he Kansas City Chiefs have been able to win games during the Patrick Mahomes era with mediocre defensive play thanks to their star quarterback. But combine that type of defensive play with poor quarterback play, and you have the 2021 Chiefs, who sit a 4-4, and with a quarterback who looks anything but elite.
Through eight games, Mahomes has thrown ten interceptions, which is just two shy of his career-high in a single season, despite there being nine games left to play. He has thrown an interception in seven straight games and has 16 interceptions in his last 17 games. Mahomes has a 73.0 overall grade by PFF this season, which ranks 22nd among all quarterbacks in the league, and is graded worse than Jameis Winston (74.2), Geno Smith (73.9), and Daniel Jones (73.5).
But what’s causing Mahomes to play so poorly this season? One former NFL quarterback says it’s the fifth-year pro’s mechanics, which has Mahomes being labeled as “the worst quarterback in the NFL right now”.
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Orlovsky Sounds off on Mahomes
Former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky broke down Mahomes’ play during a segment on ESPN’s NFL Live on Tuesday, November 2. During that segment, Orlovsky went as far as to say that Mahomes’ mechanics are the worst he’s seeing in the NFL this season.
“Speaking strictly to the quarterback; mechanically, he is the worst quarterback in the NFL right now,” Orlovsky said of Mahomes.
Orlovsky then went through some of Mahomes’ film from Kansas City’s win against the New York Giants in Week 8, pointing out poor footwork and pocket presence from the former MVP.
Orlovsky rounded out the segment by explaining how Mahomes’ innate ability to make off-platform throws has become a crutch at this point in his career, which is why he has consistently underperformed this season.
“The ability to make an off-platform throw is a blessing when it’s a necessity,” Orlovsky explained. “When you use it when it’s not, it becomes a flaw. That is a big issue with this football team with Patrick.”
Mahomes on His Play in Week 8
During his press conference on Wednesday, November 3, Mahomes self-assessed his play against Giants and spoke about some of the same things Orlovsky brought up regarding Mahomes’ mechanics.
“I feel like I did a better job of kind of getting into the pocket and being in the pocket, but I still feel like my base wasn’t the way I wanted it to be,” Mahomes said. “There were times where I was high on my toes which is never good at the quarterback position, so that’s stuff I’ll have to work on this week and just be better mechanically. Whenever I’m better mechanically and making those throws, the other stuff comes with it.”
Unfortunately for Mahomes, some of the mechanical issues he’s working through are not things that can be easily fixed in-season. So, Mahomes, along with head coach Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, and quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka will have to continue working together to find ways to work around the star quarterback’s mechanical issues so the team can find a consistent rhythm on offense, and get back in playoff contention this season.
Unfortunately, that is much easier said than done.