Patrick Mahomes has given his thoughts on what the 2022 Chiefs offense will shape up to be. He alludes to past seasons when the offense flowed through Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. However, don’t expect the same 1a/1b model again in 2022.
What will the Chiefs’ offense look like in 2022? The team’s quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, has spoken. He gave his thoughts numerous times this offseason about how the offense might look this year and he’s done so again based on reports from Thursday. With so many additions on offense, from Juju Smith-Schuster to Skyy Moore, Justin Watson, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the entire unit is newcomers to this offense.
Mecole Hardman and Travis Kelce return of course. Those two played their own integral parts in last year’s offense. However, with so much unknown, the question throughout much of the offseason has revolved around what the offense will look like this season. Will there be a number one wideout like we saw from Tyreek Hill? Will Hardman step up? Or will it be Smith-Schuster? Perhaps someone else entirely will grab hold of the opportunity and run with it. Or, instead, according to Mahomes, something entirely different could transpire for Kansas City.
All Offseason, The Chiefs Have Referred To A “Smarter” Offense
Last season’s struggles for Andy Reid and co. against Cover Two defenses should certainly be a thing of the past. It was difficult to avoid the criticism that Mahomes and the offense faced last season when they didn’t completely dominate opposing defenses as we saw in the years prior. Instead, the team creeped out to a 5-4 start over their first nine games. From weeks five through nine, the team averaged just over 17 points per game, easily the most pedestrian mark in the Mahomes era.
What has changed? For one, the wide receiver corps is much deeper ahead of 2022. There could be a slight decline at the top with Hill in Miami, but Smith-Schuster has proven his number one ability in the NFL already. Hardman has shown flashes, as have Valdes-Scantling and Watson at times. Add in rookie Skyy Moore and this group is perhaps the deepest wide receiver group that Mahomes has ever had in his career. Not only is the group deep, but they’re also versatile and can fill many roles.
Mahomes spoke on that in a press conference earlier this offseason. “We have a lot of versatile receivers. We’ve got some guys that are really fast that can still go up and make catches,” Mahomes said in a press conference earlier this offseason. “When you have guys that are big and can still run fast and stretch the field, that can make those tough, contested catches, it shows how versatile they are. I think it attests that…it’s gonna come from everywhere this year. It’s not gonna be one guy. Everyone’s going to put their blueprint on this offense.”
"Everyone's going to put their blueprint on this offense, and I'm excited for it" Check out Patrick Mahomes press conference from the final day of training camp presented by @WestlakeAce pic.twitter.com/FknAij3bbx — Sports Radio 810 WHB (@SportsRadio810) August 18, 2022
That press conference took place on August 18 and is a testament to Mahomes and his leadership. He seems to see the best in all of his offensive weapons. Not only that, but he’s the rare breed of quarterback that can actually bring the best out of them as well. Andy Reid praised Mahomes on Thursday, stating that he has welcomed the new players to his home this offseason and has shown nothing but excitement to work with those players.
Somehow, Chiefs QB Mahomes Is About To “Level Up” Again
Reid spoke in depth on this aspect of Mahomes and his impact on the offense earlier this offseason as well. According to James Palmer of NFL Network, Reid stated that one of the biggest things that stands out about Mahomes is that he loves to be a teacher. According to Reid, he “loves to teach and is actually very, very good at it.”
A little known talent of Patrick Mahomes that Andy Reid really loves and appreciates played a big part in getting these new offensive pieces up to speed faster than the staff predicted. My report on @nflnetwork on the #chiefs QB pic.twitter.com/bBaEHHqojq — James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) September 1, 2022
According to Palmer, when Mahomes and the wideouts went to Texas this offseason, the coaching staff didn’t attend and teach these newcomers to the offense. Instead, they relayed to Mahomes alone what they wanted to see those wideouts learn within the offense and their quarterback then passed that knowledge along to his new group of playmakers. According to Palmer, the coaching staff believed that when the group returned from Texas to Training Camp, they were actually further along because of that process and because of Mahomes’s teaching ability.
The Chiefs can rely on Patrick Mahomes to teach. Beyond that preseason work, the team will be able to rely on Mahomes and his elite football instincts to make the team’s offense click at a level we haven’t seen before. In the past few seasons, the team has powered their offense through Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, and with good reason. Those two helped lead one of the most dominant offenses in NFL history.
However, what we saw last year was the NFL catching up to that model. Hill’s average depth of target was the lowest of his career, as he set the franchise’s single-season reception record. It’s time to adjust and this time, the team can adjust to capitalize on Mahomes and his elite football IQ. Mahomes can focus, not on Kelce and Hill, but on letting his entire arsenal of receiving threats impact the game on any given Sunday. Mahomes said so much himself on Wednesday:
Heads Up #FantasyFootball players who drafted #Chiefs wide receivers…#ChiefsKingdom @NoisyHuevos pic.twitter.com/hHwdgnstaO — Rob Collins (@RCFOX4KC) September 7, 2022
“Every single week it’s gonna be someone different,” Mahomes told the press on Wednesday. “So, I’m sorry to all you fantasy football guys, but, it’s gonna come from everywhere. You’re gonna have to choose the right guy every week.”
Is this the NFL’s worst nightmare? Mahomes has already torched the NFL in the greatest start to a quarterback’s career in league history. He’s dominated with just the third 50-touchdown season we’ve ever seen. He’s won an MVP and Super Bowl MVP younger than anyone in history. There’s no need to re-hash his greatness. It’s well known, and yet, he’s primed to be even better in 2022. The Chiefs gunslinger can now rely not just on a heavy dose of his duo at the top of the depth chart, but instead on his entire offensive arsenal.
The first five years of Patrick Mahomes have shown his elite, raw talent taking the league by storm and making plays happen. Now, he’s about to pair that talent with his well-refined football intelligence to become an even better version of himself. The NFL better look out and stop disrespecting Patrick Mahomes. They’re about to find out why. Again.