One hundred ninth: That’s where this Patrick Mahomes game ranks by EPA per drive among all his career starts. (He’s started 109 games.)
The bells are ringing, the horns are blaring, and the Chiefs Offensive Consternation Train is leaving the station.
I’ve spent all season on Chiefs Are Gonna Be Fine Boat. I’ve acknowledged that this Chiefs offense is worse than it’s been in seasons past, and worse than it should be, given how good Mahomes is—but I’ve still believed that Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid can lift the unit come playoff time. This is my last chance to switch sides, but I think I’m gonna stay on this boat. I won’t be surprised at all by a competent Chiefs offense in the playoffs, as Reid pulls trick after trick out of his sleeve to keep this unit afloat.
But man, from my view on Chiefs Are Gonna Be Fine Boat (which is increasingly becoming Chiefs Are Gonna Be Fine Island), this is harrowing stuff. Mahomes is second-guessing reads and open receivers like I never thought he would, and the offensive line is a legitimate liability. Kansas City needs to rediscover its running game, badly.
Troy Frankllin, WR
Weight: 187 pounds
Fit: Another week, another disappointing outing for the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense. This unit lacks size, speed and reliability throughout the depth chart.
Troy Franklin brings reliability, college production and the ability to affect all three levels of the field for Mahomes.
Kansas City Chiefs (9-6)
Week 17 opponent: vs. Cincinnati (8-7); Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Kansas City clinches playoff berth and AFC West division title with:
KC win or tie OR
LV loss or tie + DEN loss or tie
Kansas City Chiefs
The inconsistent offense is getting to Patrick Mahomes: This has been trending in that direction in recent weeks, but the problems came full circle for Mahomes in Monday’s loss. Mahomes was pressured on 22 dropbacks and went 5 of 13 for 31 yards with a touchdown (72.3 rating), also having a dropped interception. The Chiefs offensive line gave up 18 pressures and had Mahomes scrambling for his life, adding to his frustration. Receivers can’t get open and the turnovers are piling up, as Mahomes played a significant role in both the Raiders’ defensive touchdowns. Mahomes is trying to do way too much, but he may not have a choice.
PICK NO. 31: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: EDGE FELIX ANUDIKE-UZOMAH
Overall Rookie Grade: 52.5 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: Jermaine Eluemunor
Week 16 Snaps: 4
Week 16 Grade: 56.0
Anudike-Uzomah didn’t record any pressure across four pass-rushing snaps in the Chiefs’ upset loss to the Raiders.
Around the NFL
Belichick has expressed doubt about his future in New England to his staff at various points over the last few weeks, according to the Boston Sports Journal. The report adds that the head coach has yet to sit down with ownership to discuss what the future may bring once the 2023 campaign officially comes to a close.
Publicly, Belichick has largely dismissed any questions regarding his future, but there has been plenty of smoke that Robert Kraft could part ways with the legendary head coach after this year. CBS Sports lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones reported earlier this month that people around the NFL believe Belichick is coaching in his final games with the Patriots, but the manner of his departure is the only true mystery yet to be revealed.
8. Sam Howell’s slide is dragging Eric Bieniemy down with him
There was only one reason why Eric Bieniemy left his great situation in Kansas City for the chaos and uncertainty in Washington. He saw it as a necessary step on his long, tortured quest to become a head coach. He could run his own offense, develop his own quarterback and prove his worth outside of Andy Reid’s shadow.
It might have worked, too — if only his quarterback and offense hadn’t collapsed.
The 54-year-old Bieniemy will soon be out of a job, along with the rest of Ron Rivera’s staff, and with new owner Josh Harris apparently intent on a total housecleaning, he’s unlikely to be Rivera’s successor. And the way things have gone with quarterback Sam Howell and the Commanders over the past month or so, it’s hard to imagine many of the teams looking for a new head coach this offseason will be knocking on Bieniemy’s door.
That was always the risk when he chose to leave a Super Bowl contender for a Commanders team in transition. But Rivera promised him total control of the offense, an “assistant head coach” title and real responsibilities that would help prepare him for the top job.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18th)
Remember when we were saying that the Buccaneers should trade Mike Evans to Kansas City because of how bad they were? What a time to be alive.
12. Seattle Seahawks (17th)
Still looks safe for a playoff spot.
13. Jacksonville Jaguars (10th)
Destined for a first-round exit in the playoffs.
14. Houston Texans (11th)
The CJ Stroud injury has ruined their season.
A tweet to make you think
Boy do I have the stat for you:— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) December 27, 2023
Mahomes is completing 27% of his passes thrown 20 or more yards downfield (PFF)
Tied w/ Baker Mayfield for lowest completion% on deep passes this season among full-time starters
Mahomes is registering a 28.9 passer rating on deep throws this yr https://t.co/lJX47Rl0i5