All offseason, the NFL community was wondering what this Kansas City Chiefs offense would look like without star wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
During Week 1, the overwhelmingly powerful answer from quarterback Patrick Mahomes II and Chiefs Kingdom was: Next question.
“We’ve always believed we were going to go out there and put on a show,” Mahomes told reporters after the game, and they did. So much so that NFL pundits like ESPN’s Max Kellerman were praising him as the best quarterback in the league by far on September 12.
Kellerman: ‘There’s Patrick Mahomes… & Everyone Else’
Around the 6:20 mark of the YouTube stream of “Keyshawn, JWill & Max” above, Kellerman talked about how blown away he was by Mahomes’ Week 1 performance.
“This dude is different than anyone I’ve ever seen,” Kellerman began, “because to me he’s Aaron Rodgers in terms of the precision and the off-schedule stuff, plus Brett Favre because people like him, he’s fun, he’s drawing it up in the dirt — only without Favre’s interceptions. The dude is unbelievable and I don’t think it’s right to compare other quarterbacks to him. I think there’s Patrick Mahomes, and then I think everyone else is fighting to see who should be compared to Patrick Mahomes.”
This statement came after a 360-yard five-touchdown showing where Mahomes only threw nine incompletions. His outing yielded a 94.1 QBR and a 144.2 passer rating according to ESPN.
Pro Football Focus only credited the Chiefs gun-slinger with one “big time throw” but that’s because Mahomes didn’t need to thread the needle all game. Instead, he just went through his progressions and found the open man time and time again.
Mahomes targeted 10 different pass-catchers and completed throws to nine of them — WR Justin Watson was the only player targeted without a reception. Six of his weapons registered three catches or more, and two had six-plus receptions (Travis Kelce and JuJu Smith-Schuster).
Now that’s how you spread the football around.
Patrick Mahomes ‘Very Comfortable’ With New Weapons
“I’m very comfortable with them,” Mahomes responded when asked about his new cast of playmakers. “You saw the guys stepped up and made plays, tough contested catches like JuJu and Marquez [Valdes-Scantling] did a great job with that, and then obviously the tight ends played well and the running backs played well. The only one I was missing was Mecole [Hardman], I owe Mecole two touchdowns.”
You hear the confidence from Mahomes but you also hear the jubilation. He’s loving every minute of playing football with these guys and that’s what you want to see from your offense.
The signal-caller also credited head coach Andy Reid for his Week 1 strategy. “First off I think it’s Coach Reid getting more weeks to gameplan, I mean that’s always a good thing for me because he’s getting guys running wide open,” Mahomes attributed.
As for the short week and the key Thursday night matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, Mahomes had this to say:
“We’ll be ready to go. It’s going to be the home opener at Arrowhead [Stadium] so it’s always important to win that one — against the Chargers who are gonna be someone that’s going to be in the playoff picture and someone that’s going to be battling for the AFC West championship. Last year we let them come in, I think Week 2, and beat us at home so we have to learn from that and find a way to claw out a win and beat a really good football team.”