Fox Sports television host and Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter demonstrated high praise for the Kansas City Chiefs Thursday morning on First Things First.
"The Chiefs offense is going to be a special offense. ... Patty Mahomes, let's not be mistaken, he is the real deal. He can throw sidearm, he can go over the top, he can throw a fastball. Andy Reid, when he was selling us on Patty Mahomes, he undersold us." — @criscarter80 pic.twitter.com/MZOeKiCL0L— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) August 29, 2019
CARTER: “This is going to be a special offense. When we saw Kurt Warner and ‘The Greatest Show on Turf,’ we know there was going to be a window that they were going to be giving problems. New England, when they had (Randy) Moss, the only thing that stopped it was they couldn’t keep Moss there long enough. But the greatest offenses, typically, you’re going to have a window of three to five years, if the players stay together and you don’t have these other agendas.”
Comparing the Chiefs offense in the upcoming season to the “Greatest Show on Turf” and the Patriots unit that went 16-0 in the regular season may seem too farfetched at first glance, but I have said countless times this offseason that Carter is right—we’re about to witness something historic.
Take Wednesday’s news about Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey following around Tyreek Hill next Sunday, for example. That is indeed the right move, as our own Craig Stout described on Twitter.
He should absolutely travel with him. #1 CB vs #1 WR. That puts Bouye on Watkins -- another good matchup.— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) August 28, 2019
It's the Jack vs Damien, Harrison vs Kelce, and Hayden vs DRob matchups that have the potential to cause serious harm. https://t.co/Sg8KCX9wAv
The problem for opposing teams isn’t taking away one of the Chiefs’ best options. It is that after Hill, defenses will also need to find ways to curb the production of Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman, Damien Williams and maybe even Darwin Thompson.
And while we’re on the topic of Hill, Carter mentioned him as the only potential obstacle he sees between the Chiefs offense and great success.
CARTER: “To me, the only agenda can be Tyreek Hill and him wanting to get more balls—he saw $20 million—he saw Michael Thomas get that. And they were getting ready to give it to him before he went through what he went through. Does he put his [personal agenda] on the back burner to allow to have team success, because [Travis] Kelce knows he’s going to eat. He’s the best receiver that they have, and it’s not an indictment on Tyreek Hill. [Kelce] has proven it year after year—he’s the best tight end in football, and you got to be able to get him the ball. Tyreek Hill, you keep being creative—getting him the ball in the backfield.”
The Chiefs were reportedly working on a “record deal” with Hill this past offseason before off-the-field matters took center stage. But new reports in mid-July said the Chiefs “remained interested” in extending his contract.
Despite the thoughtful case made by Carter, I doubt that Hill has much of an agenda when it comes to wanting more targets. Even after Hill’s tumultuous offseason, many Chiefs fans welcomed him back with open arms, and rather than releasing him quickly following the news of an off-the-field situation, the team instead allowed the situation play out. As is well known now, the NFL could not find enough evidence against Hill to warrant a suspension.
Right or wrong, I think Hill appreciates that initial decision, and the bottom line is that if the Chiefs are a championship contender in 2019 (regardless of a single player’s production), they will want to keep that core together. It’s also worth noting here that there were plenty of yards to go around last season—Hill eclipsed 1,400 and Kelce 1,300.
CARTER: “They have so many weapons, but Patty Mahomes—let’s not be mistaken. He’s the real deal. This is not a guy who’s just going to have one good season. He can throw the ball to so many different parts of the field. His arm angle—he can change it—he can throw sidearm, he can go over the top, he can throw a fastball. Watch how many times he throws a ball about three quarters. It looks like he just lands the ball over the defender’s hair, putting it the perfect spot for the offensive player being able to do something with it. I’m thoroughly impressed, and Andy Reid when he was selling us on Patty Mahomes, he undersold us.”
Underselling Patrick Mahomes prior to last year would have been a classic Andy Reid move, but I don’t think he (or the Chiefs) really did. Remember: at the time of the Alex Smith trade, he was coming off the best season of his career, and fans and media alike had only seen one game from Mahomes (Week 17 in 2017). In that game, Mahomes showcased some dazzling plays but did not record a touchdown.
Because of that scenario, I’ve always thought Reid and the Chiefs strategically decided to throw their unrelenting support behind the first-year starter.
Rather than using his typical we’ll-see approach, Reid compared Mahomes to Brett Favre, and general manager Brett Veach famously called him “one of the best players [he’s] ever seen.”
The rest is history—Mahomes went on to win MVP, and he’s the odds-on favorite to repeat in 2019.