Patrick Mahomes opened the NFL season in spectacular fashion versus the Arizona Cardinals.
Is it too early to say those 3 letters: MVP? Yes, but we are all thinking about it.
The Kansas City Chiefs traveled to Arizona for their season opener against the Cardinals. Uncertainty arose in recent months due to not having three of their top wide receivers on the roster any longer, most notably Tyreek Hill who had produced some of the biggest plays over the years. Three preseason drives were the only evidence we had to rely on for this new-look offense. Needless to say, every one of them ended up in touchdowns. As it turns out, Patrick Mahomes would manufacture points in a similar fashion on opening day.
To open up the game, Mahomes drove Kansas City to three consecutive touchdowns on three consecutive possessions. The Chiefs offense went 11 plays on the first, 7 plays on the second, and 11 plays again on the third. Each time marching down the field resulted in a firm grasp on time-of-possession. Travis Kelce remained a focal point proven by being reliable all over for his quarterback.
Statistically speaking, nine different players caught a pass on Sunday. Mahomes compiled 5 touchdowns and 365 total yards. Even more impressive is that his performance came with zero interceptions on 30/39 passing attempts. He reached his 6th career game totaling 5 touchdown passes—a number that is tied for 3rd most in the history of the NFL. No other quarterback has done so more than 3 games since Mahomes has been a Chief.
Mahomes zipped passes with accuracy. He knew exactly where to go. How to react to the Cardinals defense. Each player was involved because players were open rather than forcing a specific target. Other than slightly overthrowing Mecole Hardman and falling awkwardly on his non-throwing hand it was a perfect start to the 2022 NFL season. In his post-game press conference, Mahomes told reporters that he keeps a chip on his shoulder even now.
“I always feel like I have something to prove. I mean I’m just this guy from Texas Tech that they said couldn’t play in the NFL. I always have that mindset of going out there and proving that we’re the Kansas City Chiefs and that we still have a chance to go out there and win the AFC Championship, win the AFC West, and win the Super Bowl.”
While an early lead was constructed, Kansas City kept pushing. In a way, Andy Reid and Mahomes seemed motivated to make an impression after being somewhat overlooked. In previous years fans have witnessed a sense of not wanting to put away opponents after being so far ahead. Not this time. Patrick Mahomes had his worst half of a game when last seen in the AFC Championship game. Apparently, that and offseason doubt were incentives of what fueled a 44-21 onslaught over Arizona. If the 2022 season opener is any indicator, buckle up and enjoy the ride.