Our friends at NFL Network’s Good Morning Football posed the following question on Monday:
What would success look like for Patrick Mahomes in 2019?
AP lobbyist Peter Schrager provided his answer:
SCHRAGER: “I think for me it would be the team goals, and that’s getting to the Super Bowl. That’s really not only success but I feel like the expectation right now in Kansas City. You know I like throwing things out here early on — I’m hearing stuff guys, and I know we’ve been down this road—Sammy Watkins looks incredible. And that could just be spin. That could just be spin and it’s from the local guys and it’s also from people that know the organization very well, saying Sammy’s finally in the best shape of his life— that if there is a Tyreek Hill issue, if Tyreek Hill’s not going to be on the field, if they have to miss him, Sammy Watkins is ready to make that next step, so let’s suggest that Sammy Watkins steps up. Let’s suggest that Tyreek Hill is on the field. Let’s suggest that the running back situation is just fine and let’s suggest that defense gets even better, Super Bowl or bust — that is success for Patrick Mahomes in 2019.”
It is a great question and a better answer from Schrager.
At the age of 23 in his first full season, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes already reached the peak of individual success by becoming the first AP NFL Most Valuable Player in franchise history. Mahomes was the youngest player ever to win the MVP award in the Super Bowl era.
Now, in 2019, it has to be about team success — especially given the Chiefs being a foot away from the Super Bowl last year, plus the career trajectory of Andy Reid. The Chiefs have reached the playoffs in five of Reid’s six years in KC, they have achieved first-round byes and made it to the AFC title game. This season must be Super Bowl or failure.
“Sammy Watkins looks incredible”
What makes Schrager’s words even more interesting is that he mentioned and highlighed wide receiver Sammy Watkins. When Schrager mentioned “local guys,” that can’t mean local reporters — we won’t have the chance to see the Chiefs veterans practice until the first open OTA session on Thursday. He must mean team officials — coaches or staff that have been able to watch Watkins on a daily basis during phase two.
Schrager’s words also fit well with this tweet that came through from the 25-year-old wide receiver over the weekend:
I will be the best this year mark my word I want it more now than I ever did before in my life im sacrificing everything to get to where I once was the world will now get to witness my greatness again..! #STARSHIP14 #LIMITLESS14— King me (@sammywatkins) May 18, 2019
Watkins’ best season came in 2015 with the Buffalo Bills, when he caught 60 passes for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns. Always seeming to miss at least a game or two due to injury in his other four seasons, that was the only one in which he reached 1,000 yards or more.
Watkins played in just 10 games for the Chiefs last season, starting nine and finishing with 40 catches for 519 yards and three touchdowns.
Especially given the uncertainty surrounding the wide receiver room, Schrager’s words about Watkins should mean something to Chiefs fans. But I don’t think it has ever been an ability question when it comes to Watkins — rather much more so about durability.
If Watkins can stay on the field for a full season, I think many are already aware of what he is capable of achieving — especially with the league MVP.