We all make mistakes, but it takes a big person to admit their mistakes in front of thousands.
That’s what NFL journalist and talk show host Rich Eisen tried to do for Chiefs Kingdom after Week 1, during an episode of “The Rich Eisen Show.” You see, the popular football pundit went out on a limb and picked the Las Vegas Raiders to win the AFC West this season.
Not only is that a disturbing selection for Chiefs fans to stomach, but it also looks like a poor choice after the NFL’s opening weekend. The Los Angeles Chargers defeated the Raiders head to head and KC put on a show in Arizona.
And Eisen recognized all of that during his post-Week 1 power rankings.
Chiefs Surge up Rich Eisen Power Ranks
He only listed his top 10 teams, but the Chiefs would have made the cut if Eisen only named his top two this go around. There Kansas City sat at No. 2, behind the NFL community’s current Super Bowl sweetheart — the Buffalo Bills.
That slight in itself may still anger some fans but Eisen did move the Chiefs ahead of their division rivals. The Chargers were ranked fifth with the Raiders dropping to 10th. Just like that, order was quickly restored in the AFC West.
It wasn’t just the revision that should please Chiefs Kingdom though, it was how Eisen went about it in a near-public apology.
“Bring me back on camera for the Chiefs, will ya please?” He began. “Eric Stonestreet and Chiefs nation and everyone else, this one’s for you. I had the Raiders to win the division and I gotta stick to it because I talked about it since March, and I did kind of cover the tracks a little bit — Chiefs nation kind of didn’t hear it maybe [over the Raiders prediction].”
At this point, his co-host was whispering in his ear: “You don’t have to [do this].”
But Eisen pressed on: “I have to… I have to. And I did cover my tracks a little bit by saying the Chiefs offense not only is going to be okay but it could be better, because Tyreek Hill — sure, he’s top-notch — but now if you’ve got five, six weapons you have to [guard] and one of them is Travis Kelce, and one of them is now a healthy Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the rest of that running back core — I mean they’ve got four of them there… and they got JuJu Smith-Schuster and they got Marquez Valdes-Scantling and they got Mecole Hardman and they got Justin Watson and they got Andy Reid, and they still have for some reason Eric Bieniemy as their coordinator because no one else has hired him in the NFL.”
The words I’m sorry never came but you got the feeling that Eisen was trying to patch things up with Chiefs Kingdom — or at least save some face after the Raiders’ loss.
Eisen’s Stat of Week 1 Goes to KC
To end the KC apology tour, Eisen credited the Chiefs with the “stat of the weekend.”
Patrick Mahomes II led the offense to 33 first downs off 66 offensive snaps. That’s moving the chains at a 50% clip and that is absolutely ridiculous.
ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky — the same man that called Mahomes the “worst quarterback in the NFL,” mechanically speaking, in 2021 — even voiced that Week 1 was the “best Patrick Mahomes has looked in three years,” and that “he could throw [the ball] better than anyone in the history of this game” when he trusts in his offensive line and his mechanics.
The Chiefs did rank No. 1 in the NFL in average first downs per game in 2021 and 2020 — fourth in 2019 — with a 25.0 average last year and 24.8 the campaign before. This is not an aberration for Mahomes and KC, this is a key area where this offense has been dominant in recent seasons. Although it is nice of everyone to finally take notice.
Tonight, on September 15, the Chiefs will get another opportunity to silence any non-believers as they host LAC. There appears to be a chip on Mahomes’ shoulder this year and it seems to grow with every Bills, Chargers and Raiders pick in the AFC.
We’ll see if the gunslinger’s early excellence continues under the bright lights of Arrowhead Stadium.