It looked horrific on Thursday Night Football when Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and former MVP of the NFL, Patrick Mahomes, went out of the game with a gruesome kneecap injury. Thankfully, it’s looking like a short 3-6 week injury when everyone knows it could be the whole season when it comes to that necessary body part. Most think it’ll be closer to three weeks.
Even if you’re a hater of the prodigious quarterback, the last thing in the world you should want is a lack of competition in the NFL. It’s what keeps the NFL exciting even when parity is an issue.
But Patrick Mahomes’ injury changes the trajectory of the Chiefs and quite possibly of the entire NFL.
The Kansas City Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft and they traded up to get the young Texas Tech University quarterback.
In his first year, Mahomes backed up Alex Smith, but everybody knew he was the heir apparent the following year.
In his second year, Mahomes was named the starter, clearly – which for all intents and purposes was pretty much his rookie year – and the young quarterback set the league on fire.
Mahomes proved he was an elite quarterback almost immediately, but his stats at the end of the season were throwing for 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He joined NFL legends Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as the only players in NFL history to throw 50 touchdowns or more in a single season.
The second-year quarterback was also named to the Pro Bowl, First Team All-Pro according to the Associated Press, won the NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and the coveted regular season MVP only given out to one person.
A “first” year quarterback’s season couldn’t have gone any better. In fact, it never has.
He was also featured on the cover of the Madden 2020 video game and fell victim to the dreaded “Madden Curse” – the bad luck curse where those featured on the cover have something happen; whether it’s an injury or behavior that prevents them from playing games in the upcoming (or following) season.
In Week 7 on Thursday Night Football, Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos, Patrick Mahomes ran a quarterback sneak on 4th-and-1 near the Broncos goal line and his knee popped out of place, forcing him out of the rest of the game. He was already banged up with a high-ankle sprain prior to the game too. But the Chiefs defeated the Broncos, nevertheless, bringing the Chiefs record to 5-2.
An MRI the following day concluded Mahomes would miss 3-6 weeks and you better believe they won’t put the team’s Ferrari back onto the field until he’s 100-percent. Why risk your future of the former MVP?
But what does that mean this season?
Chiefs backup Matt Moore is in at quarterback, a competent backup, but will effectively make Kansas City a below average team.
This Sunday night, Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers will visit Arrowhead Stadium. Chalk that up to a loss. No way they win. Now they’re 5-3.
The following week, the Minnesota Vikings will also travel to Arrowhead for an early game. But the Vikings are rolling right now. With that Vikings’ defense alone, there is no way the Chiefs get a win. Now they’re 5-4.
Then the Chiefs travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans and travel to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers in back-to-back weeks. By the time they visit the Chargers it will be 4 weeks into his knee injury, but they also have a bye the following week so why risk rushing him back if he gets an extra week off?
Let’s say they split the Titans/Chargers game. That means they’re 6-5.
The Oakland Raiders are 3-3 right now after being beat down by the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon this past week. They’re at Houston Texans next week. But after that they have a comfortable schedule five weeks in a row.
For all intents and purposes, their records could be identical by Week 11. Will the Chiefs take it from there? Yes, probably.
They get Mahomes back on Week 12 and let’s say he goes 4-1 after his return, which brings them to 10-6. but the road to the Super Bowl is through the New England Patriots who will be the number-one seed.
Then the Chiefs will likely be the 4th seed, which means Mahomes will have to beat two playoff teams including the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans or Buffalo Bills – and/or quite possibly the Oakland Raiders, before traveling into the lion’s den, Foxborough, to take on the defending champions.
Not likely. Better luck next year. The road is unlikely for Mahomes now.