Patrick Mahomes is off to the greatest start for any quarterback in NFL history, already having a league MVP and Super Bowl title in his first four years in the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs have every reason to sit their superstar quarterback in the preseason, yet head coach Andy Reid gives him significant snaps anyway.
Reid has done it this way for 23 seasons as a head coach, making sure his star quarterbacks are ready for the season by playing them significantly in the preseason. One less preseason game isn't going to change that philosophy.
Mahomes played 33 snaps in Kansas City's second preseason game. In a league where veteran quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers aren't even sniffing the field during the preseason, playing arguably the game's best quarterback is a welcome change of pace.
"I think it's good for Pat, but I also think it's good for the offensive line and Pat to see how that's going to work and get a feel for them, and for them to get a feel for him likewise," Reid said to reporters Monday. "We've got some young guys, so I left them in with Chad (Henne) so they could get a little bit more extended work there. We've got two veterans on the left side, but all five of them are new, so you need to play and this gives us that opportunity."
Mahomes looked a bit rusty on a few of his throws Friday. His timing was off and the chemistry with receivers needed some work -- part of the importance of getting ready for the season. Mahomes even said he's working on staying in the pocket more before flushing out too early and trying to improvise and make a play.
The most noticeable cog in Kansas City's offensive machine was the chemistry between Mahomes and Mecole Hardman. The quarterback-receiver duo were off in their timing during Friday's game, which both worked on throughout the night. Getting those reps will be paramount for Week 1, specifically if Hardman becomes the No. 2 wide receiver in Kansas City.
"It was great for he and Pat to communicate in a preseason game and just see how important that is, get it on tape and see what we're talking about there," Reid said. "I mean, listen, he made some good plays, but he had a couple in there that weren't so good. But he kept battling, which I thought was important. He's playing fast and working hard."
Mahomes has always gotten off to a fast start -- completing 67.6% of his passes for 3,304 yards, 32 touchdowns and zero interceptions for an astonishing 124.4 passer rating in September. Mahomes has never lost a start in September -- compiling a 10-0 record.
Needless to say, much of that success is attributed to playing in the preseason. A novel concept in today's NFL.
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