The Kansas City Chiefs looked amazing in their week 1 win over the Arizona Cardinals, but should fans buy into the hype after one game?
The Kansas City Chiefs looked like arguably the best team in the NFL in their 44-21 Week 1 dismantling of the Arizona Cardinals. There are a lot of takeaways that fans can have from this game. There were way more positives than negatives, but should fans buy into the hype after just one game?
Before we answer that question, let’s acknowledge the primary negative takeaway from this game: the injuries. Harrison Butker injured his ankle. Patrick Mahomes hurt his wrist on his non-throwing hand. Trent McDuffie left the game with a hamstring issue. Trey Smith left the game with an ankle injury and Justin Watson left with a chest injury. The Chiefs play on a very short turnaround with the Los Angeles Chargers coming to town on Thursday, so if any of these injuries are serious, the Chiefs could find themselves shorthanded for an important early-season divisional showdown.
Injuries aside, the product on the field on Sunday was fantastic. I firmly believe that Chiefs fans have many reasons to believe in the hype coming out of this game. In fact, I think they have five specific reasons to believe in this team based on what we saw on Sunday. These are all things that I believe will carry over throughout the season regardless of who the Chiefs are playing.
Let’s kick this list off with the clear number one reason and I’m guessing everyone reading this knows what that will be.
1. Patrick Mahomes Is 100% Comfortable With The New Passing Attack
I know, you could see this one coming a mile away, but we still have to start here. I won’t go into as much detail on this one because it’s so obvious. All offseason we’ve heard about the passing attack losing Tyreek Hill and how the Chiefs will now shift towards a philosophy of spreading the ball around to many different targets. In training camp, Patrick Mahomes looked completely at home with the new philosophy. That comfort carried over to the preseason where Mahomes and the first-string offense looked equally great.
Things gelling in training camp and preseason games is great and preferable, but we all know that nothing really means anything until the games count. Well on Sunday the game counted and Mahomes and the revamped passing attack looked as good as it ever has in Mahomes record-breaking first four years as the starter in Kansas City. The NFL media machine has been hungry to crown Josh Allen and/or Justin Herbert as the next “best quarterback in the NFL”, but on Sunday Mahomes made a strong statement that he isn’t passing that torch on to any other young quarterback without a fight.
Mahomes was 30 of 39 for 360 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. While that stat line is lights out, it doesn’t even tell the whole story. Mahomes seemed completely relaxed. He continuously surveyed the whole field and quickly got the ball to the open man. Nine different Chiefs caught passes. You can’t even argue that he had all day in the pocket either. While Mahomes was never sacked, the Cardinals got lots of pressure on Mahomes and even knocked him to the ground more than most KC fans were comfortable with. It didn’t rattle Mahomes in the slightest and that should scare the rest of the NFL.
Now let’s talk about who he was throwing the ball to.