The Kansas City Chiefs’ 30-23 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday signals that the high-powered Kansas City offense has shown no signs of slowing down.
Second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes is playing at an MVP level, leading the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns. As a whole, the weapons and versatility of this offense could, by season’s end, turn this team into one of the highest-powered juggernauts of all-time.
Mahomes is surrounded by talented skill players at every position; wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill have done their part in gorging defenses with their quickness and downfield speed. Running-back Kareem Hunt is one of the top five leading rushers in the league, and tight-end Travis Kelce is a top three receiving tight end in the league.
When Kansas City traded up in the 2017 NFL Draft to draft Mahomes, their expectations were that they were getting a franchise cornerstone, but it seems that they may have drafted a new face of the NFL itself, as can be seen by his unprecedented rise in jersey sales.
After a one-game campaign during his rookie season as he sat behind veteran Alex Smith, Mahomes devoted himself to knowing every quirk in the playbook. His canon of an arm paired with the waves of talented skill players around him has made this offense one that has kept defensive coaches up at night.
Through the first eight games of the season, Mahomes has averaged about 310 passing yards per game, leading the offense to an average of 36.3 points per game.
According to Around the NFL, Mahomes became the fourth quarterback in NFL history with 25 or more passing touchdowns in the first eight games of season.
The previous three that accomplished this, Peyton Manning twice and Tom Brady once, would set the single-season passing touchdown record and win M.V.P. that season. So, if history can be any indicator, if Mahomes keeps up this historic pace he should have his name sketched in the record books.
Some critics and fans, however, note Mahomes’ youth and believe that he cannot sustain the pace he has been playing at. Brady and Manning were well-renowned veterans in the league the seasons they cracked the records, but with Mahomes just one year off his one-game rookie campaign, some believe that opposing teams may throw more looks at him and bring him back down to Earth.
What is even more remarkable about the Chiefs’ hot start is the mediocrity of their defense. The offense has not only scored 36.1 points per game due to their ability to do so, but because they simply need to. Their defense is bottom three in the whole league, allowing roughly 432 offensive yards a game and 25.6 points per game to their opponent.
Their weak secondary matched with their average front seven has forced the offense to score as much as they have.
Head coach Andy Reid has had to game plan in a way where the offense would always have their foot on the gas, because they could be trailing, or on the verge of trailing, during any given game due to their porous defense.
Judging on what Mahomes has shown this year, teams are wondering how their evaluations let Mahomes fall to the 10th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Scouts throughout the league noted his inconsistency, sloppiness, and lack of patience in his scouting report. This year, however, Mahomes has left scouts scratching their heads as he leads Kansas City on the path of a high-powered offensive juggernaut and as his arm leads him to an elite-level career.