Back in early March, fresh off getting emasculated in the Super Bowl, like the Billy Bob Thornton to the Buccaneers' Kurt Russell, the Kansas City Chiefs released both their starting offensive tackles in a cost-cutting move, I asked the question of whether or not Tom Brady had just killed another NFL "dynasty" (other people's term for the Chiefs, not mine) in the nest the way he had the then-St. Louis Rams, the Colts, the Seahawks and the Falcons before them.
And now that we're halfwayish through this season, KC is in last place in their division after improving to .500 by barely grinding out a win against an objectively terrible Giants team - at home, no less - the question is worth revisiting.
For the purpose of this discussion, I'm going to stick mainly to the Chiefs offense, since saying their defense is bad is stating the painfully obvious and a waste of my precious time and gigabytes. They're giving up the fourth most yards in the league (391.5 YPG), the eighth most points (27.5 PPG) and their passer rating against is sixth highest (103.3). Instead, let's focus on the much more relevant topic of Andy Reid's revolutionary offense, with its elite, next-level talent and the generational, game-changing, aspiring GOAT first-ballot Hall of Famer who runs it.
In short, the Chiefs on the whole have taken the kind of step backwards that would get you a bullet if this was "Squid Game."
- 2020 - Led the league in: Yards, 1st downs, passing yards. Top 6 in: Points, Completions, TDs, fewest INTs, passer rating
- 2021 - Most turnovers, most interceptions, 8th in points, 17th in passer rating
Given those numbers, it goes without saying that the biggest reason for the dropoff is Patrick Mahomes. Which isn't stopping anyone from saying it.
Here Orlovsky elaborates:
If you don't have time to hit PLAY, essentially what he's saying is that, while Mahomes has always managed to succeed with the kind of mechanics they don't teach at Quarterback Camp or your parents would demand their money back, he's relying too much on these off balance, outside-of-structure, second reaction throws. Even though he's completing some, like in this clip.
As a result, he's throwing picks at a rate no one could've thought possible a year ago. Consider this mind-bending stat, courtesy of recent Do Your Pod guest Ben Volin:
And as a result of that, Mahomes grades have taken the kind of drop with the analytics crowd that should trigger an email from the Guidance Counselor to his parents about a meeting.
- In 2020, Mahomes was Pro Football Focus' fourth highest rated quarterback overall and in terms of passing, behind only Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Deshaun Watson. He also led all QBs in "Big Time Throws" and TDs on passes of over 20 air yards.
- In 2021, he's 19th overall and in terms of passing, behind the likes of Daniel Jones, Jalen Hurts and Teddy Bridgewater. Plus he's ninth in "Big Time Throws" and sixth in deep touchdowns.
And for those of you who were told there would be no math and prefer visual learning, here is that point demonstrated in graph form. His spray chart from the Giants game is more like that of a rookie back up pressed into emergency duty than an MVP who's always making Jake from State Farm comedically shake his head:
I believe Teddy KGB's preferred term for that is "Check! Check! Check!" And Rex Ryan's is,"a peashooter at quarterback." And it's alarming. Especially when you consider how unstoppable the Chiefs have been for years. And especially especial when you consider what this team is dealing with in terms of pure talent at the skill positions.
So something is most definitely wrong with the team that was expected to dominate their conference if not the entire league for the next generation. Maybe it's physical. Maybe that organization is learning that you can't necessarily just pay a half a billion dollars to one player and keep fielding a competitive team in a zero-sum, salary cap league. Whatever it is, KC doesn't even look like a playoff team right now, never mind a dynasty. It's a sad, sad day when some of the best analysts in the business are telling you it's just to just start pounding the ball on the ground like your the Hank Stram Chiefs. A sad day, indeed.
How the mighty have fallen. And unless it turns around fast, Brady will have claimed another victim. They call Afghanistan the Graveyard of Empires. He is the Killer of Dynasties.