The Kansas City Chiefs entered a brave new world on Sunday afternoon, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked ready to conquer it.
Patrick Mahomes was supposed to be a diminished talent without his star wide receiver. It didn’t turn out that way, at least not in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals.
In the desert at State Farm Stadium, Mahomes went great guns, throwing for 360 yards on 30-of-39 passing with five touchdowns and zero interceptions. Mahomes led the league in both passer rating and QBR for the weekend, all while leading Kansas City to an impressive 44-21 triumph.
Moving forward, the tests are only going to get more difficult. For starters, the Chiefs come home to open up at Arrowhead Stadium with the Los Angeles Chargers on a short week. After that, it’s consecutive road games against a pair of divisional favorites in the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, before home dates with the Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills in Week 5 and 6.
Patrick Mahomes was dominant without Tyreek Hill against the Cardinals
Still, Mahomes’ initial performance in the post Tyreek Hill era has to erase most doubts about both he and Kansas City moving forward. Without Hill, the Chiefs focused on spreading the ball around, with nine different players catching at least one pass, including four different men nabbing touchdown receptions including a pair for third-year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Again, it’s one game. At some juncture, the Chiefs are certain to miss Hill’s mismatches and the explosiveness he creates. But Kansas City has made clear it can continue to thrive with a new way of operating, with the results being devastatingly familiar.