Patrick Mahomes Needs To Adjust

October 25, 2021
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Expectations

Patrick Mahomes needs to adjust. He’s been a driving factor behind why the Chiefs are losing. I’ve seen a lot of Chiefs takes today that are all very extreme. Chiefs Twitter would have you believe that this team is winless. I’ve seen some mild, obvious takes such as “The Chiefs are a bad football team.” I’ve seen some overreactions such as “The Chiefs need to blow up the entire roster.” I’ve also seen some flat-out insanity such as “The Chiefs need to fire Brett Veach, Andy Reid, and start all over.” The sky is falling in the Chiefs Kingdom.

While I agree that the Chiefs are truly a bad football team right now, I refuse to call for the firing of a Hall of Fame football coach after seven games of very up and down football. In the last three seasons, Andy Reid has led his football team to three consecutive AFC Championship Games, two Super Bowl Appearances, one Super Bowl Win, a 25-1 stretch of football, and countless other insane feats such as the two offensive 24+ point streaks. Andy Reid will stop being the Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs when Andy Reid decides he’s ready to retire; not a moment sooner. So what’s next?



It’s time for Chiefs fans to reevaluate expectations for this season. Over the previous two seasons, the sky was the limit for the Chiefs. Not only were the expectations sky high; the Chiefs met them. Regression was bound to rear its ugly head. The NFL is a copycat league and the rest of the AFC was bound to catch up sooner or later. Luckily for the Chiefs, it happened after two Super Bowl trips and a Patrick Mahomes MVP. Patrick Mahomes is not winning 2021 NFL MVP. The Kansas City Chiefs are not winning Super Bowl 56. The Kansas City Chiefs streak as five-time defending AFC West Champions is likely ending. The sooner the fan base comes to terms with these truths, the better.

Realities

Why are the 2021 Chiefs so different? After all, this offseason Brett Veach attacked the “only” true weakness on this roster, the Offensive Line. The answer to this question is complex. We could point to the defense. One could point to the lack of a pass rush, lack of a cohesive secondary, and lack of run stops from the front seven. We could also point to the turnovers. Countless tipped passes have ballooned the once epic Patrick Mahomes career interception rate. Inopportune fumbles seem to be far too common. All of these would be outstanding reasons behind the Chiefs’ inability to meet expectations this season. However, the true reason is the Offensive Line that we “fixed” this offseason.

In his first three years as a starter in the NFL, Mahomes found success in breaking from the pocket, scrambling, and making magic happen. Time and time again, Mahomes turned disaster into six. This year Mahomes magic has been much rarer and the reason may lie in the Offensive Line. Over his first three seasons in the league, Mahomes played behind a line that included all-pro Mitchell Schwartz and first overall pick Eric Fisher. The middle of the line was good but suspect. Those tackles we’re as sound as they come. This led to Mahomes facing a lot of upfront pressure but clear lanes to break out of the pocket with the help of those Tackles. This year that has flipped. Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, and Trey Smith have been outstanding. Elite, even. The play from Orlando Brown Jr. is inconsistent and Lucas Niang has been benched.

Watching the above clips make it clear. The Tackles on the offensive line are getting beat and they’re getting beaten badly. Patrick Mahomes is facing pressure that he hasn’t faced many times before. The Indianapolis loss in 2019. Super Bowl 55. Nearly every game this season. The Chiefs have to get better play from their Tackles or Patrick Mahomes has to adjust his play to account for the new look Offensive Line.

Not So Fast, Chicken Little

The sky isn’t truly falling for the “Chicken Little” Kansas City fanbase. The Chiefs roster still boasts the best QB we’ve ever seen in only his age-26 season. The offense boasts two future Hall of Famers in Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The Offensive Line has struck gold in the rookies, Humphrey and Smith. The defense has hungry young playmakers in Nick Bolton, Rashad Fenton, Willie Gay, and L’Jarius Sneed. The best Safety in the NFL still calls Kansas City home. The only way the Chiefs will right the ship is to play their way out of it. I, however, am not giving up on this roster. The Chiefs went to two straight Super Bowls. The list of teams to visit three straight is very short for a reason. The NFL was bound to catch up but the Chiefs will surely pull away again in due time.