There is no drama, and frankly, not much to say, about the Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback group. The pride of KC is their prize quarterback, number 15, Patrick Mahomes. League MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and general consensus as the single best quarterback in the league, Mahomes returns for season number five in the red and gold with a giant chip on his shoulder.
If you look at the Kansas City roster, you see Mahomes as the top of the heap, with backup Chad Henne still hanging around after his playoff heroics a year ago. All that’s left is a pair of undrafted free agent rookie quarterbacks. The only drama here may be whether either Anthony Gordon or Shane Beuchele manage to make their way onto the team’s practice squad. The Chiefs tend to have a veteran quarterback on call should the team need an emergency spot start during the season, so if neither of the youngsters makes an impression, we will likely see very little movement, even in the developmental areas of the team.
So with no news being good news, let’s just do a quick review of what we saw last season and what may lie ahead for this season. It will be interesting to see how Mahomes gels with his newly rebuilt offensive line. You would hope that with the time and effort putting into reshaping this group, there would not be the same pressure issues we have seen in previous seasons, but as a guy who moves around, and unlike most other quarterbacks, actually drifts backward in the pocket at times, it will be incumbent upon those new additions up front to figure out an entirely new set of angles and approaches to deterring pass rushers.
I’ll also be interested to see how Mahomes adjusts to life without Sammy Watkins. I’m holding out hope for a N’Keal Harry trade that could give the offense another weapon on the outside, but it’s looking more and more like the team will enter the season with Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson sharing the 2 and 3 spots on the wide receiver depth chart. Granted, this is the same crew Mahomes tossed the ball to over the past couple seasons during the stretches that Watkins went down, but the offense did not always look the same without Watkins, and the hope of his return was always right around the corner. How will the team, and Mahomes, adjust to the reality of a season without a true number 2 wideout? The hope is that a second-year Clyde Edwards-Helaire takes a step forward in the passing game, and that Hardman finally blossoms into the receiver his physical tools hint at.
From there, let’s make a quick mention of Kansas City’s backup quarterback. Chad Henne played a bit last year, and played, for the most part, the way you would expect if you have watched his career. He had some good moments, and he had some not so good moments, but he’s definitely a capable backup—which he showed during the playoffs. Henne made THAT run and THAT throw against the Cleveland Browns when Mahomes was knocked loopy at the end of the game. His surprise scamble, and then the fourth down conversion that no one saw coming to seal the game highlighted the fact that Henne has the ability, the mind and the gravel in his gut to get the job done in crunch time.
The fact that there just isn’t a lot to say about the Chiefs at the quarterback position is ultimately a good thing. If Mahomes responds to the Super Bowl embarrassment the way you would expect a hyper-competitive young football player to do, this could be a fun, and potentially record-breaking season out of number 15.