Necessary Roughness

Necessary Roughness: What areas can Patrick Mahomes improve on?

With all that Mahomes has accomplished already, he still has plenty to improve upon to help KC become a true dynasty.

Patrick Mahomes’ accomplishments include becoming league MVP, being one of three QBs to have 50 touchdown passes in a season, winning a Super Bowl, and being named Super Bowl MVP. This sounds like a list of achievements for a 15-year veteran, but Mahomes is only 24 years old. What more can a QB do from this point at such a young age?

Start the dynasty.

After winning a championship so early in his career, the only expectation should be to keep doing it. The Chiefs are in the perfect position to win again this year after retaining 20 of 22 starters from the Super Bowl team, but Mahomes’ play at the QB position is key. There are still areas in which Mahomes can improve upon to make Kansas City a dynasty.

The first thing that Patrick Mahomes can improve on is protecting himself. Chiefs fans got a glimpse of this issue several times last season. Whether it was nursing a sprained ankle through several games or watching his kneecap move to the side of his leg, Mahomes certainly battled through injuries in 2019. The Chiefs were very fortunate to not let the season slip away while their starting QB was on the mend, but it is unlikely that they will be that lucky in future seasons. Playing outside of the pocket is something that the Super Bowl MVP excels at. However, often times when he is trying to make a spectacular play while running all over the field, he leaves himself open to take extra hits. The spectacular plays are what we love about Mahomes but throwing the ball away and living for another play may benefit his longevity.

Decision making is another area where Patrick Mahomes can improve to bring this team multiple championships. After the Super Bowl, Mahomes was on an episode of The Shop on HBO and was quoted as saying that he “didn’t understand how to read defenses until like halfway through last year.” He continued, “I understood coverages, but how to be able to pick up little tendencies defenses do, stuff that [Tom] Brady and them have … I was just playing.” Now, before I get ridiculed, I think Pat makes good decisions but that quote there definitely shows that he can improve at it, and just like Adam Schefter tweeted, that means “Bad news for the rest of the NFL”.

The final area where Mahomes can make improvements is with his footwork in the pocket. Coming out of Texas Tech, footwork was something that scouts gave the QB some criticism on. It usually goes unnoticed because Patrick has the arm strength to compensate for his footwork, but as he gets older, that may not be possible. In his first year as a starter, in the AFC Championship game, there were a couple of plays that could’ve have been huge for the Chiefs had Mahomes set his feet. One of those plays was an overthrow to a wide-open Damien Williams in the endzone.

Obviously, I am nit-picking and, as I read this back, it is pretty humorous that a guy like me is critiquing anything that the reigning Superbowl MVP is doing. These are just some observations and if Patrick doesn’t improve on any of these, he will more than likely still be the best QB in the game. As a lifelong Chiefs fan, I’m just excited that we could even be talking about a dynasty.

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