Patrick Mahomes continues Week 1 dominance against Cardinals
Not only does Mahomes have the most touchdowns (18) without an interception in Week 1, but his five games with at least three pass TDs and no INTs also tie Peyton Manning and Tom Brady for the most since 1950.
The one distinct difference between those names: Brady has played in the opening week 19 times. Manning did so 17 times. Mahomes? Five. He’s 5-for-5 in Week 1. In fact, Brees is the only other player with even 15 passing scores in Week 1 over any five-season span; he had 16 from 2008-2012.
Mahomes has the highest completion percentage (72.5), pass yards per game (308.4), pass yards per attempt (9.2), pass TD-INT ratio (18-0) and passer rating (136.9) in Week 1 games among quarterbacks with 150+ such pass attempts in the Super Bowl era.
Winner: The Mahomes-Tyreek Split
The Jacksonville Jaguars inadvertently tore apart one of the NFL’s best teams. After Christian Kirk signed with the Jags for $72 million, all the other, better wide receivers in the league started wondering why they were getting paid so little. Soon, the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins, who were willing to make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, leaving Patrick Mahomes without his top target. How would the two exes look in Week 1?
Mahomes seemed completely unbothered without Hill, throwing for 360 yards and five touchdowns against the Cardinals. He still has Travis Kelce, who went for 121 yards and a touchdown. And new additions JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling combined for 10 catches and 123 yards in their Chiefs debuts. Maybe Kansas City’s 488 yards and 44 points tell us a lot about Arizona’s defense—but it seems like Patrick Mahomes is gonna keep doing Patrick Mahomes stuff, even without his top receiver. Here he was celebrating his fourth touchdown, unaware he’d soon throw a fifth:
Winner: Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs quarterback is basically unstoppable in Week 1. Thanks to Kansaas City’s win over the Cardinals, Mahomes is now 5-0 in Week 1 and the Chiefs have averaged 37.8 points per game in those wins. In those five games, Mahomes has thrown 18 touchdown passes and zero interceptions, including FIVE on Sunday. He clearly doesn’t seem to be missing Tyreek Hill.
Former Rutgers teammates like Tyreem Powell had just gotten out of practice. Still, they figured they had to try to Facetime their old friend after he had 12 carries for 62 rushing yards — and a touchdown — in his NFL debut during Sunday’s 44-21 Chiefs win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Pacheco did more than pick up the call. He answered and then celebrated with his pals — right then and there — while letting raw emotion come through.
He hovered over the phone, pounding his chest and roaring as they shouted back at him. “You feel me? You feel me?” he barked, smiling as teammates JuJu Smith-Schuster and Jody Fortson popped into the background of his screen to dance alongside him.
“Dreams come true,” Pacheco said a few minutes later, in front of his locker at State Farm Stadium. “Just blessed. Couldn’t do it without God and my family — and most definitely, foremost, the offensive line.”
“Ultimate competitor, man,” safety Justin Reid said. “I mean, even on practice days, it doesn’t matter what it is. The guy is going to play to win. He’s very special, man. The arm talent, the mindset, the mentality, the way he’s able to just manage the game then know when to make a splash play and make all the throws.
“I call it Mahomes Magic, man. You just never know what’s going to happen, but he’s going to get it done. It’s very fun as a defender to know that you have a quarterback like that leading your offense.”
Staley stressed that he hasn’t put an emphasis on what two divisional wins to start the year could do for his team. He’s trying to build the Chargers in a manner where they “can take anybody on” and be known more as “a team than a roster.” The reality is that it would be impossible for the Chargers not to understand the gravity of this situation, especially with star wide receiver Keenan Allen nursing a hamstring injury heading into Thursday’s game in Kansas City and Jackson having a 50-50 shot to play in the contest after missing Week 1 as he recovers from ankle surgery. Like the Buffalo Bills did in whipping the Rams last Thursday night, this is the Chargers’ opportunity to tell the league what they’re all about this year.
Staley knew the Raiders would be a difficult opener. The Chiefs — who just watched star quarterback Patrick Mahomes throw five touchdown passes in a 44-21 win over Arizona — present an even tougher challenge. However, these are the kinds of moments that will tell the second-year head coach precisely how far his team has come since last season. If he’s fortunate, he’ll come away with greater clarity about where his squad is heading in the not so distant future.
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Nathaniel (can’t?) Hackett
At least not in this game. We thought Vic Fangio was bad at in-game and clock management. Hackett said “hold my beer.” Holy smokes. The play calls took forever to get into the huddle causing the delay of games. Horrible play calling inside in the 10-yard line on two consecutive trips. And then whatever the hell we saw at the end of the game. What’s the point of trading for Wilson and extending him and then not giving him the ball on fourth-and-5 with 20 seconds remaining? Instead, you attempt a 64-yard field goal? Really? Not to mention the costly penalties on both sides of the ball.
The Broncos looked like a team that hadn’t played and wasn’t prepared.
At least he got a little better over the course of the game? To be fair, Darby couldn’t get much worse.
The decision to kick a 64-field goal
I’m sorry, I can’t let this go. You have Wilson as your QB and you willingly decide to kick a 64-yard field goal? As Aaron Schatz pointed out, the win probability for a pass is 36.1%. The win probably kicking a 64-field goal was 7.9%. Take win probability out of it, and it’s still a dumbass decision. As Warren Sharp pointed out, on Brandon McManus’s last six attempts of 62 yards or longer, he’s missed all of them. The miss isn’t on McManus; why the eff is he kicking it?
The Broncos lost a game they should have won, and the head coach looked completely out of his element.
Given that timeline, Prescott is looking at a return date of Oct. 30 vs. the Chicago Bears at the earliest, but it’s more likely to be Nov. 13 against the Green Bay Packers in Mike McCarthy’s return to Lambeau Field. The team has a Week 9 bye.
Prescott suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys’ 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after his hand twice hit the hand of linebacker Shaq Barrett. After a screen pass to Ezekiel Elliott, Prescott went to the sideline because he could no longer grip the ball.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Speaking to the media Monday on a Zoom conference call, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo complimented several of his rookie players for their efforts.
“Bryan Cook stuck out in a couple of things he did — he made some tackles,” said Spagnuolo. “Jaylen [Watson] going in and Josh [Williams] having to go in a little bit, I thought they all did a nice job. George [Karlaftis] was solid. He came right up to me after and gave me the two or three things he did wrong, which is George — he’s always going to try to get better, but I thought he helped us a little bit... Leo [Chenal] got in there and got a couple of snaps in our base defense and some at the end when we got ahead.”
According to Pro Football Focus, rookie starter Trent McDuffie accumulated 21 snaps in coverage, and he was not targeted once before he left the game due to pulling his hamstring, per Spagnuolo.
“I thought he was real solid,” said Spagnuolo of McDuffie. “What was challenging for us a little bit was because they did some tempo — was getting the calls, and I think that was new to Trent, and that was a little bit of a struggle early, but once we got that calmed down, I thought he did a nice job.”
With McDuffie out of the game, Watson allowed one reception on two targets in 25 coverage snaps, including a pass breakup down the right sideline. Williams allowed one reception on two targets in 12 coverage snaps.
A tweet to make you think
Mahomes. Insane. But maybe only the 8th best throw of the week pic.twitter.com/fXKwSrhwVj— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) September 13, 2022