I believe we will be saying yes after this season.
What did the Chiefs do to the NFL?
The Chiefs are in the toughest division in football this season - maybe the toughest division we've seen in the last decade. But the other 11 games are filled with some brutal matchups. I look at this schedule and I cannot remember ever seeing a team with a tougher road to the playoffs. Check this out:
vs Chargers (Thursday Night Football)
@ Buccaneers (Sunday Night Football)
vs Titans (Sunday Night Football)
@ Broncos (Sunday Night Football)
According to Vegas, 10 of the Chiefs 17 games will be against teams in the Top 12 favored to win Super Bowl LVII.
The Bills are favored to win the Super Bowl this year.
The Chiefs play them in Buffalo.
The Rams won the Super Bowl last year.
The Chiefs play them at home the week after playing the Chargers in LA.
The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl two years ago.
The Chiefs play them in Tampa Bay on Sunday Night Football.
I predict that 9-11 of their games this year will be against teams that clinch the playoffs this year. It's possible that all four teams in the AFC West make the playoffs. Indianapolis may have one of the most complete teams in the league.
Tyreek Hill will not be there to help him
Hill was 3rd in the league in receptions last year. 7th in receiving yards.
He is definitely one of the best deep threats in the league. He is arguably the fastest man in the NFL, giving every short yardage route the opportunity to become a big play.
Is Patrick Mahomes going to miss Tyreek Hill? Absolutely.
Is Patrick Mahomes going to be able to produce without him? Absolutely.
There were six games last season in which Hill had 4 or less receptions.
Mahomes completed 66% of his passes and threw 11 TDs (none to Hill) and 2 INTs in those games. They were 5-1.
The truth about playing quarterback is that you never plan for the big play. You go into games with deep shots you want to take but you know those are going to make up 2-3 plays out of the 50+ plays you are going to call. It is an amazing benefit when you have a guy who can take a 3 yard out route to the house from 60 yards out. But every out route I ever through was in efforts to get 5-10 yards for a first down. There is a plan behind every play. There is a goal with every throw. As much as I love and respect great receivers, I believe that quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes are still going to execute plans and reach their goals no matter who is on the other end of a pass.
That being said, Travis Kelce is a legend and Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Mecole Hardman make up a more than an efficient receiving corps.
What will we say about Patrick Mahomes if he overcomes this year?
In the last four seasons, Mahomes has completed 66% of his passes in each year. He has thrown between 4,031-5,097 yards in each year. He has thrown 26-50 touchdowns to 5-13 INTs in each year. He has won a MVP. He has led his team to four straight AFC Championships and two Super Bowls, winning one of them.
If he has a similar year this year without Tyreek Hill against this monster schedule, I think the respect needs to be significant. In spite of all this, the Chiefs are still ranked 3rd in the power rankings. That is strictly due to Patrick Mahomes. They did not make any significant defensive additions in the offseason. He has an All-Time type of effect on the league.
If Mahomes can snag another ring at any point throughout the remainder of his career, I think he is a lock for the Hall of Fame. If he does it this year, I will never be able to forget how he had the tallest mountain in NFL history and climbed it anyways.
As far as his All-Time Great status goes, this year is one of those years that will take greatness just to produce what he has been producing. This will be a year I look back on and think "look what he did against that schedule". I think he's got what it takes. I don't see a drop-off coming. I'm ready to watch.