How Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes needs to be more like Tom Brady, per franchise legend - Apkcombat

How Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes needs to be more like Tom Brady, per franchise legend

Today on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, former NFL return specialist and Kansas City Chiefs fan-favorite Dante Hall stopped by to discuss the question that everyone seems to be asking… what the heck is wrong with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs?

Now, everyone has their own theories on what the problem might be. Some of those theories are totally valid and understandable, and others have to do with Taylor Swift and make no sense whatsoever. Dante Hall brings an idea to the table that falls somewhere in between, and now it’s my job to figure out how accurate he really is.

Look, I’m admittedly in no position to be disagreeing with anyone who has actually played in the NFL. Dante Hall carved out a terrific nine year career as a return specialist for both the Kansas City Chiefs and the St. Louis Rams. I played a combined seven years of football as a child and teenager. It goes without saying, but my credentials don’t match Dante Hall’s. But I am in a position where I’m able to watch football, analyze what I’m seeing, and then use stats to back up what it was I thought my eyes had seen. And when I heard Hall say this, something didn’t quite add up, so I did some digging:

Patrick Mahomes, 2023 season: 6.6 intended air yards per attempt, 4.1 air yards per completion

Tom Brady, 2022 season: 6.7 intended air yards per attempt, 4.9 air yards per completion

That’s right. Patrick Mahomes has already become “Checkdown Tom Brady.” Hold on, with a little more digging, I uncovered the following:

Patrick Mahomes, 2018-2023: 7.90 intended air yards per attempt

Tom Brady, 2018-2022: 7.88 intended air yards per attempt

Practically the identical over a half-decade-long stretch. So, again, apologies to Dante Hall, but this isn’t what the problem is in Kansas City. In fact, you could make the case that Mahomes shouldn’t be playing like Tom Brady because their skillsets are so drastically different. Asking Mahomes to play like Tom Brady is like asking David Fincher to make movies more like Steven Spielberg would. Even though Spielberg has a tremendous track record of making fantastic films, asking Fincher to be more like Spielberg would be robbing Fincher of what makes him special as a director.

So, what’s the problem then?

Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes, Matt Nagy

Every year since Mahomes has taken over as the starter in Kansas City, his intended air yards per attempt have actually gone down. This year, despite throwing shorter passes on a more regular basis, Mahomes has a career high in interceptions (14) and a career worst passer rating (91.7). Totally related to all of this is the Chiefs points per game in those six seasons:

2018: 35.3 points per game (1st in the NFL)

2019: 28.2 points per game (5th in the NFL)

2020: 29.6 points per game (6th in the NFL)

2021: 28.2 points per game (4th in the NFL)

2022: 29.2 points per game (1st in the NFL)

2023: 22.2 points per game (11th in the NFL)

The math just ain’t mathin’ here. And the thing is, Dante Hall had it right at the very start of the above video. The issue here is not Mahomes’ inability or unwillingness to play like Tom Brady, nor is it Travis Kelce’s relationship with Taylor Swift (seriously, imagine being so dense that you actually think that Taylor Swift is the cause of the Chiefs issues this year). The main issue is offensive coordinator Matt Nagy — a man who should not have been head coach of the Chicago Bears for four seasons, and a man who should not be the Chiefs offensive coordinator for another hour this season — predictably being a huge step down from Eric Bieniemy. To go back to the movie director comparison I made earlier, saddling Patrick Mahomes with a play-caller like Matt Nagy would be like casting Rob Schneider to be the lead actor in a David Fincher movie.

Aside from Matt Nagy, there’s some valid concerns with the group of pass-catchers that the Chiefs have surrounded Mahomes with. This team leads the NFL in dropped passes, and even the sure-handed Travis Kelce has had some. Is that Patrick Mahomes’ fault? Is it Mahomes’ fault that Rashee Rice, a 2nd-round rookie, has become his most reliable pass-catching option this year?

 

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