How concerned should the Kansas City Chiefs be about the number of interceptions from Patrick Mahomes in training camp so far?
Seven interceptions. Adam Teicher of ESPN is keeping count of how many interceptions Patrick Mahomes has thrown so far in training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs. To make note is, of course, to at least bring up the question or concern about Mahomes’ performance so far and whether or not the team should be concerned.
Mahomes is a first-year starter for the Chiefs, a second-year quarterback coming out from Alex Smith’s shadow. That’s a bit problematic because, for the last five years, Chiefs Kingdom has become accustomed to a quarterback who is one of the league’s best at avoiding mistakes. Throwing an interception was a rarity most years, but even just last year, Smith was on another level entirely, leading the NFL with a 1.0% interception rate.
That sort of instant comparison is something that Mahomes will not be able to shake. Some fans won’t care at all, because they’ve been clamoring for more of a risk-taking quarterback in the hopes of a much higher offensive ceiling. But others who aren’t so quick to write off Smith or those not caught up in the Mahomes hype have to at least wonder whether these interceptions will carry over to the regular season.
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The Chiefs and even Mahomes himself don’t seem too concerned. Despite the interceptions, Eric Bieniemy still described training camp as “going well” for Mahomes and the team’s offensive coordinator doesn’t seem to be too concerned about these “hiccups.”
“It’s been going well. I will say he had a few hiccups today, but that’s part of the process. When you are young, you need those hiccups because they become valuable lessons in life. Would we like for him to be perfect? Yes, we would like for him to have the highest passing quarterback rating ever. He just needs to be poised under pressure.”
It’s early in camp and a first-year starter has to work out the kinks. That much is clear from all parties involved and Mahomes, Bieniemy and Andy Reid have all stayed on script in terms of being loose and unconcerned. Many fans will say the same, but how long until they become concerning? If the trend continues through the preseason games, is it alarming? And how many interceptions are okay during his first actual year of being the team’s starting quarterback.
For now this is all conjecture. Mahomes seems to know very clearly why certain mistakes are being made, and the positive spin makes the Chiefs defense look good. At the very least, for a team that had Alex Smith under center, this is a whole new conversation entirely.