Like most NFL teams on the losing side of the coin, much of the Kansas City Chiefs’ struggles during Sunday’s 40-32 home loss to the Las Vegas Raiders can be attributed to the play in the trenches.
The Chiefs’ offensive line was only credited with allowing three sacks on the day, however the team mustered just 80 total rushing yards on 20 attempts compared to the Raiders’ 144 rushing yards on 35 attempts, which was also a byproduct of Las Vegas dominating the game’s time of possession by nearly 11 minutes (35:17-24:43).
While it’s easy to point the finger at Patrick Mahomes’ protectors for not providing ample time to throw or opening huge running lanes, one former Chiefs offensive lineman is begging fans to stop the narrative.
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Geoff Schwartz: Chiefs OL ‘Good Again’ in Week 5
Prior to Sunday, Mahomes had not yet been sacked more than one time in any of Kansas City’s first four games of the season. Even with six sacks allowed to date, the Chiefs’ front is still on pace to allow just 19 sacks over a full 16-game season (compared to 25 in 2019) and is currently tied for the fourth-fewest allowed across the league, which dwells in comparison to the 22 sacks taken by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Considering Kansas City is attempting over 38 passes per game thus far in 2020, six sacks remains an impressively low total. Just ask former All-Pro OT Geoff Schwartz, who noted on Twitter that the Chiefs O-line was ranked No. 6 overall by Pro Football Focus in pass protection entering Week 5.
As a result, the former Chiefs All-Pro is pleading with fans to reconsider the negative narrative surrounding the big guys up front.
Is Patrick Mahomes Running Too Much?
There is one question that perhaps not enough Chiefs fans are asking though: how much of the blame can or should be pointed at Mahomes’ knack for escaping the pocket and extending plays? If you ask Schwartz, the answer is at least some.
It’s worth noting that Mahomes is currently running more than he ever has in his NFL career, posting 129 yards, eight first downs and two scores on 24 attempts through five starts, all of which are on pace to surpass his previous career highs of 60 rushing attempts, 272 rushing yards, 19 first downs and two touchdowns set back in 2018.
After reportedly losing starting LG Kelechi Osemele (torn knee tendons) for the remainder of the season, the fourth-year superstar may be relied on even harder if the run game is unable to take some of the pressure off.