It seems unfathomable that anyone could play as long and at the level that Brady has, but could Mahomes see himself giving it a run and playing until he’s 45?
“I want to play as long as I can play, and I can still have a chance to help the team get better,” Mahomes said Wednesday, via team transcript. “Obviously, it’s hard to play until you’re 45 years old, and I don’t want to be out there just hanging on. You see what Tom is — he’s still playing at a very high level. I think that’s why it’s hard for him to kind of give it up – when you’re playing at a high level you don’t want to leave it.”
The Super Bowl LV rematch is a battle of heavyweights.
Tom Brady owns the most head-to-head wins (3) over Patrick Mahomes of any active quarterback, and the Tampa Bay defense is playing excellent football. The Buccaneers have allowed the fewest points per game in the NFL this season (9) and rank in the top five in total defense, yards allowed per play, rushing yards allowed per game, sacks and takeaways.
That looks like the Buccaneers should be favored in this game, not the Chiefs, especially after Kansas City scored just 17 points in a surprise loss to Indianapolis last week. However, Mahomes is 5-1 in games played against the No. 1 scoring defense in his career.
Kansas City Chiefs: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
It’s clear the Kansas City Chiefs offense is still figuring out how to best utilize its wide receivers in a post-Tyreek Hill world.
Thus far, the answer is not feeding targets to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The 6’4”, 206-pounder initially appeared to be an ideal addition. While JuJu Smith-Schuster could handle a lot of the short and intermediate routes that were part of the Hill route tree, MVS could be the deep threat who kept defenses honest.
So far, he hasn’t done much to strike fear in the hearts of secondaries.
At this point, Valdes-Scantling is the least efficient of the Chiefs receivers. He’s averaged just 5.8 yards per target and hasn’t seemed to build the kind of rapport and chemistry with Patrick Mahomes.
Instead, familiar face Mecole Hardman has been the best deep threat. He has an average depth of target of 11.7, and Mahomes has a quarterback rating of 110.8 when targeting him. That rating plummets to 72.7 when looking MVS’s way.
Both Justin Watson and Skyy Moore have made plays in limited opportunities. It’s time to start increasing their roles as the Chiefs offense continues to evolve.
WEEK 4 QB POWER RANKINGS
1 - Patrick Mahomes
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QB
The Colts got the best of him in Week 3, but let’s face it: No. 15 remains the most reliable contemporary play-maker at the position. He’s allowed an imperfect outing every once in a while, and his chemistry with new wideouts should only improve.
2 - Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 6
2022 stats: 3 games | 67.9 pct | 857 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 8 pass TD | 1 INT | 30 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble
The Chiefs were hurt by a backup kicker who cost the team four points in a game they lost by three. The offense wasn’t helped by a stagnant ground game, either, but Mahomes struggled to mesh with his gaggle of new wideouts in Sunday’s surprise defeat at Indianapolis. He still pulls off feats few humans would dare — this laser beam to JuJu Smith-Schuster; his Fred Astaire act on the two-point conversion toss to Travis Kelce – but Mahomes was off on a would-be bomb to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, symbolic of an offense that’s struggled to maximize itself two weeks running. I trust the Chiefs to bury their frustrations and figure it out.
Kansas City Chiefs (-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Chiefs are playing consecutive road games as they come off a road loss at Indianapolis. The Bucs lost last week to the Packers in a game where they did little on offense. The Chiefs haven’t been as good on offense this year as in recent years, and will be challenged by the Tampa Bay defense. The Bucs, though, are too limited on offense to win this game.
Pick: Chiefs 23, Bucs 17
No. 5: Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, 2017
Patrick Mahomes’ start to his career is greater than that of any player since Brady. In four seasons, he has won a Super Bowl, a Super Bowl MVP award and a regular-season MVP award. He has led the league in passing touchdowns and been both a first-team and second-team All-Pro. The 27-year-old is largely considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of this era, despite this being his fifth season as a starter.
