There’s no shortage of teams that think quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ surprising rookie season will lead to a championship banner at their stadium. But Mahomes, who’s set to earn more than $18 million this season, isn’t one of them. Not yet.
In spite of the assumptions that 2017 was a mere detour for the Chiefs, who overcame numerous injuries to become the first team since the 2007 Lions to make the playoffs after starting 0-4, Mahomes doesn’t believe that’s the case.
And as 2019 begins, there are other encouraging signs for a more promising season for the Chiefs in 2019. There’s the ground game, which underperformed last season but has at least the potential to feature early pair of starters in Spencer Ware and Damien Williams, both of whom have combined for more than 6,000 total yards since entering the league in 2014.
There’s the extra pair of first-round picks in the 2019 draft. The Chiefs own the No. 1 pick, which they received from the Colts in the 2017 draft when they traded Aaron Rodgers to Green Bay, and that’s a draft-day bonus that could easily result in an All-Pro level athlete early on in his NFL career. A top prospect, if none is ready to start Week 1, could get the Chiefs a chance to shop for one of a bunch of underrated free agents, like Dolphins guard Josh Sitton, who’s expected to be out of work when the legal tampering period begins next week.
There’s the addition of tight end Travis Kelce to join receiver Tyreek Hill, who already has a Super Bowl MVP and eight scoring receptions in 11 career postseason games.
The time off as the NFL’s regular season is on the verge of beginning means more time for coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith, who’s entering the final year of his contract, to devise a game plan that will get Mahomes used to the intricacies of the offense and get him ready to fulfill his promise.
“They have always left us an opportunity for the offense to grow,” Mahomes said recently when discussing the Chiefs’ preseason plans, “and that’s what we’ve done all along throughout this process.”