I am, by nature, a worrier. Credit to my mother, my aging, my upbringing, my profession—all of it has produced someone who cannot tame that anxious feeling in their gut. Whether it is something related to a deadline or thinking I am forgetting to make a call, I am constantly worrying.
So, when I saw that the Kansas City Chiefs were taking on the Jets without Aaron Rodgers, while initially disappointed that we did not get to see the duel, I was a little relieved to see a stress-free Sunday night ahead. Maybe I could even turn in early if it was a blowout.
In reality, everything even looked like we were headed that way—until the penalty.
It was as if the Chiefs suddenly got spooked (yes that is a Halloween joke). And the person who seemed most uneasy was the person we relied on to be the steadiest. Patrick Mahomes had one of the worst performances I have ever seen. Inexplicably, he was launching balls into the air that seemed directionless. For someone who prides himself on being precise and delivering balls into windows only he can hit, what in the world happened? The worrying begins.
We have all been enamored (or annoyed... it's your choice) by the Travis Kelce-Taylor Swift romance, but did that distraction cause Mahomes to become human? And the defense—a defense we have been saying was maybe the best of Mahomes's career—suddenly looked feeble against... Zach Wilson? What is happening?
The Chiefs receivers still can't carry the weight they need to and the only bright spot was Isaiah Pacheco. Deep down, there is some real worry. I hope this was a small blip, but are we seeing cracks in the foundation, problems that will linger throughout the season?
I fully believe in Patrick Mahomes and am grateful that this weird game was against a Jets team that is pretty bad, but I am not comfortable. I want to believe everything will be okay, but the Chiefs cannot rely on just Travis Kelce and some cute passes to Pacheco and McKinnon as the entirety of their offense. Someone else needs to step up. And the defense must get more pressure. The Jets' offensive line is simply not good enough for the performance the Chiefs had.
I am not in full-on-panic mode, but the heartburn is there. I need to see a complete game from the Chiefs on both sides of the ball (and no, the Bears game doesn't count because we watched the Donkeys launch a 21-point comeback against the Bears).
And can we also talk about the other team that was supposed to just stomp other teams? No, I'm not talking about the Dolphins. I'm talking about the Bengals. I can't help but laugh at the tweets floating around about Orlando Brown Jr.
There is trouble in paradise over in Cincinnati. As Annie Agar so eloquently put it, Derrick Henry has more passing touchdowns than Joe Burrow...
The Bengals are in real trouble of seeing their season get out of reach quickly. For a team that talked as much as they did heading into the AFC Championship game last season, it seems unreal that they would have this significant of a fall. I am not convinced that Joe Burrow is 100% and there seems to be some real discontent boiling up in Ja'Marr Chase.
The Bengals are in trouble. Worry, worry, worry.
But, you know who isn't in trouble and who shouldn't worry? The Bills. They look dangerous and they are about to get Von Miller back. If they can trounce the Dolphins and make Tyreek Hill coverable, imagine what they could do to the Chiefs' receiver room. The loss of Tre'Davious White is significant, but if they can overcome that, are the Bills headed to the top of the AFC? No worries there but Chiefs fans might be worried.
Look, will the Chiefs be fine? Probably. The receivers will always cause concern but the defense had a hiccup (hopefully) and let's not forget that Charles Omenihu will be back soon. A stumble against a team like the Jets is something that can be overcome, but the Chiefs cannot do that later down the road. A stumble against the Chargers could jeopardize playoff seeding. A stumble against the Bills could see the Championship game in Buffalo. So, do I believe in Patrick Mahomes to right things? Of course, but the worry still lingers...