KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Patrick Mahomes leads the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs into the AFC playoffs after earning a first round bye, he’ll do so with something of an astonishing distinction among his quarterback peers on one side of the bracket.

At the ripe old age of 27, Mahomes is the most senior of the starters in the AFC, assuming the other starters are healthy for the postseason.

Yes, Mahomes, drafted in 2017 and in only his fifth season as the starting QB in Kansas City, is the wily old veteran. Here’s the breakdown from oldest to youngest:

  • Mahomes: 27 years and 114 days old as of Monday
  • Buffalo Bills’ starter Josh Allen: 26 years and 233 days
  • Cincinnati Bengals’ starter Joe Burrow: 26 years and 30 days
  • Baltimore Ravens’ starter Lamar Jackson: 26 years and 2 days
  • Miami Dolphins’ starter Tua Tagovailoa: 24 years and 313 days
  • Los Angeles Chargers’ starter Justin Herbert: 24 years and 305 days
  • Jacksonville Jaguars’ starter Trevor Lawrence: 23 years and 95 days

For those of us tempted to take a swig of Metamucil (the author included), at least none of them were born in 2000 or later (though it won’t be long before that’s true!).

As remarkable as this tidbit is, what it may reveal the most is how competitive the AFC looks to be for the foreseeable future with this many young, quality QBs.

The conference is practically a nursery when you consider the ages of some NFC playoff quarterbacks.

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starter Tom Brady: 45 years and 159 days
  • Minnesota Vikings’ starter Kirk Cousins: 34 years and 143 days
  • Seattle Seahawks’ starter Geno Smith: 32 years and 91 days
  • Dallas Cowboys’ starter Dak Prescott: 29 years and 164 days
  • New York Giants’ starter Daniel Jones: 25 years and 277 days
  • Philadelphia Eagles’ starter Jalen Hurts: 24 years and 155 days
  • San Francisco 49ers’ starter Brock Purdy: 23 years and 13 days

Kansas City enjoys a week off during Wild Card Weekend and will play the lowest remaining seed in the AFC Divisional Round.

Mahomes joked about his “elder” status when asked about it during Monday’s news conference.

For as humorous as it is to consider Mahomes the elder statesman, any rest is probably welcome.

Going back to the 2018 season, he started 79 of 82 potential regular season games, including all 34 the past two seasons. Tack on 11 postseason games started in the same time span, any rest and relaxation has been hard to come by.