The KC Chiefs didn’t need Patrick Mahomes to be great on Thursday night, as they curb stomped the Texans behind their stealthy run game.
*THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN WITH THE HELP OF A SCREEN READER*
It has been a most unusual off season due to concerns revolving around the spreading of COVID-19. Usual staples of an NFL offseason such as OTAs and mini camps were canceled, and while training camps took place, all preseason games were canceled as well.
I say all of this to reiterate that it would make perfect sense if Mahomes seemed to look a little suspect or hesitant, but the funny thing is, he didn’t.
The Kansas City Chiefs put on a clinic against Deshawn Watson and the Texans to start the season and not only did Mahomes not look rusty, he looked better then ever, like it was just another game under the lights of Arrowhead. The young phenomenon showed incredible polish and poise, getting the ball out fast, displaying a flawless snap count, and showing that he can adjust to any situation.
It’s no secret that Mahomes’ greatest weapon is the deep ball, and he loves to put it on display by throwing bombs down field. It was clear right from the start that the Texans defense came prepared to defend against the long ball, effectively removing one of Mahomes favorite weapons from his arsenal.
The problem for the Texans was that it wasn’t all that effective. Mahomes showcased his ability to adjust on the fly, and ability to formulate a new plan of attack in seconds. Did we see any of the long balls down field that Mahomes is known for and Chiefs fans love so much? No we didn’t, but what we did see was even more encouraging, and that was Mahomes’ ability to improvise.
With the deep ball mostly neutralized, Mahomes went for what would be called “dink and dunk passes” passes for short or medium yardage, and a very healthy mix of a run game, utilizing Chiefs round 1 draft pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Edwards-Helairehad a stellar NFL debut, rushing for 138 yards on 25 carries and his first NFL touchdown. This strategy of short to medium yard passes and leaning on the new budding star running back proved a successful formula for the Chiefs offense, showcasing that Mahomes is not a one trick pony.
While teams might think they can take away his greatest weapon when they defend the long ball, what they fail to realize with Mahomes, is that whatever weapon you leave at his disposal, he will turn into his greatest weapon.
Mahomes is a very generous man, and in typical Mahomes fashion he spread the wealth against Houston, making sure that all of his playmakers were involved at some point or another. He connected with Watkins 7 times for 82 yards and a score, he connected with Kelce all 6 times he was targeted for a total of 50 yards and a touchdown and got Tyreek Hill into the end zone as well.
Mahomes himself went 24 of 32 for 211 yards and 3 touchdown passes. On paper, those numbers don’t look too high, certainly not the type of stat line we are used to seeing next to Mahomes’ name, but the numbers are secondary.
What matters is how flawlessly he carried out their plan of attack, how quickly he can adjust to the defense and change that plan on the fly, how fast he gets the ball out (only being sacked one time) and how well he managed his offense of playmakers.
Not every offensive performance will be a fireworks display, but what I find more important is that the offensive performance from week 1 ran like a well-oiled machine, perhaps not flashy, but it was just as efficient as Chiefs fans could have hoped for.
Mahomes showed Chiefs Kingdom, that even in this strange season we find ourselves in, #15 has not lost a step.