Mahomes’ fault. Out of his 12 interceptions this season, five have come on dropped passes, according to Pro Football Focus. Tyreek Hill dropped a ball from Mahomes on Sunday, setting up Patrick Surtain II for the easy pick.

But still, Mahomes doesn’t look right. He’s failing to finish drives or flash the dynamism that propelled Kansas City to the Super Bowl.

The same can be said for Lamar Jackson, who’s now leading a suddenly moribund Ravens attack. The Ravens don’t seem to have any plan on offense, outside of relying on Jackson to make magical plays. Pittsburgh sacked him seven times Sunday. Jackson has been sacked more than any QB in the league.

With a litany of injuries at running back, the Ravens now need to win games with Jackson’s arm. So far, the results have been mixed. The 2019 NFL MVP has thrown seven touchdowns and eight interceptions over his last five games, good for a 73.6 QBR. While John Harbaugh is getting creamed for his decision to go for two, the Ravens would’ve converted if Jackson’s toss to Mark Andrews was on target.

Mahomes and Jackson were only supposed to keep ascending, along with Josh Allen, whom the Patriots will see Monday night. Allen has taken a step back from his MVP runner-up campaign, already matching his season total for interceptions (10). For all of the talk about the Patriots beating up on subpar teams, the Bills have only beaten one opponent with a winning record: the Chiefs.

It isn’t hyperbolic to say Mac Jones is playing like the best quarterback in the AFC right now. Jones dazzled last week against the Titans with a pretty touchdown strike to Kendrick Bourne and 310 passing yards. Over the Patriots’ six-game streak, Jones has completed 69.4% of his passes for 1,378 yards, nine touchdowns and just two interceptions.

The Patriots and Jones are entering Orchard Park at their best. The same can’t be said for other contenders in the conference.