Little was known on how the Kansas City Chiefs would do this season. They traded away their starting quarterback, Alex Smith, to the Washington Redskins. The team also brought in veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins to assist returning receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. Both Hill and Kelce are special talents, but the biggest question was who would be throwing them the football? The Chiefs drafted former Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes back in the 2017 1st round. The thinking was he would be ready for whenever Smith was no longer leading them. With that being said, the Chiefs decided it was time to move on. Mahomes entered as one of the quarterbacks many wondered about because of his lack of exposure in the NFL. Well through three games, he has proven he is ready, amassing 896 yards with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. So how is he getting this done?
Mahomes was very lucky to be drafted under Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. The veteran coach has been great at developing quarterbacks over his career and Mahomes was one that needed his assistance. Coming into the NFL Draft, Mahomes was considered an intriguing prospect, but plenty were not sure he was ready for what awaited him. With him sitting out a season, that allowed Mahomes to examine some things and refine his skills. Along with refining some skills, he was also afforded the opportunity to learn behind veteran Alex Smith on how to play the quarterback position. That 'redshirt" season for Mahomes also gave him more time to understand the offense. This year, Mahomes is benefitting from that time sitting and watching as he has a firm grasp of the offense along with learning a little bit more about playing the position at the NFL level.
Another thing that has made him special this season is his arm talent. Plenty draft scouts raved at his arm talent. Just looking at some of the crazy throws he made at Texas Tech, it seemed he was constantly testing his arm strength, throwing the ball in awkward positions (sometimes to his team's detriment as he threw interceptions). As he has learned to control the arm talent under the tutelage of Andy Reid, we now are seeing how special he can be. His quick release comes with such velocity when it comes out that defenses cannot react quick enough to deflect the passes. Also, he has the ability to plant and drive the football deep with some heat on it that many do not have. And what is even more special about his arm is he has the unique ability to not have to set his feet very well to generate some velocity on the football and make those throws into tight windows. The special abilities he has combined with the understanding of the offense make him very tough to defend.
Teams will eventually find some ways to make adjustments to him, but for right now, Mahomes is the toast of the NFL. With 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions, no one expected him to splash on the scene like this as the starter. His play currently all but confirms the Chiefs knew what they were doing when they traded away Alex Smith to allow Mahomes to start. With the second-year quarterback on the field, the Chiefs now can attack defenses at all levels of the field.