When the season began the Kansas City Chiefs biggest concern was their young wide receiver core. They were talented but unproven. Yet, their leader Patrick Mahomes embraced them individually to become part of a collective, and if they trusted him, they’d understand the complexity of the offense, and show them how to win football games while learning the offense on the fly.
The Los Angeles Chargers found out first-hand the weight of the Chiefs offense on their struggling defense. Though the AFC West rival played better defensively in the second half, they gave up 24 first-half points and ultimately surrendered 424 passing yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers in their 31-17 loss to Kansas City.
Mahomes spread the ball to 11 different teammates. Had it not been for a couple of turnovers, it’s quite likely the score differential would have been much higher than fourteen points. Still, Mahomes showed off his unique talents and played his best game of the season.
It’s hard to criticize Mahomes, but let’s be honest, he has struggled at times this season. Was that all his doing? Some of it was but he’s working with a plethora of young receivers, who had to learn the system under extreme mental conditions – not to mention a pair of new tackles.
The fan base is patient, and Mahomes is patient, but despite all that, the expectation during the learning curve was to continue to win football games. At 6-1, the Chiefs despite their shortcomings on offense at times, stand atop the AFC rankings by a full game and with tiebreakers in hand.
Mahomes has stated repeatedly, he believes in his receivers. Yes, he has grown frustrated by the drops, missed opportunities, and penalties, that have made some of their wins too close for his standards, but he kept grinding.
With a new group of offensive weapons, Mahomes has molded them into an offense with great potential, and if he uses their strengths, can become an elite offense. They have so much talent, but Andy Reid’s playbook is deep well of X’s and O’s.
On Sunday, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Rashee Rice, Travis Kelce, and Isaiah Pacheco caught touchdown passes from Mahomes. None of them were of the same variety but each was as important as the next one.
Mahomes ability to stay cool in the pocket, use his legs when the defense gives him space to run, and rely on Kelce first and the others second, remains a true marvel to watch each week. The NFL knows the combination of Mahomes and Kelce, which accounted for 179 yards receiving Sunday against the Chargers, will remain the primary weapon in the Chiefs arsenal.
Yet, guys like Rice, MVS, Pacheco, McKinnon, Toney, Moore, Hardman, and others can get into the mix on any given snap. opposing defenses are going to struggle to match up. That’s because Mahomes is showing that he can throw to anyone when Kelce is double and triple-teamed.
Still, Mahomes is quite remarkable in his ability to adapt. He’s a leader in every sense of the word, but it’s his drive to win and succeed on every snap, that makes him the most dangerous offensive player in the NFL.
The Chiefs are in the NFL’s catbird seat and if they continue to play like they did on Sunday against the Chargers, the only team stopping them from greatness will be themselves.