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Mahomes' debut bodes well for Chiefs' succession plan

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Patrick Mahomes has gotten plenty of praise and received an unusually high bar of expectation entering his first season as a starter.

Seems like an easy trap for him, right? Well, if Week 1 is any indicator, those expectations might have been a little too low.

Operating Andy Reid's freewheeling offense, Mahomes and the Chiefs took off against the Los Angeles Chargers, moving the ball with relative ease and benefitting from a diverse scheme cooked up by the mustachioed man in red. The quarterback was measured, confident and sharp at every level of the field, posting a line of 15-of-27 passing for 256 yards and four touchdowns as the Chiefs ran away with a 38-28 win.

Tyreek Hill received the majority of the Mahomes Missiles (TM), recording seven grabs for 169 yards and two scores, but the play wasn't limited to the Cheetah. Mahomes began establishing a regular-season rapport with Sammy Watkins, finding him three times for 21 yards, including a key red zone connection that set up a De'Anthony Thomas rushing touchdown. He also found his fullback -- yes, his fullback -- on a 36-yard touchdown that only happened because Mahomes placed the ball perfectly in an open space between the safety and over the leaping Kyle Emmanuel.

It's just one week, and it was a week in which the Chargers didn't have the benefit of much tape. After all, Mahomes only played in one game last season, an essentially meaningless Week 17 contest against Denver.

But if you cued up the tape from the Broncos game and then watched this Chargers game, you'd think you were watching a completely different player. Sure, the rocket arm and athleticism are still there, but there was a sense of calm and poise not typically seen in second-year signal-callers -- especially those making just their second start in the NFL against a talented defense.

We're all set to overreact to one game (it's what we do at this point in the season), but Mahomes' positives seem to be sustainable. It won't be a blowout every week in Kansas City (the Chiefs might have to purely outscore some opponents this season), and they're almost guaranteed to lose some games, but Week 1 couldn't have gone any better for them with Mahomes behind the wheel.

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