Kansas City Chiefs gunslinger Patrick Mahomes is proving the hopeful correct with a strong preseason so far. The Chiefs fan base have nothing to worry about.
It’s way too early to start admitting things like the Chiefs won’t miss Alex Smith, but Friday’s performance by Patrick Mahomes might elicit such knee-jerk responses. Smith was a cornerstone of the Chiefs offense for years and silenced critics by leading his team to the playoffs in three consecutive seasons. Now that Mr. Smith has gone to Washington, the Chiefs offense is being taken over by a young second-year quarterback who is lighting it up early and making fans lick their chops about what’s to come.
Kansas City’s first preseason action against the Houston Texans didn’t leave with the Texas Tech product any real chance to get quality reps in. He finished with 33 yards passing on five completions. Mahomes was sacked once and didn’t get to show off his legs and foot speed. One week later, Chiefs fans witnessed what the NFL regular season has the potential to be in Kansas City.
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons hosted the Chiefs on Friday night. Mahomes and co. came out on top in the end at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. While finishing with 138 yards passing on eight completions, the highlight of the evening came from possibly the next elite 1-2 punch in Mahomes and Hill.
The 22-year-old has Chiefs fans on their feet and buzzing after the 68-yard touchdown pass. Ben Baldwin, who works for The Athletic Seattle, reported his pass was in the air for 63 yards. The only other quarterback that throws a ball 63 yards in the air since 2009 is Aaron Rodgers. On top of that, the former-Red Raider rushed for 16 yards on two carries, proving he has the potential to be a threat on the ground.
Perhaps the realistic prediction is to wait until Mahomes has more than one NFL game under his belt before offering suggestions like his future remains very bright. That’s not wrong. In Mahomes’ one game in the NFL, he completed 22 of 35 passes. His 284 yards and one interception weren’t that of a wunderkind.
Mahomes has the intangibles and raw skill to be the quarterback the Kansas City Chiefs needed after Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins. Losing a veteran QB isn’t easy. Smith was reliable, a respected player in the league and a leader. Can a 22-year-old handle all of that in a wild environment that is Arrowhead Stadium? With head coach Andy Reid by his side, all signs point toward a fruitful first season as QB1 in Kansas City.
Mahomes’ first start comes on the road against the Los Angeles Charges on Sep. 9.