Patrick Mahomes’ awareness, leadership, talent, and work ethic were all on display yet again in the Chiefs’ win over the Commanders in the second week of the NFL preseason.
Let’s take a look back at the second week of the preseason in which the Kansas City Chiefs took on the Washington Commanders in the Chiefs’ home opener for 2022. While the Chiefs won the game itself, the most important aspect was seeing how dominant the offense looks at this point. While chemistry could be improved as an overall unit, Patrick Mahomes‘ awareness, leadership, talent, and work ethic were all on display yet again.
The Chiefs’ first-team offense only had two series to work with against the Commanders, but they generated a passing touchdown on each drive. In that span, Mahomes went 12 of 19 on attempts for 162 yards. Most importantly there were zero turnovers. Both touchdowns ended up in the hands of Jody Fortson who looked 100% healthy and continued to be a mismatch in red-zone situations.
Facing a stout Washington defense provided a good test. They are well-coached and talented enough at each level to make life difficult for opposing quarterbacks. On top of facing a solid defense, Mahomes’ seven incompletions came down to multiple reasons—whether it’s not being on the same page as his receiver or ball placement based on who the pass is intended for. Head coach Andy Reid likes to assess certain aspects during preseason matchups. Working out these details now will only pay off during the season. If you are on the field, the ball might be coming your way on any given play. Mahomes indeed has to improve on timing with some of the new targets.
Purely looking at the highlights will leave you in awe. No matter how many times you see a sidearm pass across the field. Mahomes’ ability to scramble and still find an open target with accuracy is not normal. This game in its small sample size conveyed just how much he’s grown in other facets also. Here is where the intangibles enter the conversation.
Awareness is knowing where to go based on the coverage before the ball is snapped. It’s having the intuition amidst a heavy pass rush where the outlet is (e.g. the Jerick McKinnon play above). Leadership is targeting the players that you know will play a vital role at some point down the line. It’s yelling “Jody! Jody!”, giving insight, and finding him on the ensuing play for a touchdown.
Yes, there were only 2 series on the field in a preseason game. Sometimes that is all you need. The overall maturation of Patrick Mahomes is already playing itself out.