By Max Harper
Game of the Week: Philadelphia at Kansas City.
Fifteen days ago Kansas City beat Miami in Frankfurt, 21-14, but only two of the TDs belonged to the offense, and Patrick Mahomes got stripped and handed the Dolphins a short-field TD.
This followed a desultory loss at Denver.
So, KC enters Monday having scored 23 offensive points in the last eight quarters. Not good.
“We’re a little bit like the defense was last year in that we’re young in some spots,” Reid told me in Germany. “But we’re getting better.”
Mahomes needs his two 23-year-old second-round receivers, Rashee Rice and Skyy Moore, to be better starting now. For team chemistry, the loss of Tyreek Hill might be good; for the football games, his loss is felt a year-and-a-half later.
Per Next Gen Stats, Mahomes threw 44 deep touchdown passes in his first four seasons, 2018-’21. (Deep TDs are those that travel more than 20 yards past the line of scrimmage.) His total TDs traveled 13 air yards in those four years. Since the start of 2022, post-Tyreek, Mahomes has thrown just two deep TDs in 26 games. Josh Dobbs and Davis Mills have more. And his average-TD length is 5.7 yards, less than half of what it was with Hill, per Next Gen Stats.
That’s why Mahomes needs Rice and Moore, who run 4.5- and 4.4-second forties, respectively, to beat coverage.
And Mahomes may need to force the ball to Travis Kelce regardless of the Eagles’ coverage plan.
No Kelce against Miami (just four targets) really put a damper on KC’s passing attack.
For the Eagles, it’s a good time to play Kansas City … but after two weeks of prep, I don’t expect Reid and Mahomes to come out struggling.