Patrick Mahomes played one of his worst games as a member of the KC Chiefs and the team still came away with a victory.
*THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN WITH THE HELP OF A SCREEN READER*
The last time we saw Patrick Mahomes and our Kansas City Chiefs, they put on a clinic against the Texans on Thursday Night Football to kick off the regular season. All 3 phases of the ball ran like a well-oiled machine that wonderful night, and none more so than our poised and polished space ship captain of a quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.
We as Chiefs fans expected much of the same results as the Chiefs traveled to the Chargers’ brand spankin’ new 5 billion dollar stadium, but sadly it was not to be.
Don’t get me wrong, in the 2 plus years that he has been taking the snaps for the Chiefs, Mahomes has never looked “bad”, but Sunday afternoon was one of very few games that he looked significantly less than the super human we are used to seeing command the offense.
On most Sunday afternoons, that #15 might as well be red on a yellow background, encased in a red triangle, with a cape over Mahomes’ shoulders. Against divisional foe Los Angeles and their rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, however, Mahomes looked like just another really good quarterback, and at times, not even that.
Please, put your torches and pitch forks away. I have been very transparent in my previous pieces about what a huge Mahomes fan I am, and I know to criticize him in any way is blaspheme of the highest degree, but it is my duty as a hack novice sports writer to state what I saw. What I saw was a quarterback who struggled against a really good defense.
Mahomes had multiple situations where he over threw or under threw receivers, looked very flustered and a couple times just made poor decisions.
Now, I would be doing Mahomes an extreme disservice if I did not also state that for roughly the entire game, Joey Bosa was not practicing social distancing at all, getting extremely close for comfort, and way exceeding CDC guidelines whenever he managed to get after Mahomes.
That is a huge factor, and should absolutely be taken into account when examining Mahomes’ play from Sunday. Still, allowing leeway for the disruption that Bosa no doubt caused, it was not a good outing by Mahomes and nowhere near what Chiefs fans have become accustomed to seeing from their half a billion dollar quarterback.
While some criticism of Mahomes is due, again I would be remiss if I did not mention the couple of Mahomesish throws he did have, such as the 54-yard bomb down field to Tyreek Hill for a touchdown, or his pass to Mecole Hardmin, putting the ball through a hole the size of a cereal box, in the end zone for a two point conversion.
Once again, we saw Mahomes’ ability to keep plays alive with his feet, as he tucked and ran on a 3rd and 20, giving the Chiefs a new set of downs in the final minutes of regulation. That was huge.
Mahomes did what needed to be done for the Chiefs to scrape out a win by the skin of their teeth, but lets just be honest. He did not look good and it was probably his worst game in a Chiefs jersey. If you still think I am spewing vile nonsense, then let’s go to the numbers.
Not only did Mahomes not have a good outing, he was frankly outplayed by the Chargers rookie quarterback, who saw his first NFL action against the defending National champs, and didn’t even know he was starting until minutes before kickoff. I have spoken critically of Herbert in the past, calling him overrated, but his performance against the Chiefs forced me to recant my statements.
One game is certainly far too small a sample size to say I was completely wrong, but credit must be given where it is due, and like it or not, admit it or not, Herbert outplayed Mahomes in the match-up. Herbert did not look like a fresh faced rookie, but rather a confident quarterback in complete command of his offense. Even worse, he did not seem intimidated by the Super Bowl winning Chiefs defense at all.
As far as stats are concerned, Mahomes went 27 of 47 for 302 yards, 2 touchdown passes and had a QB rating of only 57.4.
Herbert on the other hand, went 22 of 33 for 311 yards and 1 touchdown pass (the others came on the ground) and finished with a QB rating of 66.7.
The Chiefs won the game, and a win is a win in the NFL, but there is such a thing as an ugly win, and the victory over the divisional foe Chargers was an ugly win. Mahomes and the Chiefs will have to make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again if they hope to maintain AFC West supremacy.
Now, every quarterback is entitled to a bad performance, and this might be the closest Mahomes has ever come to having such a showing, but I’m quite certain that this is just a blip on the radar. When we see Mahomes and the Chiefs again on Monday Night Football in Baltimore against the Ravens, he will have dawned his cape once again and will be the Mahomes we all are used to seeing.
Fear not faithful readers, by this time next Tuesday, I am quite confident I will be writing a piece overflowing with praise for Mahomes’ ability to bounce back after a rough outing and look even better than ever.