Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs arguably have the NFL’s best offense. Although they didn’t statistically rank number one last season, they’re always going to be in the running for the top spot as long as they have Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce. Or will they? The NFL is a copycat league, so why can’t a struggling offense just reshape their offensive approach to match Kansas City’s?
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I hate to break it to you, but that’s already happening. The league understands that speed on offense is king; that’s why you see teams like the Raiders draft Henry Ruggs. Yet, the Raiders aren’t the only ones doing it. Just look at KJ Hamler going to the Broncos or the success the Ravens have had with a fast quarterback like Lamar Jackson.
But at the end of the day, you can’t just have track stars. To be successful you need great football players who are lightning quick. That’s why players like John Ross don’t end up working out.
Yet why does speed work for the Chiefs? Not only does speed stretch out the field, but it’s something defenses need to respect, or they’ll get burned. Yet when almost every single one of your playmakers are fast, defenses not only get spread thin, but they get nervous. When defenses get nervous, someone is likely to botch a coverage, and in the snap of a finger Patrick Mahomes completes a pass to Tyreek Hill for 45 yards.
Just look at what happened in last year’s Super Bowl. Robert Saleh’s elite 49ers defense had the Chiefs in check for most of the game. At least they did until Patrick Mahomes aired one out to Tyreek Hill on a 3rd and 15 play to swing the tide of the game. That play was only possible because of the speed the Chiefs have on their roster. Deforest Buckner was right up Mahomes’ throat up to the second he released the football, so Hill had to be deep enough into his route to be where Mahomes wanted him.
I also want to focus on the coverage during that sequence. The 49ers on that play were in cover 3 which makes sense for a 3rd and 15 play. Defenses want to keep everything in front of them, and especially with the Chiefs you don’t want Mahomes going over the top. Yet, the speed on an underneath route forced one of the three deep defenders to get out of position leaving the entire deep left of the field open. Mahomes simply saw open field, knew Hill was running there, and heaved a bomb to get the momentum the Chiefs needed.
That play was successful because of speed, great quarterback play, and a couple great football players. And that’s what the Chiefs have going for them. They have great football players that happen to be lightning quick, whereas competitors have track stars who happen to play football. That’s why even if the Chiefs offense gets copied, it won’t work for everyone, because no team quite has the weapons that Kansas City has at its disposal.
Not to mention, the Chiefs also have one of the best offensive minds in the NFL with Andy Reid, who’s always looking at film even from the college level to constantly help innovate, improve, and tweak Kansas City’s offense. Therefore, as long as Reid, Mahomes, and the rest of the Chiefs’ playmakers stay in Kansas City, the Chiefs will always have a shot to be the NFL’s best offense.