Patrick Mahomes is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Unfortunately for his team, the Kansas City Chiefs, he recently suffered an injury. This is bad news for the Chiefs. But which unique elements of Mahomes’ game will the Chiefs miss most? The Chiefs desperately need to get some of his components back as soon as possible. Let’s look at what those are.
Patrick Mahomes’ injury
Mahomes’ injury came in a Week 7 game against the Denver Broncos when he suffered a dislocated kneecap. ESPN recounted the event: “Mahomes, the NFL’s reigning MVP, was injured during a quarterback sneak on fourth down with just over nine minutes remaining in the first half Thursday night … Mahomes’ knee was straightened and popped back into place.”
After an MRI, it appears that Mahomes is only expected to miss three weeks. This news no doubt left the Chiefs and their fans breathing a huge sigh of relief. Kansas City has been effective enough this season that even losing three games in a row would not be catastrophic to their playoff chances.
The injury may, in fact, be a blessing in disguise; it keeps Mahomes out of the lineup for a few weeks, which may keep him fresh if he returns 100% healthy. Despite the injury, there are a few reasons why the Chiefs will miss their quarterback.
Three things the Chiefs lost with Mahomes’ injury
Mahomes is coming off a season where he won the NFL MVP and led his team to the AFC title game. But there are three areas in particular where the Chiefs will feel Mahomes’ absence considerably:
1. His arm strength
Based on his numbers, it’s clear Mahomes has a strong arm. It helps get the Chiefs downfield regularly, as he can easily move the chains when needed. But how far downfield can he throw it? To give an idea of how long Mahomes can throw the ball, one only needs to look as far as the Twitter video posted above.
Mahomes, standing at field level, threw a ball out of the stadium during practice. One of the Twitter users in the replies guessed that Mahomes’ throw went nearly 85 yards. The bottom line? Mahomes has a rocket for an arm. Few other quarterbacks can claim this.
2. Mahomes’ mobility
Mahomes isn’t necessarily fast, but he’s good on his feet. He’s evasive in the pocket and able to sense pressure and avoid trouble. Last season, he had 272 rushing yards on 60 attempts. This year he’s only had 82 yards thus far. Earlier in October, Mahomes had an ankle injury that he worried would affect his mobility.
While he said it wasn’t perfect, he noted he’d still be able to perform the typical motions like running and cutting. Mahomes is far from a “run-first” quarterback. He’s as pass-happy as they come. But his ability to shift in the pocket enables him to make better throws downfield.
3. His creativity
This last element doesn’t show up on a stat sheet. But Mahomes possesses an improvisational ability to react in the moment. For example, last season the Chiefs played the Broncos in October. Denver threw a variety of defensive alignments at Mahomes including multiple blitzes. No matter what they did, however, the Chiefs QB was ready to adjust.
Head coach Andy Reid even complimented him on his ability to improvise. Mahomes brings an approach of applying extreme creativity to each play. It serves both him and the Chiefs well.