Theismann: Mahomes Must Be Ready For Chess Match

Patrick Mahomes was stellar in his first season as an NFL starter, but can he do it again?

Reiter Than You
July 31, 2019 - 7:29 pm
Patrick Mahomes Chiefs

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In case you somehow missed it, Patrick Mahomes’ first year as an NFL starter went pretty well. He threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns and guided the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game.

But what will he do for an encore? Can Mahomes actually take a step forward after such an historic season?

“Under Andy Reid, we’ve seen his quarterbacks flourish,” Super Bowl champion Joe Theismann said on Reiter Than You. “Andy does a great job with his offenses, but you go back a couple of years. The Kansas City Chiefs, three or four years ago, did not throw a touchdown pass to a wide receiver, and the following year they only threw 16 total. I think you have to give defenses credit in the National Football League for understanding what a young quarterback does and then how they start to defend it.”

Rest assured that NFL defensive coordinators watched a lot of Mahomes' tape this offseason.

“Which way does Patrick like to escape the pocket? Well, we’re not going to let him do that anymore,” Theismann said. “What routes does he have problems with? We’re not going to give him the opportunity to throw anymore. So it’s a little bit of a chess game going back and forth, but he’s certainly a wonderful talent. He’s a video game. In this day and age when there’s so many video games, it’s great.”

Baker Mayfield, meanwhile, wasn’t as eye-popping in his first year as an NFL starter, but he still threw for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns in 14 games.

“I like him,” Theismann said. “He’s unflappable. If you don’t believe in who you are, who’s going to believe in you? Certainly Baker believes he can play this game and he proved it last year with Freddie (Kitchens) as his offensive coordinator.”

The Browns, though, are more than just Mayfield – and the offense in general.

“The Browns defense is really good,” Theismann said. “And nobody is talking about it because you have such big names with Jarvis and Odell and Baker – you’ve got all these names on the offensive side of the ball. That defense is pretty darn good. They loaded up in free agency too. I think as a football team, he’s going to have a chance to do very well. They’ll challenge for the division championship. I believe that.”