Something has to change for the Kansas City Chiefs offense and Patrick Mahomes, or else the season may soon be over.
The AFC continues to stay wide open and the Kansas City Chiefs have another big opportunity to jump back into the playoff picture in their Week 10 matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders. The Chiefs have had brutal losses this season, but after 17 games all that matters will be whether or not they made it into the playoffs.
If the Chiefs’ offense continues to perform at the underwhelming level that they are performing now, they will be lucky to make it to January. There are several players playing well below expectations, holding the team back through their lack of action. After missing out on almost every single player the team pursued this offseason and the regular season, the team seems stuck with those underperforming players.
The Chiefs may have to send a message to those players soon if they want to be competitive this season. They can not replace all of them, but they can replace a few of them, and that would be enough to shock everyone on the team into paying attention. Here is who they should target to get that message across.
Mecole Hardman is the Chiefs’ number two receiver, which makes the fact that six other Chiefs players have more receiving touchdowns a problem. He has Mahomes’ worst passer rating when targeted among Chiefs’ skill players (the only players with worse passer ratings when targeted are linemen). He also has the second most fumbles on the team, behind only Patrick Mahomes, who is working with a rookie center.
Hardman continues to disappoint the Chiefs with a lack of production and an inability to focus in pivotal moments. Hardman was drafted in the second round of the 2019 draft, ahead of DK Metcalf, Terry Mclaurin, Diontae Johnson, Hunter Renfroe, and Darius Slayton, making his lack of production even more problematic.
The Chiefs have a plethora of options for the number two receiver spot, specifically Josh Gordon, an elite playmaker who is comparable to Hardman in terms of speed and is much better at everything else. Even Byron Pringle has shown better playmaking ability this season than Hardman if the Chiefs decide they want to continue to waste Gordon’s 2021 season.
This one is already beginning so it is easy to put on the list.
Creed Humphrey is ranked as the best center in football this year. Trey Smith is mauling anyone who gets near him. Joe Thuney is doing what New England linemen do, which is win.
So why is Patrick Mahomes being pressured on a quarter of all dropbacks?
Both tackles have left quite a bit to be desired this season for the Chiefs, and where Orlando Brown Jr. looks to be improving week after week, Lucas Niang does not. He has the lowest PFF grade on the Chiefs’ starting offensive line with a 67.3, has given up the most pressures, and has already been rotated out for Mike Remmers multiple times this season.
Niang is currently injured, giving the Chiefs a shot at looking at Mike Remmers, Andrew Wylie, and even Kyle Long at the right tackle position. If any of them seems slightly better than Niang, Niang should be given a permanent spot on the bench, because mediocrity, where there should be excellence, can not be accepted anymore this season.