As best as I can tell, most Kansas City Chiefs fans, followers and team personnel members were on board with Patrick Mahomes as the 2018 starter after seeing him against the Denver Broncos Week 17 last season.
Mahomes’ Week 17 game was chock full of flashes and signs that he was the guy, and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid admitted that was the turning point back in mid-March.
Tight end Travis Kelce never seemed quite as convinced, at one point calling the move to Mahomes “a little awkward.”
Kelce confirmed as much Tuesday on the Dan Patrick Show, when Patrick asked Kelce when he knew Mahomes could be the real deal.
“You’d love to sit here and say as soon as he got into practices and we started seeing him throw the ball all over the place,” Kelce explained to Patrick. “And then when he finally got in the (Week 17) game ... like, ‘Man he’s showing it, this is the guy!’ But I personally—I wasn’t fully on board until that first game (in 2018). It might sound a little bad. Don’t get me wrong. I always go out there and I play my tail off for the guys. He’s a great guy and he’s a hell of a teammate, so I was always going to go out there and give my best for the guy and I had confidence that we could win with him, but in terms of 13 touchdowns in three games? I didn’t see that one coming. It was cool to see him go out to that first game with confidence, sling the ball around, know where he’s going with the ball and just being able to be composed throughout the entire game—ups and downs and everything—I was looking at it and really surprised, and hats off to the guy. He’s the real deal.”
Patrick followed that up by asking Kelce what the difference is between a Mahomes ball and one thrown by Alex Smith.
“A little bit more velocity,” Kelce said, as Patrick laughed. “The biggest difference I would probably say is the deep ball. He throws it a mile and a half. Alex usually liked to get his deep throws up and down before 40 yards. Pat’s ready to sling that thing 70 at any point in the game. He’s just ready to show it off. In your mind, you have to run. There’s no looking for the ball and slowing down.
“Sometimes when you know you’re not getting the ball after like 30 yards downfield [you slow down]. No. With Pat, you have to keep running because it could be coming at any second.”
After a tough Week 1 in which he only recorded one catch for six yards, Kelce has put together excellent back-to-back weeks. He had seven catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns against the Pittsburgh Steelers, followed by an eight-catch, 114-yard performance against the San Francisco 49ers.
I really appreciate whenever athletes are candid, and it was cool to see Kelce staying true to that here.
It’s now safe to say that like everyone else, Kelce is officially on the Mahomes bandwagon.
The Dan Patrick Show airs on AUDIENCE Network, DIRECTV Channel 239 from Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. Arrowhead Time.