6 - Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Age 26
Deep attempts: 27-of-66, 916 yards, 7:2 TD-to-INT ratio, 111 passer rating
PASSING SCORE (on deep attempts): 93
It’s 2022, and by this point, we know how Mahomes creates his success: By getting out and running before launching beautiful strikes to his teammates. Mahomes picked up more than a third of his deep yards by firing passes from outside the tackle box — and he wasn’t afraid to do so quite often, finishing with the third-most deep attempts from outside the box. His 262 deep passing yards on scrambles led the NFL in 2021, and he feasted on Cover 2 defenses, posting a 133 passer rating on deep passes down the seams and picking up 661 deep passing yards against two-high safety shells.
Unfortunately for Kansas City, the trend that began in Super Bowl LV continued into 2021. Mahomes struggled against the blitz, posting a 60.9 deep passer rating on such attempts. Mahomes is far from alone in this regard, but it does reveal a weakness for teams to potentially exploit — if they have a secondary strong enough to cover downfield with fewer defenders available to eliminate passing windows.
Mahomes will have to find a way to replicate his downfield success without Tyreek Hill, but K.C. has thrown plenty of resources at attempting to make up for Hill’s production. Don’t worry, Chiefs fans: Mahomes still has Travis Kelce available to cause headaches down the seams. Perhaps a shorter offense — while it goes against the logic of this production — will help dissuade defenses from blitzing and maximize Mahomes’ production without the lethal threat of Hill in 2022.
The best I’ve felt in a long time !!— The_Juan_And_Only (@Juan_Thornhill) May 31, 2022
The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback tossed 37 touchdowns last season, tying him for the fourth most of any signal caller. His 4,839 passing yards ranked fourth, and it was no surprise that he was voted to his fourth straight Pro Bowl. The one note of concern in his stats from 2021 is the number of interceptions he threw, 13, the most in his career. Still, much of that can be attributed to Mahomes carrying a heavier burden as parts of the offense slowed down. Still, he’s got the second-best odds of any player to win the MVP award this season.
Patrick Mahomes MVP odds: +900
Should you bet on Patrick Mahomes for MVP?
Yes. Tyreek Hill’s departure is going to make some more cautious about Mahomes’ prospects, but he’s arguably got a more well-rounded group of receivers around him this season. That includes key additions like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marques Valdez-Scantling and rookie Skyy Moore, and he’s still got the reliable Travis Kelce at tight end. Across the board, AFC West teams made huge investments in their offenses; that’s likely going to result in more high-scoring division games, not to mention duels against other offensive powerhouses like Buffalo and Cincinnati. The Chiefs offense is going to be asked to do a lot this year, and that flows through their quarterback.
58. Patrick Mahomes won’t set any new career highs except …
For Total QBR. Or DVOA, or any of the metrics you’d like to take into account that consider factors such as opponent, time of game and situation. This year we see a massive leap from Mahomes as a conductor of his own orchestra.
59. The Eagles’ coaching and front-office staff will be the most interviewed this offseason
Shane Steichen, Jonathan Gannon, Dave Caldwell, Alec Halaby, Andy Weidl. When teams start looking to fill vacancies, many of them are going to be pawing at the door in Philadelphia.
The Chiefs have been the Bills’ kryptonite during Buffalo’s transformation to contender. Kansas City beat Buffalo in the 2020 AFC Championship, then edged the Bills 42-36 in the divisional round of the 2021 playoffs.
Unlike the Bills, who extended top wide receiver Stefon Diggs this offseason, securing Allen’s favorite target for the long haul, the Chiefs enter 2022 with a remade pass-catching corps after trading perennial Pro Bowler Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins.
Financial terms of Williams’ contract were not disclosed.
Edmonds and Conner were both unrestricted free agents this offseason. While Conner re-signed with the Cardinals on a three-year, $21 million contract, Edmonds left Arizona to sign a two-year, $12.1 million deal with the Miami Dolphins.
The Cardinals’ depth chart at running back also includes Keaontay Ingram, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2022 draft, and Eno Benjamin.
Williams was the leading rusher for the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2021 season while competing for carries with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Derrick Gore and Jerick McKinnon. He finished the regular season with 558 yards and six touchdowns, but a toe injury kept him from contributing much during the playoffs.
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He’s also a newly minted champion, and perfectly content with walking away. It is important to note though, as Donald explained it during an appearance on Brandon Marshall’s “I Am Athlete” podcast, this isn’t some sudden leverage play.
“It ain’t about the money, but it’s a business at the end of the day,” Donald said. “That’s what you’ve got to see. For me, it’s about winning. I don’t want to play football if I can’t win anyway, so I feel like if I got a real opportunity to win another Super Bowl, then it makes sense to play. But again, it’s still a business. We’ve got to handle the business side of things, and if that wasn’t to get handled then, you know, it is what it is type of situation. I’ll be fine regardless.
“But me talking about retirement, that was happening way before we won a Super Bowl. I’ve been saying that since I got into the league that I was going to play eight years and be done. That’s just what I’ve been saying. It just came out and then everybody think that, ‘Oh, he said if he wins a Super Bowl he’s going to retire.’ Nah, I got teammates, coaches, my family who know about this. I said I’m going to play eight years, and I’m going to probably be done playing football.”
According to the lawsuit, the woman changed her mind about suing Watson after watching HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” last week. On that show, two other women, Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes, who have also accused Watson of inappropriate sexual conduct, criticized the Browns for giving the quarterback an NFL-record $230 million guaranteed contract after trading for him in March.
“It’s just like a big ‘screw you,’” Solis told HBO.
Leah Graham, one of Watson’s attorneys, told HBO that Watson has “no regrets because he did nothing wrong.”
“In that piece, plaintiff was struck by the courage of the victims willing to step forward and speak and was extremely displeased by Watson and his legal team’s mistreatment and revictimization of the plaintiffs,” the latest lawsuit states. “But it was Watson himself claiming that even now he has ‘no regrets’ and has done nothing wrong that solidified her resolve. She brings this case seeking minimum compensation, but to obtain a court finding that Watson’s conduct was wrong.”
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Undrafted rookie Justyn Ross is the most talked-about player and has received the most hype from the Chiefs’ social media team. Daurice Fountain is a possibility after playing well in last year’s preseason. Cornell Powell and Josh Gordon are looking to bounce back from disappointing attempts to make an impact in 2021.
Yet, there’s one name with NFL experience that hasn’t been brought up much — until quarterback Patrick Mahomes was prompted to talk about wide receiver Justin Watson last Thursday.
“Watson’s been a pleasant surprise for me; that dude can roll,” Mahomes insisted to reporters. “I remember he came down to Texas and I threw with him the first day, and I called Veach and I was like ‘wait, how fast is this guy?’ because he was running so fast I was late on my throws.”
Watson is a 26-year-old, fifth-year player that was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round after playing four seasons at the University of Penn. In four years with the Bucs, Watson totaled 23 catches and 258 yards with two touchdowns.