The Chiefs defeated the Atlanta Falcons at Arrowhead last Sunday by a score of 17-14. Patrick Mahome didn’t throw 4 touchdowns, he didn’t throw for over 300 yards and for the first time in a long time, Kansas City was held under 20 points. The Chiefs won and for the 9th time this season held their opponent to 20 points or fewer. That’s what matters at the end of these games, who got the W. So far, the Chiefs, have secured that W in 14 games and have just one loss. That’s a Chiefs record, 14-1, so obviously 15-1 would be that much more amazing. But despite the record and his exemplary play, most pundits have Mahomes behind Aaron Rodgers in the MVP race.
Pundits will tell you that Aaron has a few more touchdowns and ignore that Patrick has a few more wins and 800 more yards. In one segment they’ll inform you that the Packers have the #7 defense in the NFL and one of the top 2 offensive lines. Then they’ll let you know Green Bay has two of the leagues best skill position players in WR Davante Adams and RB Aaron Jones, who was himself in the MVP running this season. Then they will question the Chiefs chances of winning a 2nd straight SuperBowl by informing you that their overall defense is middle of the road. They can’t stop the run and the Chiefs can’t consistently run the football, despite the fact that they’ve outrun 7 opponents in their 15 games. They’ll ignore that the most rushing yards KC has given up in a game was to the Ravens as the Chiefs were dominating them. Meanwhile, the Chiefs highest rushing total was 245 yards against Buffalo as they beat the Bills by 2 scores.
The Chiefs run game and O-line challenges began with the Covid-19 opt out period when they lost starting Right Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, starting RB/ SuperBowl standout performer Damien Williams and 3rd round rookie O-Lineman Lucas Niang. All three were expected to contribute greatly and losing 2 let alone all 3 would be a major set back for any NFL team. A few weeks into the season it appeared as though Brett Veach had landed an excellent substitution for LDT in former Pro-Bowl Guard, Kelechi Osemele. After a few very promising performances they lost Osemele for the season to injuries in both knees. Seeking experienced RB depth, Veach signed Le’Veon Bell after he was cut by the Jets and he has been solid. Unfortunately the Chiefs strong rookie starter, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, has been lost to a high ankle sprain and Bell has become the starter. After all that, when asked why these pundits feel Aaron Rodgers is the MVP their answer is “Mahomes just has more talent around him”.
The Chiefs have clinched the AFC West, the AFC #1 seed, a 1st round bye and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. They are 14-1 and their sole loss was by one score. Patrick Mahomes has never lost a pro game by more than one score. The Chiefs have fantastic playmakers in Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill and the running back by committee is good enough because of Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs have lost one game and their opponents needed to score 40 to win. That was aginst the Raiders, who did a celebration cruise on their bus around Arrowhead after the game. The Chiefs returned the favor defeating the silver and black in their first meeting at the new Raiders home, Alegiant Stadium.
The Packers have lost 3 games including a 38-10 blowout at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A game the Packers led 10-0 at the end of the 1st quarter but Rodgers went on to manage just 160 total passing yards, threw 2 interceptions and no TDs. When KC defeated the Bucs this year, Mahomes put up 462 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mahomes hasn’t been held under 200 yards passing this season and hasn’t had a game without a passing TD since week 4 of last season vs Detroit. In that game Patrick had 315 yards passing, the Chiefs marched up and down the field and the run game punched it in from inside the 5 to the tune of 34 points.
The Packers also lost 34-31 in overtime against the Indianapolis Colts. The Packers led that game 28-14 at halftime. Granted, that game was on the road where the Pack are 5-2 going into their week 17 playoff impacting match at the Bears who have won 3 straight and need to win to get in. The Chiefs road record is 8-0 and includes 5 wins against playoff bound opponents.
The reason I mention these comparisons is that the Chiefs win many games because of Mahomes. The Packers often lose because of Rodgers and sometimes win in spite of him. The multi score losses, being held under 200 yards, being shut out for 3 quarters of a football game…these things don’t happen to the Chiefs. The reason is Patrick Mahomes and those are the reasons he is the rightful 2020 MVP and I believe he is the main reason the Chiefs will win their 2nd straight SuperBowl this year.
I spent zero time discussing the Chiefs game versus the Chargers because it is the equivelent of a fantastically timed pre-season game. The Chiefs will sit the majority of their starters and the back-ups will face the Chargers 1st string when they take the field. There is nothing on the line for the Chiefs and while Los Angeles will be ending their season, the players in powder blue are playing to keep their jobs or auditioning for a new team. Kansas City’s depth chart will be receiving a golden opportunity to show they’ve been paying attention in practice and are able to execute the game plan. It’s priceless experience and fantastic timing going into the bye week. The backups get experience, the coaching staff get real gametape of their depth chart versus a talented young squad with a big armed QB. Even if the Chiefs lose versus LA and finish the season 14-2, it’s still a win.
I’ll take the proud defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs at home to win 27-17. While a Chiefs win wouldn’t be because of Patrick’s play, his influence will matter and they will want to win it for him. If the Chargers win and the Bears beat the Packers it just further proves my point. Patrick Mahomes is the Most Valuable Player in the league. Whatever plays out, it’s been a great season for Chiefs fans on our journey to Run It Back.
By Danilo “DJ” Di Julio – RGR contributor and host of Kingdom Corner, host of CHIEFS CHAT on YouTube
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