Let's Overreact to the Chiefs Week 1 Victory

Week 1 in the NFL is in the books and, man, it did not disappoint. So many great games, upsets, and nail-biters has me hyped up for this season. However, along with all the exciting news that we will hear throughout the week, we will also be hearing a lot of hot takes and overreactions from week 1. Like this:

After making the Superbowl last year, neither the Rams or the Bengals will make the playoffs this year.

The Offensive Rookie of the Year award will go to Browns kicker, Cade York.

The NFC West will go from one of the best divisions in football to one of the worst this year.

All of Aaron Rodgers' success was because of Davante Adams.

Now, most of these are overreactions, but a lot of them can come true! That is the downside of week 1. So let’s take some time to look at the Chiefs blowout win against the Arizona Cardinals and work through what is an overreaction and what is true. Let’s overreact!

This is going to be Patrick Mahomes best year yet.

Not an overreaction. I've been watching Patrick Lavon Mahomes sling the ball around for the last 4 seasons. I have seen him make ridiculous throws, crazy plays out of structure, and much more. However, I have never seen him navigate the pocket as well as he did against the Cardinals defense. One of Mahomes’ biggest flaws in the NFL so far has been his pocket presence; drifting back too far, leaving the pocket too early, being antsy and impatient. But on Sunday, he was cool, calm, and collected the whole game. Standing strong in the pocket even while under pressure and delivering perfect throws to his receivers. I know that the Cardinals pass rush is nothing to be intimidated about, but watching Mahomes step up into the pocket instead of drifting back or scrambling around was beautiful to see and I think that evolution in his game will not only produce his best season, but will lead to another MVP season for the best quarterback in the league.

The Chiefs will have 5 players with at least 600 yards receiving.

Not an overreaction. I went back and forth a lot on this one. Since Mahomes started in 2018, it has been the Kelce/Hill show as far as receivers go. Since Mahomes has taken over as QB, only 4 receivers have eclipsed that 600+ yard mark in a single season. Hill and Kelce have both had at least 800 yards receiving every year since 2018. The other two? Sammy Watkins in 2019 (673) and Mecole Hardman in 2021 (693). Mahomes has never had more than 3 receivers hit 600 yards in a single season. Up until this point, the offense has been Kelce and Hill getting the lion's share of the targets. With Hill gone, he takes with him 159 targets and 1,239 yards from last year. Kelce will still get his looks and, barring injury, should have another 1,000+ yard campaign. On top of that, there’s Byron Pringle who had 60 targets and 568 yards, Darrel Williams who had 57 targets and 452 yards, and Demarcus Robinson with 41 targets and 264 yards. Altogether, the Chiefs have 345 targets and 2,684 yards to replace. The question we heard all offseason was "Who is going to replace Hill?" and all throughout camp we continued to hear the players and staff answer that with "Not one guy, but multiple guys." That answer came to fruition week 1. 9 players with at least 1 reception. 6 players with at least 25 yards receiving. 4 players with at least 1 touchdown. Mahomes has never had this much trust in his pass-catchers before and I think the biggest area that you see that is in the red zone. The Chiefs struggled scoring touchdowns in the red zone last year and if you watched their games, they always tried to run some sort of trick play at the goal line. Not so in week 1. All touchdown passes were within 7 yards of the goal line and not one play involved any kind of trickeration (maybe the underhand to Clyde, but that is a Chiefs staple at this point). It was just great scheming and getting their players in winnable matchups. That is something that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Mahomes trusts and has a strong connection with every pass-catcher on the field for maybe the first time in his career, which means that defenses will not know who to focus on throughout the game. And that is going to make for a fun season.

The Chiefs will have a top defense this year.

Overreaction. "But we just saw this defense hold the high-scoring Arizona offense to 21 points" (14 of which came in the 4th quarter). I loved what I saw from the defense, especially the rookies and the pass rush, but hear me out, the Cardinals offense that we saw on Sunday was only a shell of their real offense. They were missing 2 of their top 3 receivers in Deandre Hopkins and Rondale Moore and Zach Ertz was in and out of practice this last week and was possibly limited to a pitch count on Sunday. Now, I am not as high on the Cardinals as the national media is (I have a lot to say about Kyler Murray that we don’t need to get into), but you have to admit that with those players on the field this offense becomes much more intimidating. All that said, I still think this could be one of the better defenses Mahomes has had, but with this many young players there will be some learning curves that will lead to more of an up and down season for the defense.

The Chiefs are going to dominate their way to another AFC West Championship.

Overreaction. I could be opening myself up to eat crow on this one. The Chiefs looked excellent on Sunday and if that’s all I had seen, then I would be adamant that the Chiefs will run the table in the AFC West and coast their way to another Division Title. But they weren’t the only AFC West team that played in week 1. The Chargers and Raiders opened the season against each in a close battle with the Chargers coming out on top 24-19. Both of these teams look good. We knew the Chargers offense was going to put up points (personally, I think they have a lot more to show than what they put out on Sunday), but it was the defense that impressed the most. 6 sacks, 3 picks, and 3 forced fumbles (Raiders ended up recovering all of them). This defense looks nasty. Granted, the Raiders o-line has a lot of questions, but that defense is still something to prepare for. After watching the Broncos performance my initial reaction is to say "New QB, same Broncos" but you have to think that that offense finds a way to put everything together. It also has been proven that these teams bring out their best when they play against the Chiefs, so you can’t count any of them out. I still think that the Chiefs are the best team in the AFC West and they will win the division for the 7th straight year, but every divisional game is going to be a battle to the end.

This is the Clyde Edwards-Helaire the Chiefs drafted.

Not an overreaction. This is the one I am most excited about. I love Clyde and for the past two seasons I have had to admit the possibility of that pick being a bust. I have an article sitting in my drafts discussing whether or not there is still hope for Clyde. After watching him play on Sunday, there is hope! This is the first full offseason that Clyde has had (2020 virtual offseason thanks to Covid and he underwent gallbladder surgery the offseason after his rookie campaign that kept him limited throughout the summer) and you can tell. Now, will he ever be an every down, workhorse running back? Probably not, but the Chiefs don’t need that. If you watched his movement against the Cardinals, you saw that his quickness and explosiveness is back. That short-area agility that we all loved about him coming out of LSU was there! He was confident in his reads and running after the catch. He averaged 6 yards per carry and caught all 3 of his targets for 32 yards and 2 scores. This is the Clyde they drafted and I can’t wait to see how he develops over the course of this season.

All in all, I think what we saw out of this Chiefs team in week 1 is only scratching the surface of what this team can be. I am a huge fan of the efficiency on offense and the potential of the young players on defense. The Chiefs made a huge statement to the rest of the league and should be right up there as Superbowl contenders.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.