Patrick Mahomes is the most accomplished quarterback in the NFL, his stats of the past few seasons fully support that. In the post-Tom Brady era, Mahomes has assumed the mantle seamlessly.
But the Kansas City Chiefs QB has relied heavily on teammate Chris Jones for all his early career success, and at the start of the week it was evident Jones would be missing for Thursday night’s season opener against the Detroit Lions. The defensive tackle has not been in practice and was a major doubt for the Lions game.
Mahomes has relied on Jones throughout their time in Missouri. He said on Sunday that regardless he would lead his team out intent on victory in the showpiece game of Week 1.
Mahomes won his second Super Bowl ring in three visits to the NFL’s showpiece game over the last four years in February, having notably spent his rookie year learning behind Alex Smith in 2017. He is a two-time Super Bowl MVP and a two-time league MVP, last year becoming the first player since Kurt Warner in 1999 to collect both accolades in a single season. And he is still only 27. He emerged out of the shadow of Brady or Aaron Rodgers before they’d even moved on.
American football’s pre-eminent quarterback is on a crusade to take his team to Paradise and become the first franchise in nearly two decades to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy in successive seasons.
Mahomes went close to doing just that after winning his first Super Bowl in 2020, leading Kansas to a 31-20 victory against San Francisco 49ers.
The Chiefs returned to the Greatest Show on Turf 12 months later but failed to emulate the 2004 and 2005 New England Patriots into gridiron immortality.
Their opponents were also seeking a fairy-tale finish and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing in their Raymond James Stadium and with Brady chasing his seventh Super Bowl ring in his first year away from the New England Patriots, ran out easy 31-9 victors.
That defeat stung but Mahomes and the Chiefs regrouped and clawed their way back to the Big Show in February, beating the Philadelphia Eagles in a 38-35 barnstormer.
Kansas are masters at retaining key players while upgrading veterans and Mahomes still has trusted touchdown target Travis Kelce to aim for while young wide receiver Skyy Moore is another productive outlet with coach Andy Reid calling the shots.
Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada – just outside Las Vegas – is the Chiefs target. Many are betting on it.