It’s hard to say that Monday night’s 34-20 blistering of the Baltimore Ravens was what we were looking for. The truth of the matter is, the Chiefs performance exceeded all expectations and obliterated the conversation of any AFC foe being up to par with the defending Super Bowl champions.
Not only did the Chiefs shine above the rest of the league, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes put an exclamation point on his argument for the top honors among quarterbacks in the league. There has been much hype surrounding last year’s MVP Lamar Jackson, but Mahomes silenced all arguments of equality, or even similarity, with a dominant performance on a night that he played at a different level than you can see anywhere else in the league.
After yet another touchdown pass registered on the scoreboard, Mahomes could be seen ticking off numbers on his fingers, referencing the NFL Top 100 list—a cumulative ranking of players in the league, by players in the league. Jackson was selected as the league’s top player, followed by Russell Wilson and Aaron Donald, before Mahomes at number four. After winning the League MVP in his first year as a starter, and following that up with a Super Bowl win and MVP, the superstar quarterback clearly felt he was entitled to the top spot, because he came after the matchup with Jackson with a vengeance. Dicing up the Baltimore D, Mahomes made familiar throws and mixed in some moonshots that we haven’t seen before against one of the most respected defenses in the league, while his counterpart struggled against the more maligned KC defense, which employed the perfect attack to stymie the dynamic Jackson.
The Chiefs have a short turnaround against a tough opponent this week, as they head home to host the New England Patriots. Luckily, after pouring so much energy into game planning for the Ravens, much of that plan will translate to this week, as the Patriots also feature a run-heavy scheme with a dual threat quarterback, in Cam Newton. Despite the recent buzz, Newton has a history as a superior passer who will likely not miss some of the throws that Jackson did, but I would look for Bill Belicheck to try his best to keep the ball out of the air and chewing up clock. The Patriots’ head man will certainly not fall into the trap of abandoning the running game as quickly as Baltimore did. All in all, I look for this to be a tighter game, maybe even a close one, but I also don’t see the result will ever be in question. If the Ravens game served as a statement for Coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs, look at the Patriots as an opportunity to put a period in place.