And maybe the best part for Mahomes is that he has something that Alex Smith never had when he was a first-round rookie in San Francisco back in 2005.
Mahomes has an Alex Smith, a 13-year pro in the prime of his career to learn from.
So since we don’t have the film yet, I’m instead going to focus on the five times I was the most incredulous due to Mahomes doing something ridiculous. Let’s have a little fun.
The good news is that Thomas has already undergone successful surgery to repair the fracture and will re-join the team in Kansas City after staying in Denver after Sunday’s game.
Reid’s plan for much of the week leading up to the Broncos game was for Hunt not to play. The Chiefs on Sunday rested several other key offensive players, including quarterback Alex Smith, tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
“He waited until later (in the week) when he kind of saw the direction I was going," Reid said of Hunt and his reduced role in practice.
“He is going to be special,” fullback Anthony Sherman said. “He just needed to calm down a little bit toward the beginning. That is common and not unexpected by us to know a rookie quarterback is going to go out there and have some nerves, especially playing on the road. He did a great job. He settled down.”
The Kansas City Chiefs could soon experience the cost of winning. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Indianapolis Colts are expected to interview multiple coaches for their open head coaching job, including two Chiefs coaches: special teams coordinator Dave Toub and offensive coordinator Matt Nagy. The connection being Chris Ballard, the Colts GM who was previously in the Chiefs front office and is familiar with both coaches.
The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Tennessee Titans in the first playoff game of 2018. The Chiefs and Titans game is next Saturday at 3:25 p.m. (Arrowhead Time). The game will be on ESPN / ABC (which makes me wonder ... is Jon Gruden — the “next Raiders head coach” — going to walk into a production meeting with Andy Reid as an announcer for ESPN??).
Mahomes was given a year to acclimate. By all indications, he has exceeded the expectations of the coaches for his redshirt season. Sunday, we all learned that to be true. Mahomes showed out Sunday. With a lineup held together by the bottom of the roster, on the road, in the cold, against a good defense, Mahomes showed all the tools we hoped he could translate to the NFL. He was poised. He was accurate. He made mostly good decisions. He showed his other-worldly arm talent.
2. Nowhere to run: Smith may have to beat the Titans, who are likely to put the clamps on Hunt. Tennessee allowed a league-low five rushing TDs in 2017 and held nine of its final 11 opponents to fewer than 100 yards on the ground. Yet with 42 sacks, the Titans are no slouches rushing the passer, either. But if the Chiefs can give Smith time, he should be able to pick apart a secondary that's been suspect aside from exceptional S Kevin Byard.
This was the drink before dinner, or the small talk before negotiations. A fine way to pass the time, but not the point of the evening. We can spend all offseason talking about Mahomes, and probably will, but for now he is still the theoretical quarterback for a season that is still more than eight months away.
Because: NOW, PLAYOFFS.
“There’s a certain urgency that comes with single elimination games,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “So you’ll feel that.”
"I thought he did a nice job. He had complete command out there," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.
The Chiefs were down to Akeem Hunt and Anthony Sherman, who is usually a fullback.
“Akeem and Sherm were the only guys there,” Hunt said. “I had to dress and have their back.”
Hunt did that, but part of him wanted the record. He and coach Andy Reid talked about Hunt’s playing time during the week.
“He wanted to do this thing,” Reid said. “I fought him a little bit on it, (but) he won that fight and told me he’d get it taken care of quick. He did that, so my hat goes off to him.”
Rookie cornerback Leon McQuay made his NFL debut. He made a couple of hard tackles, but came out of the game after one of them to be checked for a concussion. Tackle Justin Hamilton, acquired earlier this year, saw his first action with the Chiefs. So did cornerback Keith Reaser. Rookies Tanoh Kpassagnon and Ukeme Eligwe manned outside linebacker most of the game.
Passing offense: Entering the game, the Broncos’ pass defense ranked fourth in the NFL, allowing 196.1 yards per contest. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 22 of 35 passes for 284 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 76.4. He was also sacked twice against a pass rush that ranked 20th in the league with 31 sacks entering the contest. Albert Wilson led the Chiefs in receiving with 147 yards on 10 catches, both career highs.
It was a solid debut for Chiefs’ rookie QB Mahomes. While he still had a lot of his college-style “scramble and try to make a play” game in him, he made some truly special throws. His across-the-body throw with 1:44 left in the game was one of the better throws you’ll see all year. Mahomes was much better when not under pressure, completing 14-of-19 passes for 174 yards compared to 8-of-16 for 110 yards and a pick when pressured.
"The middle of the season wasn’t great but we’ve turned things around,'' tackle Mitchell Schwartz said. "We’ve showed that when all pieces of the team are working in tandem ... it’s a hard team to beat.''
Miller said that that phrase — “great quarterback” — three times when talking about Mahomes, and no wonder, as the 6-foot-2, 225-pound rookie completed 22 of 35 passes for 284 yards while showing the ability to consistently scramble away from pressure and deliver strong passes from different — and sometimes absurd — platforms. Mahomes was the first rookie quarterback to start for the Chiefs in a non-strike game since Steve Fuller in 1979.
You and I might disagree on Mahomes’ best moment. For me, it was rolling right, pressure in his face, throwing off balance over the linebacker and in front of the safety and away from the cornerback for a completion to Demarcus Robinson on what turned out to be the game winning drive.
But that’s just me!
Here are 10 other things that were going on the last time the Chiefs won a game with a quarterback they drafted.