Patrick Mahomes has been nothing short of exceptional in his NFL career. Fans and pundits from various corners of the country regularly praise the quarterback for his skills and achievements. As time passes, his popularity only heightens.
However, after trading Tyreek Hill and missing the Super Bowl for the first time since 2018, one NFL analyst has turned against the Kansas City Chiefs. Speaking on the Herd with Colin Cowherd, show host Colin Cowherd predicted the AFC West standings in 2022.
He listed the Denver Broncos first, the Los Angeles Chargers second, the Chiefs third and the Las Vegas Raiders fourth. This would be a massive drop for a team that has dominated the division since 2016. Here's how he put it:
"I'll take Denver to win it, Chargers make the playoffs as a Wild Card and the Raiders finish fourth, and I still think [the Raiders] win in four other divisions."
The loss of Tyreek Hill seems to have shattered the aura of invincibility that surrounds Kansas City, and pundits and fans now doubt them.
Patrick Mahomes' NFL career
Mahomes has sat atop the quarterback rankings for nearly half a decade. He was originally selected tenth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. He sat behind Alex Smith for most of the season but played in a Week 17 game against the Broncos. He won the contest and proved to Andy Reid that he was good enough to take over in 2018.
Alex Smith moved on and the Chiefs put their hopes in Patrick Mahomes. The next several years proved the gamble to be an excellent one. In 2018, he threw for 50 touchdowns and nearly brought the team to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs finished 12-4 and won their third consecutive AFC West title. They lost to eventual Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
In 2019, Mahomes and the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, defeating the San Francisco 49ers in the big game. But was this achievement the beginning of the end for Kansas City, the beginning of their decline?
In short, no. They made the Super Bowl the very next season. Sure, they lost that game heavily to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they still made it to the Super Bowl. In 2021, they lost the AFC Championship game in overtime against the Cincinnati Bengals. A game in which they had ample opportunities to win. Mahomes played poorly in the second half of the game, and shoulders most of the responsibility for the loss.
They have since traded Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. The absence of one of the quickest, most dynamic receivers in the NFL has caused many to doubt the Kansas City offense. They replaced him with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster. But most people think defenses will be far less cautious in 2022, without the deep threat of Hill to keep them honest.
Have the Chiefs really fallen so far just by trading Tyreek Hill? Have the other AFC West teams grown too powerful for Kansas City? We shall find out in under two months time.
If you use any of the above quotes, please credit the Herd with Colin Cowherd and H/T Sportskeeda.