“Patrick Mahomes – OUT” – those are the words no Chiefs fan wanted to hear. Heck, those are the words no football fan wanted to hear. Those (me) who had him in fantasy were crushed and those who gambled on the Chiefs to win it all are now doubling down on New England. The reigning 2018 NFL MVP was officially diagnosed with a dislocated patella aka knee-cap, an injury he sustained in the 2nd quarter on Thursday against the Broncos. Mahomes was heard yelling “it’s out … it’s out”, referring to his dislocation (ouch!) and after getting the knee-cap back to where it’s supposed to be, he was able to walk off on his own. At the moment, he will be out at least three weeks, six weeks at the very most … which is a bummer for us all. Not only is Mahomes one of the best players in the league, he’s one of the most exciting.
Mahomes entered the league with a confidence that a phenom like him should have … and the world has a way to humble us all. Mahomes has only played one full season, but it’s one of the best in NFL history. He became the 3rd person ever to throw for 50 touchdowns and became the 5th person ever to throw for 5,000 yards, so when it came to confidence and expectations … you can imagine it was through-the-roof. Mahomes likes to takes gambles down the field (because he an an absolute cannon of an arm) and while those plays develop, Mahomes is usually moving around, evading tackles and throwing the ball at insane angles. Mahomes was already playing on an injured ankle that occurred during a 13-16 loss to the Colts, so he was’t his usual elusive-self. Mahomes is no Mike Vick out there, but he is very athletic, can evade would-be tacklers, and has fantastic pocket-presence.
Luckily for Mahomes, he is still just 24 years of age and can heal faster than other QB’s in the league. In fact, Mahomes’ age equals the number of NFL games he has under his belt, 24 (18 wins, 6 losses), so time is on Mahomes side here. Mahomes can take these three weeks to heal his ankle and his knee and be ready for the postseason. This Mahomes injury should change the way he plays … a little bit. The AFC West seems to be a shit-show aside from the Chiefs, so there is no rush on Mahomes to come back and be the MVP he was last year, though there is little doubt he won’t try. Mahomes should not feel the need to put himself in situations where he can get hit and re-injure the ankle, so though he will still be aggressive, I expect him to dial it down a little bit.
With the Raiders loss on Sunday, the Chiefs now have a 3-game lead in the division, so the AFC West title is not really in question. The real question is can they hang in there for the #2 seed. The Bills have the second best record in the AFC at 5-1, but with the Patriots in their division, that actually helps out the Chiefs. I think the Chiefs are good enough to go 3-1 through their bye in Week 12 … even if Mahomes misses all four games (the one loss I see for the Chiefs is next week against the 6-1 Packers). That will still put them at three losses, with the Patriots game looming in Week 14.
Before today, I thought the Chiefs biggest rival for the #2 seed is the Houston Texans, but after watching the Ravens beat the Seahawks on the road, I feel it’s between those two now. The Texans currently have three losses, with a tough game coming up in Week 11 against the Ravens in Baltimore, so this will make or break someone’s season (potentially). The Texans also play the Patriots in Week 13, but it’s a home game, and the schedule is pretty easy after that. The Colts are currently in a good position to potentially battle KC as they have a relatively easy schedule, but they face some battles later on in the season (Week 12 @ Texans & Week 16 @ Saints). The Ravens are tied with the Chiefs right now at 5-2, but they still have to play the last two unbeaten teams in the NFL. After a bye in Week 8, the Ravens host the Patriots in Week 9 and then play the Texans, Rams, 49ers, and Bills in a four-week span. If the Ravens are going to overtake the Chiefs, that stretch will determine if they can.
|RAVENS schedule||Wk||chiefs schedule|
|@ Seahawks (W, 30-16)||7||@ Broncos (W, 30-6)|
|BYE WEEK||8||vs Packers (6-1)|
|vs Patriots (6-0)||9||vs Vikings (5-2)|
|@ Bengals (0-7)||10||@ Titans (2-4)|
|vs Texans (4-3)||11||@ Chargers (2-4)|
|@ Rams (4-3)||12||BYE WEEK|
|vs 49ers (6-0)||13||vs Raiders (3-3)|
|@ Bills (5-1)||14||@ Patriots (6-0)|
|vs Jets (1-4)||15||vs Broncos (2-5)|
|@ Browns (2-4)||16||@ Bears (4-2)|
|vs Steelers (2-4)||17||vs Chargers (2-4)|
The Chiefs and Mahomes have a good chance to hang on to the 2 seed. I really only see two losses on their schedule (Packers, Patriots), but the resurgent-Vikings will put up a good fight … so that game is not a gimme. Let’s hope that Mahomes is back in three weeks instead of six and I speak for everyone here … we can’t wait to have you back, Mahomie.
aka Brandon Rosenthal