Watson is currently serving an 11-game suspension after facing more than two dozen allegations of inappropriate conduct and sexual assault during massage sessions. He also sat out the 2021 season, when he was a member of the Houston Texans. On the field, he has ranked as one of the NFL’s top-tier passers as a three-time Pro Bowler, and he led the league in passing in 2020 (4,823 yards). He has 121 combined passing and rushing touchdowns, which is the third most by any player in his first four seasons in NFL history, trailing only Dan Marino and Josh Allen. — Miller
Around the NFL
Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre’s charity, Favre 4 Hope, donated more than $130,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation from 2018 to 2020, according to tax records obtained by ESPN on Wednesday.
During this same period, Favre was trying to raise money for a new volleyball stadium at the university, where he played football and his daughter was on the volleyball team. Funds for that stadium are under scrutiny in the largest public fraud case in Mississippi state history.
Favre 4 Hope, whose mission statement says it provides support “for disadvantaged and disabled children and breast cancer patients,” receives public donations. Tax records show that in 2018, the foundation gave the USM Athletic Foundation $60,000. Every other organization received $10,000. In 2019, the USM Athletic Foundation received $46,817. The next highest donation, to the Special Olympics of Mississippi, was $11,000. The next year, Favre 4 Hope donated $26,175 to the USM Athletic Foundation while no other organization received more than $10,000.
Mitchell Trubisky, Steelers
Trubisky was signed to a two-year, $14.285 million contract worth up to $26.785 million through incentives to help transition from Ben Roethlisberger, who retired after 18 years with the Steelers. Selecting Kenny Pickett with the 20th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft put Trubisky on notice that he wasn’t Pittsburgh’s long-term solution at quarterback.
Pittsburgh’s offense has been struggling with Trubisky under center. Trubisky has been criticized for a reluctance to throw the football down the field. He is averaging a league-worst 5.5 yards per pass attempt. Trubisky also ranks 26th in the NFL with a 60.2 completion percentage and has a 77.7 passer rating, which is 29th.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
But when asked about that “rebuilt” offensive line — and how it compares to that fateful night in 2021 — Barrett couldn’t help but giggle into the camera (11:27 minute mark).
“I really don’t think it’s too much of a difference,” said Barrett. “I think we have a lot of favorable matchups. I think we really have an opportunity to really dominate the game... I just think, yeah, we’ve got an opportunity to really impose our will as pass-rushers, edge rushers in this game. We can really have like a coming-out party. I know we had six sacks the other game, but we can really have a coming-out party as edge defenders in the position group for this game.”
Asked about Barrett’s comments at the podium on Wednesday, Mahomes kept it simple.
“I trust those five guys that we have out there,” he said. “I feel like we have one of the best offensive lines in the league — and we’ll go in there with that mindset.”
Wasting scoring opportunities
Trailing 7-6 with six minutes remaining in the first half, a Kansas City possession entered Indianapolis territory. Then, two pressured dropbacks resulted in two unsuccessful plays — and set up a failure on third down.
This 3-play sequence from late in the 2Q is an example of how Colts' pressure was felt by 15— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) September 27, 2022
The first two drop backs are uncomfortable, making him uneasy on 3rd down. He leaves a manageable pocket and misses Juju coming open over the middle for a would-be big conversion pic.twitter.com/Ynv6raKViT
The Colts’ defensive line had been making Mahomes feel them — so when he drops back on third down, he escapes pressure that isn’t really there.
Without the rush in mind, Mahomes could have stepped up into the wall at the front of the pocket, scanned the field and found Juju Smith-Schuster wide open in the middle.
Instead, he bails to the right after minimal pressure — and then, after the defense has already covered up its initial mistake, attempts to throw it back across the middle of the field. The Chiefs are forced to punt from opposing territory.
After being gifted with another short field to score a touchdown, the Chiefs took a 14-10 lead into the third quarter — and immediately threatened to add to it. Once in the red zone, Kansas City ran seven plays attempting to score — all of them to no avail.
A tweet to make you think
#Chargers pass-rusher Joey Bosa will have surgery imminently from expert Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia to correct a core muscle injury, source said. Recovery time can vary, but Bosa -- on IR -- is out more than a month.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 28, 2022