Patrick Mahomes is who the Kansas City Chiefs hoped he would be

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes /

The Patrick Mahomes era got off to a good start with a win in Denver and a performance that should instill confidence in Chiefs Kingdom.

Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs got their first trailer for the Patrick Mahomes era in Denver today. We’ll still have to see the feature film to know for sure, but the trailer sure looks like this could be a summer blockbuster.

Mahomes became the first Chiefs drafted quarterback to win a game for the Chiefs since 1987. To put that in perspective, the last time the Chiefs won a game started by a quarterback they drafted, the U.S.S.R. was still around. The last time this happened, Andy Reid was the offensive line coach at the University of Texas-El Paso and Clark Hunt was a college student at Southern Methodist. So without even talking about how he played, Mahomes has already made history in K.C.

Of course we have to talk about how he played though, and he played pretty well. He ended the game going 22-35 for 284 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. He hit six different receivers and had a quarterback rating of 76.4. If you just look at the stats you’d say he had an average game. Luckily stats never tell the story of a game.

In reality Mahomes had a good game, not great or horrible but a good solid game. He started out a little over excited as he was off target with a handful of his first throws. It was obvious that he was over amped and was putting to much fire into his throws. The interception he had was a perfect example of this as he fired a bullet high and right into the hands of the safety. After that interception he appeared to settle down though and he was on target for the rest of the game.

His career got started off right as his first completion showed what he can do. On third and ten Mahomes threw a lazer beam 24 yards to Demetrius Harris. The ball was perfectly placed between a trailing linebacker and the safety. Harris alertly realized he wasn’t touched and got up and ran for an additional 20 yards. Just one completion into his career it showed his arm strength, accuracy and guts to throw into double coverage and not settle for a check down.

One of his best throws of the game came in the first quarter when he completed a third and long pass to Albert Wilson with a defender wrapped around his legs. The throw was perfectly located and a dart that showed how strong his arm is as he couldn’t step into the throw. The Chiefs were also backed up to their own ten yard line and Mahomes didn’t panic or get scared as he kept his eyes down field even as a defender was wrapped around his legs.

It wasn’t all roses as Mahomes did have some mistakes in the game. On the final drive of the game, his deep throw out of bounds when the Chiefs had a free play was bad. That throw has to be in bounds to give his guy a chance on a ball with which is nothing to lose. Even if it gets picked, it won’t stand thanks to the penalty, so you keep it in bounds and give your receiver a chance to either make a play on the ball or draw a pass interference penalty.

However, the game went about as well as fans could have expected. He was under pressure often in the game but never looked panicked. Whether he rolled out or stepped up in the pocket, his eyes were focused down the field and he was making good decisions even if the play didn’t work. That is one of the major flaws of Alex Smith is that he gets happy feet and his eyes drop when he’s under pressure. Mahomes didn’t show that tendency.

The other thing I liked to see was he didn’t force it much. The only bad forced throw he really had was the deep jump ball he threw to Demetrius Harris on the last drive. It wasn’t the worst decision ever because he threw it up to the tallest guy on the field and, with that, you have to assume at worst he’ll knock it down. But with the game on the line and plenty of time left, you don’t want to see that kind of risk taken very often.

So after one game Chiefs fans have a reason to be excited for next year. This game should put an end to the insane talk of bring Smith back next season. He’s shown that on the road against a top five defense, in the cold with backups he never looked over matched. He wasn’t perfect or even great by any means, but he showed the poise and tools to be the dream quarterback fans have wanted for 50 years. It’s safe to say he lived up to the hype and didn’t disappoint.

Next: Patrick Mahomes makes his case to start in 2018

Now the Chiefs are onto the playoffs where Smith will start and we all hope for a deep run. But as far as the future goes, it appears the Chiefs are in good hands with Mahomes. We got a preview today, but we will have to wait for the premier of the Mahomes era in week one of the 2018 season.