Lamar Jackson has wowed the NFL this season and is the runaway frontrunner for NFL MVP, an honor Patrick Mahomes took home in his first year starting last season in 2018. However, if the question is over the next 5 years who would you take; the answer goes a little deeper than what have you done for me lately.
What happened to Mahomes?
Patrick Mahomes hasn’t been 100% since injuring his ankle in week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Chiefs offense has also been hampered by numerous injuries such as Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins (as always), Eric Fisher, Damien Williams, and now Andrew Wylie. Meanwhile, we must acknowledge that to start the season last year the Chiefs had Kareem Hunt and Mitch Morse who are both badly missed. The interior offensive line of Andrew Wylie and Austin Reiter hasn’t been the plug and play we thought it would be and even Laurent Duvernay-Tardif hasn’t played anywhere close to expectations this season. The offense is getting healthy at the right time and are trying to be more of a complimentary unit to the defense than just a juggernaut. What that means is that they want first downs, to win time of possession, and give their defense a blow so they’re not left hung out to dry.
Patrick Mahomes is still the prolific quarterback we saw last season despite the injuries, but just playing a slightly different brand of football with a slightly less talented offense when it comes to his offensive line, backfield mates, and dare we mention the backup tight end. Is it okay if we say we miss Demetrius Harris or are we not at that point in our backup tight end therapy session yet? However, unlike last season, this is a more cohesive team that isn’t relying on one side of the ball to do all the work. This is a complimentary football team that works together with the offense helping the defense and vice versa. If the offense takes shot plays all the time instead of the easy first down throw, then the defense is on the field more plays and wears down. It’s not an easy concept to grasp nor explain to the casual fan, but it’s real and has to be taken into account now that for the first time in a long time, the Chiefs have a legitimate defense!