NFL

Why the Chiefs Need Patrick Mahomes to Stay Healthy in 2019

Kansas City Chiefs - Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes has only been a rotation player in the NFL, but what he accomplished during the 2018 season is already legendary. With Mahomes, who will soon turn 24, the Chiefs have the young quarterback of the future. They may receive years, if not decades, of Hall of Fame-caliber football. For this to happen, however, they need him to stay healthy, because things behind him on the Chiefs bench are looking pretty dire. 

Patrick Mahomes’ rise to stardom

The quarterback’s 2018 season may make the casual observer assume he is a seasoned veteran superstar. Not only did he throw for nearly 5,100 yards, but he also got 50 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. He ended the year with an 82.0 quarterback rating. Mahomes even showed an ability to rush, amassing 272 yards en-route to two touchdowns. Kansas City fans should look forward to his generational talent for years to come.

All of this was enough for the Texas Tech alum to win the 2018 Most Valuable Player, and he shows no signs of slowing down. With Andrew Luck’s retirement fresh on the minds of NFL fans, it’s important for the Chiefs to be ready for injuries and any unseen events. After all, their quarterback depth after Mahomes looks downright bad. 

Matt Moore waits behind Mahomes

While Colin Kaepernick is still awaiting a call from the NFL, the Chiefs looked toward Matt Moore, a 35-year-old veteran quarterback who hasn’t played since 2017, to fill their backup spot. After presumed backup Chad Henne went down with a broken ankle, the Chiefs called on Moore, who worked for the Dolphins last season as a quarterback scout. 

Matt Moore began in the NFL in 2007, but he only played in more than nine games once in the process, starting 12 of 13 games for the Dolphins in 2011. Since then, Moore has played four games at most, which he did during the 2016-17 season when the Dolphins were in a bind. If Mahomes went down with an injury, Moore has never shown an ability to give a team hope. 

Despite being in the NFL off and on since 2007, Moore has fewer career touchdowns than Mahomes (45) and three times as many interceptions. His 6,938 throwing yards in 10 seasons lead Mahomes by only 2,000 yards. Moore’s win-loss record isn’t bad at 15-15. But considering he’s never been a go-to player since 2011, the idea of having to depend on him is frightening. 

Kansas City Chiefs’ season preview 

Coming off a 12-4 year on top of Mahomes’s success means the Chiefs face some lofty expectations. Teams will be more prepared for Mahomes after his quick rise to stardom. And after the Chiefs struggled on the defensive end, they did a near-complete overhaul of the defense heading into the 2019 season, including coaches.

With the 12th hardest schedule in the NFL, according to ESPN, the season could be harder for the Chiefs, but it also could be easier. Young players like wide receiver Mecole Hardman could have a breakout year if given the chance. Vegas has the team’s odds at winning the Super Bowl at a respectable 6-1 opening the season. 

All of this will depend on whether Mahomes can remain healthy. In a perfect world, he will play every game and continue to do so for years to come. But in an unpredictable league like the NFL, this could be difficult if the worst-case scenario happens for the young quarterback.