Patrick Mahomes sizzles in high-flying Week 2 win

Print

Patrick Mahomes made it into this space last week, but he was merely an honorable mention. After all, it's hard to overcome the power of FitzMagic.

Week 2, though, belonged to Mahomes.

In case anyone was worried Mahomes' stellar Week 1 was a fluke, the cannon-armed Chief returned for another 60 minutes of high-flying excellence in Week 2, torching the Pittsburgh Steelers.

There was a time where Mahomes was largely an unknown. We had just one game of actual tape to tell us everything about him. My, how things can change in eight days.

Unstoppable Performer


Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs


We gushed over Mahomes in Week 1 after his Chiefs blew the doors off the Chargers, racking up yardage in almost every conceivable way. In Week 2, Mahomes established the Cleveland Heights connection, finding Travis Kelce seven times for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Much like a spider spins its web, Mahomes' production spread outward from Kelce to Sammy Watkins (six catches, 100 yards), Tyreek Hill (five catches, 90 yards, one touchdown), Chris Conley (2/17, one TD), Kareem Hunt (1/5, one TD) and Demarcus Robinson (1/3, one TD). It doesn't get much more complete than that.

Mahomes sent Steeler Nation into Monday Morning Panic Mode, torching Pittsburgh for 326 yards and six (!) touchdowns on 23-of-28 passing in a game that began as a blowout and ended up being a fireworks show. Mahomes was even better in the money area of the field, completing 9 of 12 pass attempts of 10-plus air yards for 215 yards, five touchdowns and a passer rating of 156.3, per Next Gen Stats.

It's the second straight eye-popping performance from the youngster who's making the Chiefs look like geniuses for trading up to grab him, sit him for a year, trade Alex Smith away and hand him the keys. Mahomes is one of just two players to win three consecutive road games in his first three career starts since 1970. The other: Jeff Hostetler, who did so in three starts from 1988-1990.

To recap, enjoy this compilation of quarterbacking beauty below:

And to top it all off, Mahomes turned 23 Monday. Happy birthday, Patrick.

Also considered ...


Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars


I think Doug Marrone summarized this one up best on Sunday.

"I think that he made some really good throws today, played with a lot of confidence," Marrone said of Bortles after Jacksonville's 31-20 win over New England. "He knows and understands he has to do that every week. You know, he catches a lot of (expletive) and today's going to be OK, everyone's going to be happy and tomorrow he's going to have to come back and start working because he'll be evaluated each Sunday, and he understands that. But again, he did a nice job today."

A lot of that, um, crap Bortles received has been justified. His mechanics have been all over the place at times in his career, he's been down more than up and as a result, has often been mentioned as a piece that needs to go in order for the Jaguars to reach their full potential. But days like Sunday prove why Jacksonville hasn't pulled the plug on Bort.

Operating within his and his teammates abilities, Bortles shined, completing 29 of 45 passes for 377 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception. His longest touchdown pass was largely achieved by Dede Westbrook's YAC, but that doesn't take away from a win the Jaguars would have liked to have in January. It's a step in the right direction for a true AFC contender, and also a soothing reminder that Bortles might not actually be as bad as the haters make him out to be.


Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos


This narrative might just be starting, folks.

Second all-time in rushing yards at Colorado University, Phillip Lindsay somehow wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. Months later, he went undrafted.

Local major sports GM John Elway wasn't missing out on Lindsay, though -- seriously, near Boulder, how could he? -- and snagged Lindsay as an undrafted free agent. While all the camp talk revolved around third-round pick Royce Freeman, Lindsay was quietly working his way onto the roster.

He's since sprinted onto the scene.

Lindsay became the first undrafted player in NFL history with 100-plus scrimmage yards in each of his first two games by rushing for 107 yards on 14 carries. The waterbug-like running bounced through holes, would-be tacklers and the incredibly low ceiling placed on him by evaluators in Week 2, leading a Denver ground game that was crucial in the second half as the Broncos erased a double-digit deficit to take down Oakland, 20-19.

Long in search of a reliable back, Lindsay is at least operating a scatback role better than most anyone, becoming just the third Broncos back to break 100 yards in a game since 2014 (C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman combined to do so 13 times since then). The new Broncos backfield has a fresh face, and it isn't Freeman's.

Print