Even if he struggled in the Super Bowl, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has proven himself to be an incredible NFL talent. His season has already gotten tougher, though.
While the Kansas City Chiefs boast one of the league’s top offenses, the unit will look a bit different next season. The team is reportedly releasing linemen Eric Fischer and Mitchell Schwartz, which will be a tough pill to swallow for Patrick Mahomes.
A weakened offensive line doomed Patrick Mahomes and his Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl
If you’re simply watching a football game on TV, it can be easy to ignore the offensive linemen doing the dirty work in the trenches. The Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl struggles, however, demonstrate just how important those guys are.
While the Chiefs had been dealing with a patchwork offensive line for most of the 2020 campaign, things were at their worst for the Super Bowl. The team headed to Tampa with four of their starting five linemen out of action. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif sat out the season, doing medical work in his native Quebec; Kelechi Osemele, Mitchell Schwartz, and Eric Fisher all suffered injuries at various points during the year.
That reality doomed the Chiefs in the big game. While you can assign blame to a variety of different factors—Andy Reid, for example, failed to adjust his game plan—the Buccaneers defensive front had a field day. Patrick Mahomes was running for his life all night, covering almost 500 yards before either throwing the ball or getting hit.
The Kansas City Chiefs are releasing both Eric Fischer and Mitchell Schwartz
While the Super Bowl certainly looked ugly, Kansas City Chiefs fans could have reasonably felt like it was a perfect storm; you simply can’t plan for that many absences all at once. 2021, however, hasn’t gotten better just yet.
As reported by Arrowhead Pride, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said that both Fisher, who tore his Achilles, and Schwartz, who battled through back issues all season, could both be back in action for training camp. On Thursday, however, a different sort of news broke. Both lineman, however, will be playing their future football somewhere other than Kansas City.
As reported by Adam Schefter, the Chiefs are releasing Fisher; the guard has since appeared to confirm the report on his Instagram. Moments before Schefter’s tweet, Ian Rappaport also reported that Schwartz will be released. Since then, the Chiefs have confirmed both moves.
Those cuts do save quite a bit of money, but they’re still less than ideal in the big picture. The Chiefs will still have to replace their two starting tackles ahead of the 2021 campaign.
Patrick Mahomes can’t be happy about losing both Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz
As mentioned above, Patrick Mahomes is capable of working his magic on seemingly every play. No amount of raw talent, however, can overcome an iffy offensive line.
Even if we assume that Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will be back in action for the 2021 season, the Chiefs will still have to find two starting linemen to replace Fisher and Schwartz. Given their financial commitments to the like of Patrick Mahomes, Frank Clark, Chris Jones, the club won’t be able to hand out a blank check to the best talent available.
Instead, they’ll be faced with the unenviable situation of cutting costs, whether that means trading players, making more cuts, or signing some bargain-basement linemen. While it’s reasonable to assume the Chiefs will draft at least one lineman, throwing an untested rookie into the fire isn’t always a safe bet.
Over the past few seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs have looked like one of the best teams in football; they have an elite offense and, despite a tough financial situation, have managed to keep their roster stocked with plenty of talent. 2021, however, is already looking a bit different.
Patrick Mahomes may be an elite quarterback, but he can’t be at his best if he’s running for his life. That’s what happened in the Super Bowl and, after cutting Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, it’s not clear how the Kansas City Chiefs will address that problem.