Patrick Mahomes is MORE Dangerous After Three Weeks Off By John Brecko
In the final week of games in the NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs have decided to rest their starting quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.
Image Credit via Patrick Mahomes IG
In one way, it makes sense. The Chiefs are the only team going into their last game this year with nothing on the line. The currently have the best win-loss record in the entire league and 14-1 and have secured a playoff berth, clinched their division title and even secured a first-round bye when the playoffs begin. The two teams closest to their record in their conference (AFC) are the number two and three seeded Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who both have 12-3 records.
The only other team with a 12-3 record in the NFL is the Green Bay Packers, who are currently the number one seed in their conference (NFC). However, unlike the Chiefs, the Packers have not clinched that elusive bye week in the playoffs. The Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints are both only the game behind the Packers with 11-4 records going into the final week.
Every other team that has not been mentioned that is still in contention for the playoffs is fighting for a spot to be able to play in the upcoming weeks this January.
By record and playoff spot, the Chiefs have nothing to gain from having Mahomes play.
However, many have said that this is the wrong decision for the Chiefs to make because Mahomes could get rusty from not having any in-game reps for three weeks at a time and could be out of sync with his teammates while they are on the field in the playoffs.
The most recent example of this is the Baltimore Ravens sitting their starting quarterback, Lamar Jackson last season when the team had a 13-2 record and clinched a first-round bye in the playoffs themselves.
Many critics have attributed this as a reason why the Ravens lost in their first playoff game last season to the Tennessee Titans. The Ravens were favorites going into that game.
However, we are not talking about the Ravens in this article. Even though I think Patrick Mahomes will be MORE dangerous after going without playing a football game for three weeks,I do not believe that that will be because of him necessarily.
I believe the difference will be because of one person. That difference will be Mahomes’s head coach. That difference will be Andy Reid.
Andy Reid is 24-5 after bye weeks in the regular season and in the playoffs. In the regular season, he was 13-0 with the Philadelphia Eagles until his streak was snapped in his final year coaching that team in 2012.
It took having the worst year of his entire head coaching career to finally snap that streak after winning 13 straight times following the bye week.
The Eagles went 4-12 that season. That’s the worst season the Eagles have had since former Eagles head coach Ray Rhodes was fired after the 1998 season when that team had a 3-13 record. The only two seasons that have even compared to 2012 for Andy Reid was his rookie year as a head coach in 1999, when the Eagles went 5-11 and in 2005 when the Eagles were decimated by injuries and went 6-10. Even in those years, Reid won the game that took place after the bye week.
During the regular season, Andy Reid is 19-3 overall after the week and 5-2 in the playoff. Even more importantly, Andy Reid has also never lost after a bye week in the regular season or the playoff since Mahomes became the starter for the Chiefs in 2018. He is 5-0 after bye weeks (including the playoffs) since that time.
Reid has told reporters in the past that he is unable to explain the success that his teams has had after bye weeks, calling it “just one of those things”, but the truth is having an extra week off allows extra time to prepare for opponents, which I am sure Andy Reid is aware of. He knows how to use the bye week to his advantage by allowing coaches and players to self-scout and improve where they need to themselves, regardless of who their next opponent will be.
Becoming rusty over the course of a few weeks is something Andy Reid has probably already considered and will work to make sure his team avoids.
Considering how rare it is to the Chiefs lose these days, this should be concerning for other NFL teams.
The Chiefs have won 23 of their last 24 games. Excluding their loss to the Las Vegas Raiders this year, the last time the Chiefs lost was in November of the 2019 season to the Tennessee Titans.
Even if resting your quarterback in the season finale has led to mixed results for teams, all other signs point to this move being an excellent idea for the defending Super Bowl Champions.