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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Chiefs lastly discovered the restrict of Patrick Mahomes’ brilliance towards the Lions

Each adjective has been exhausted in terms of Patrick Mahomes. An NFL cheat code come to life, it’s not a stretch to say the Chiefs would battle to be a .500 workforce with out the best passer in fashionable soccer. Each participant has a breaking level, regardless of how unimaginable they may be — and we noticed that within the Thursday evening season opener towards the Lions.

Mahomes failed to achieve 250 passing yards for simply the nineteenth time in his profession. His 77.5 passer ranking was the tenth lowest of his profession. None of this was due to the quarterback. As a substitute Mahomes was constantly let down by putrid receiving, led most infamously by Kadarius Toney who dropped 4 passes and was wholly answerable for Mahomes’ solely interception, when he turned essentially the most routine of catches right into a pick-six for the Lions.

With out Travis Kelce and with out Chris Jones to supply a pop on protection the Chiefs achieved the exceptional: They made Patrick Mahomes look mortal. Sure, you learn that proper — taking nothing away from the Lions, however the debacle on Thursday evening was completely of the Chiefs’ making.

The large query mark surrounding the Chiefs coming into 2022 was their lack of weapons. Buying and selling Tyreek Hill was a needed evil for the workforce’s future cap solvency, however got here on the expense of dropping one among soccer’s most electrical receivers to pair with their jaw-dropping quarterback. One of many causes that Hill and Mahomes labored so brilliantly collectively was as a result of they have been two of the league’s finest improvisers, and if you paired Pat’s skill to throw off platform with Hill’s evasiveness after the catch it was a nightmare for opposing defenses.

Kansas Metropolis took its lumps early within the season. They barely squeaked previous the Chargers in Week 2, earlier than dropping a sport to the Colts in Week 3. In fact, we all know how that performed out. The offense leaned extra on Travis Kelce than ever earlier than, whereas the remainder of the Chiefs’ weapons have been hardly world-beaters, however ok to get the job carried out and win a Tremendous Bowl.

On Thursday evening, with Kelce out and the Chiefs’ unable to get constant stress on the quarterback due to Chris Jones’ holdout, all of it crumbled. For many groups a collapse appears like a double-digit loss, however this workforce was so good that it solely manifested itself as a one-point defeat that also might have gone the opposite manner.

It nonetheless raised the query: Have the Chiefs pushed Mahomes too far? This can be a workforce that allow JuJu Smith-Schuster depart in free company together with Mecole Hardman, solely to take a “subsequent man up” philosophy by signing Marquez Valdes-Scantling, drafting Skyy Moore, and questionably selling Toney to full-time starter.

If 2022 was a step again offensively, 2023 is reversing right into a chasm. Andy Reid isn’t frightened, for what it’s value, and even after the offensive horror present of Thursday evening the Chiefs coach was satisfied his gamers’ efficiency was the exception, and never the rule.

“No excuses in any respect,” Reid stated. “We’ve received guys that may play, we have been proper there to care for enterprise. They received us on particular groups and continued the drive, they received us on the tipped ball… pay attention, it’s uncommon for the blokes that dropped the ball to drop the ball. That’s not what I’ve seen from them; I wouldn’t anticipate them to try this. So in case you do this, you care for enterprise there and also you’ll be alright.

Whereas Reid’s level is definitely salient about Toney drops and the shortage of manufacturing not being indicative of their expertise, there’s additionally a good quantity of blame that belongs again to the entrance workplace for placing Mahomes on this scenario. If you happen to constantly downgrade your assault since you’re satisfied the QB is sweet sufficient to make everybody higher then ultimately you’re going to backside out. Hell, take a look at Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. There’s a vital threat the Chiefs have risked the identical factor right here.

This isn’t bulletin board materials. It’s not designed to be studied as a bigger a part of treatise of “doubt” on the Chiefs. Hell, the truth is that Kelce will return and the workforce will surge again offensively — as a result of on the finish of the day the Chiefs nonetheless managed to solely lose by one level to some of the hyped groups within the NFC regardless of being with out two-thirds of their celebrity gamers.

It’s honest to have some issues although. One sport isn’t a lot of a pattern dimension, however Thursday evening was ugly. Arising is a brutal 4 sport stretch towards the Jaguars, Bears, Jets and Vikings — with Chicago being the one “gimme” of the group. If we see these offensive struggled proceed with Kelce again within the lineup this workforce wants to drag the set off and commerce for a receiver ASAP, as a result of what we noticed on Thursday evening merely wasn’t ok.

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