The combination of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Ried and Patrick Mahomes doesn’t just look great on a hoodie that would make a perfect Christmas gift. They are also a sensational combination of quarterback and head coach that has pushed the Kansas City Chiefs back to the summit of most power rankings as the team that is seen as the best in the NFL.
Kansas City Chiefs Are Number 1
As good as Ried and Mahomes are together – and they are great – the onfield combination of Mahomes and Travis Kelce does so much of the heavy lifting for the Chiefs. In the most recent game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Mahomes and Kelce connected for three touchdown passes as the Chiefs ran out winners 30-27 in the City of Angels.
It is not only the connection between Mahomes and Kelce that is so powerful but their ability to be at their best in the biggest moments. This is something you see throughout the sporting world with great players – be it a Michael Jordan or a prime Cristiano Ronaldo – great players at their greatest when they are in clutch situations.
This might only have been a regular season game in the middle of the NFL schedule, but it was a game that – barring some weird collapse – almost guaranteed the Chiefs will win the AFC West again. This was something in the balance down the stretch until Mahomes and Kelce worked their magic for the game-winning touchdown with 31 seconds left on the clock.
Without Tyreek Hill in the picture, Kelce draws double teams on almost every play. In many games this season, cameras have focused on the holding that Kelce has to fight through on every play, as teams know that he is Mahomes’ first read in big situations. Somehow, this doesn’t seem to matter, with Kelce always finding a way to break into an open space with his deceptive speed, giving Mahomes a huge target to hit thanks to his incredible catch radius. It is a superstar pairing that Ried always knows how to get the most out of.
The most interesting aspect of what the Chiefs are doing this year is that they are just as explosive even without the blisteringly quick Hill to stretch defenses. Mahomes is on pace for 48 touchdowns, a number that would be just two off of his career-best mark set in 2018. He is also on pace to throw for over 5,500 yards, which would be a career-best.
The reason for this is that Mahomes has combined explosiveness with efficiency. He has a passer rating of 107.3 and, perhaps most interestingly, 47 passing plays that have gone for at least 20 yards. This is on pace to smash the 58 such plays he had last year with Hill in the side. There are many theories as to why this is, but I think the one closest to the mark is that Mahomes would sometimes force-feed Hill downfield looking for 40+ yard gains, while now he is hitting players 12 to 15 yards downfield who can take those passes and gain extra yards after the catch.
There are other very good teams in the NFL, but at this moment, it does feel like the Chiefs are a step ahead of everyone else.
Patrick Mahomes is the Magoat. Buy your Magoat merch today!