The Self-Awareness of Patrick Mahomes
Yes, Patrick Mahomes is coming off playing the worst half of football of his career against Cincinnati. That day, he was playing not to lose the game. He was not his usual playing to win, letting it go self.
Just today, I saw an article in which Mahomes acknowledged that he did not play the game to win, rather he played not to lose and played tight. This shows that the young man has self-awareness. He understands who he is as a player and what he is about.
A Change of Scenery
Most of Mahomes’ targets are gone, with the exception of Travis Kelce. Tyreek Hill is gone, and Mahomes now has to rebuild with Marques Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Neither is coming off of an up-year. Some rookies are being added to the mix as potential weapons for Mahomes as well.
What is most interesting is the way Andy Reid and General Manager Brett Veach approached acclimating Patrick Mahomes with this new group of receivers. They canceled some offseason activities because they know Mahomes will take care of it. Meaning, that this new group of receivers was going to go work out with Mahomes in Texas. They were going to spend time together, learn the offense, bond, and grow as a unit.
That is Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers territory. Organizations have not given them the greatest set of receivers year in and year out, but they figured that these quarterbacks could bring the best out of the receivers and more than make do with who they have around them.
Mahomes Will Take Care of It
When you have that kind of trust in your quarterback, even coming off the worst half of playoff football he has played, that speaks volumes.
After being at Kansas City training camp once before and asking about a certain issue, someone in the organization told me, “Don’t worry, 15 will take care of it.” That is how they feel about Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City.
The NFL is filled with electric players who make a huge impact on Sundays.
Heading into the 2022 NFL season, here are my top-seven most electric non-quarterbacks for the 2022 season – in no particular order.
Aaron Donald (DT Los Angeles Rams)
After winning the Super Bowl this past season, Donald returns to Los Angeles hungry for another championship. He changed the dynamic of how defense was played and the addition of Bobby Wagner this offseason will help the chase of a championship. I fully expect Donald to dominate and the Rams to be a contender in the 2022 season.
Justin Jefferson (WR Minnesota Vikings)
Jefferson is emerging as a true number one receiver. He knows how to play above the rim and it makes covering him a nightmare. After coming 16 yards shy of Randy Moss’ record, I expect him to get better and be even more of that defensive nightmare than he was in 2021.
Tyrann Mathieu (DB New Orleans Saints)
Returning home to Louisiana, Mathieu joins a defense that was already a top-five unit in 2021. Joining Cameron Jordan and Demario Davis, the addition of Mathieu gives them a great defender on every level of the defense. He adds Super Bowl experience to a group of veterans that are primed to make a run.
Travis Kelce (TE Kansas City Chiefs)
I know how to use a tight end. From Alge Crumpler to Brent Celek, they helped make my job easier. Kelce, like my former teammates, is a defensive nightmare. He is a massive matchup problem for any S or LB because he can make them look foolish. Now that Tyreek Hill has moved on, Kelce will be Patrick Mahomes top option and will be a top target in the 2022 season.
Micah Parsons (LB Dallas Cowboys)
It’s hard to live up to comparisons of Lawrence Taylor, but that’s the position that Parsons is in. He has the ability to play every position in the front seven and is an explosive play waiting to happen. I respect what he can do at both the linebacker and defensive line positions.
Derwin James (S Los Angeles Chargers)
Despite his injury history, James is an exciting and electric player. He is big, fast, and strong who can both cover and tackle in space. With Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack at both edge rushers and JC Jackson and Asante Samuel Jr on the outside, James is primed for a breakout season roaming the middle of the field.
Tyreek Hill (WR Miami Dolphins)
If you make a list like this, Hill should be at the top. The biggest question with him is with his new quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Can he do it? Can he do enough of what Patrick Mahomes did creatively? Hill is so explosive on all levels of the field and can take it to the house from anywhere. If Tua can get the ball to Hill and be creative, the Dolphins offense can take a major step.