While defense may, in theory, win championships, the Kansas City Chiefs rode their offense to the promised land last season. With the 2020 NFL campaign about to begin, there’s no reason to expect anything different; even if KC can’t repeat as champions, Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, and the rest of their offense should have no problem putting up points.
If you ask Patrick Mahomes, things shouldn’t take long to get rolling. In fact, the quarterback recently explained that Andy Reid has the Chiefs offense ready to stuff the box score ahead of the season opener.
Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have turned the Chiefs into an offensive force
While it might seem like an eternity ago, Reid arrived in Kansas City to take over a team in dire straits. In 2012, the Chiefs went 2-14 with a combination of Matt Cassell and Brady Quinn under center; in Reid’s first year on the job, he and Alex Smith helped KC make the playoffs with an 11-5 record.
The biggest change was, unsurprisingly, the team’s offense. During that abysmal 2-14 campaign, KC scored 211 points. That number more than doubled under Big Red, with the Chiefs scoring 430 during the following campaign. That production, however, has gone to the next level with Patrick Mahomes under center.
Although Alex Smith did a capable job running the Chiefs offense, Mahomes is simply a special player. During his first full season under center, the quarterback threw for more than 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns; Kansas City put up 565 points but fell in the AFC title game. The raw numbers were less impressive in 2019—Mahomes missed some time, and the offense only scored 451 points—but the Chiefs outscored everyone down the stretch and, thanks to some impressive comebacks, lifted the Lombardi Trophy.
Patrick Mahomes thinks the Chiefs offense will be ready for Week 1
Between their potential Super Bowl hangover and the unconventional 2020 offseason, it would be easy for the Kansas City Chiefs to slip up in their season opener against the Houston Texans. Patrick Mahomes, however, is confident that Andy Reid will have everyone, especially the offense, ready to go.
“Coach Reid runs a great training camp,” Mahomes recently explained, according to ESPN’s Adam Teicher. That training camp, in theory, will help the Chiefs offense take the field on Thursday night without missing a beat.
“I think that’s a big part of [the Chiefs’ early-season success],” Mahomes continued. “He puts us in situations that are really game-like, which I feel like is a huge advantage, especially with no preseason games. I mean he’s putting us in these situations every single day. We might not be tackling full, but we’re put in situations where we’re in third-and-long, third-and-short, trying to figure out ways to go throughout a game and situations that you’ll be a part of. So I think that’s why we start so fast and we’re ready right out of the gate because the training camp coach runs.”
Andy Reid’s teams are tough to beat after bye weeks and during season openers
If you’ve watched the NFL for any amount of time, you’ve heard the (accurate) talking point that Andy Reid has an outstanding record coming off a bye week; in theory, the veteran coach knows how to take advantage of the extra time and prepares a perfect game plan. It seems like that principle holds true for season openers, too.
During Reid’s time in Kansas City, the Chiefs have won six of their seven Week 1 games; they’re heading into Thursday night with on a five-game winning steak in season openers. The club has also put up plenty of points during those games.
“The Chiefs have been especially good at scoring points in their season opener the past three seasons,” Teicher explained. “They put 42 on the New England Patriots in the first game of 2017, when Mahomes was a backup and did not play, 38 on the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018 and 40 last year against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s 40 points per game over three openers, or about 10 points more than they averaged in regular-season games over the past three seasons. Mahomes has thrown for 634 yards and seven touchdowns in the past two openers.”
It goes without saying that the 2020 season opener is an independent event; what the Kansas City Chiefs did in Week 1 three years ago has no direct impact on Thursday night’s performance. With that being said, though, do you really want to be against Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid, and the KC offense?
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference