Make Patrick Mahomes be Patrick Mahomes
This is going to sound extremely counter-intuitive, however, the conventional is not working right now.
Mahomes is broken and there is a mental block keeping him from fixing the problems. It is abundantly clear for anyone watching him that, physically, he is the same player everyone fell in love with in 2018. However, mentally, he has never been farther from that player.
It makes sense that Mahomes would be going through this. It seems like every game he launches two or three accurate passes that just bounce off a receiver’s hands and fall into the defense’s lap. This has been happening since the Super Bowl and it is engrained into Mahomes’ brain now. It’s causing him to overthink passes, sit on balls too long, and even hesitate or pass up the big plays he could be making.
The Chiefs have to help Mahomes past this mental block and the best way to do that is to call plays that build Mahomes up. For most quarterbacks, this means getting them some five-yard passes over the middle or utilizing play-action more. For Mahomes, this means speeding up the offense, running bootlegs, and encouraging him to make plays on the run.
When Mahomes gets into the rhythm, gets moving, and makes exciting plays, that is when he starts to feel and look the most like Patrick Mahomes. When that happens, the rest of the game falls into place. The pocket presence, the deep accuracy, the speed, even the leadership and the energy will come back to the NFL’s poster boy.
If the Chiefs continue to refuse to call plays that lean on Mahomes’ strengths, they will continue to get the same results this season. When they flip the script and let Mahomes do what he does best, this offense should return to its glory.