The Kansas City Chiefs aim to continue their run to the number one seed in the AFC into NRG Stadium against the team with the worst record in the NFL and who will be without numerous key starters. We decided to sit down with Tom Childs of Arrowhead Pride to get his thoughts on tomorrow’s battle between the Chiefs and your Houston Texans.
Patrick Mahomes has consistently been one of the top quarterbacks in football and is always in the MVP race this time of year. Please state your case for Mahomes as the MVP of the 2022 regular season.
To win the MVP, you need two things: the numbers and the narrative. The 2022 version of Patrick Mahomes has both.
Let’s start with the numbers…
Patrick Mahomes currently leads the NFL in the following:
Plus I am sure there are many more.
While the numbers are insanely impressive, we all know that there has to be a story that makes them even more impressive. Enter the narrative — or shall we call it ‘Tyreek Hill’. Everyone — and I mean EVERYONE — was convinced that Patrick Mahomes was destined to take a step back without Tyreek Hill to throw to. We’ve all seen the ‘F it, Tyreek is down there somewhere’ meme — now it should say ‘F it, anyone is down there somewhere’. It really has shocked the NFL world how quickly and how well Mahomes has responded to losing one of the best receivers in the NFL. What has happened in Green Bay is exactly what everyone believed would happen in Kansas City. It simply hasn’t materialized that way. He’s the MVP, simple as.
Everyone knows about Mahomes and Travis Kelce, but who are some of the other key players on offense that help make up one of the most potent offenses in the NFL?
As I mentioned in question 1, replacing Tyreek Hill should not have been made to look as easy as it has. Now that isn’t a knock on Tyreek Hill’s abilities. We are well aware of how great of a player he is. But instead of the Chiefs trying to go like-for-like, they’ve almost gone for a wide receiver by committee approach. In fact, I won’t limit it to wide receivers because the backup tight ends have been getting involved too. Let’s call it pass-catching by committee, although we may have to work on the name.
That being said, if I had to point to a single player who had stepped up the most, it would have to be JuJu Smith-Schuster. He may not have a similar skillset to Tyreek Hill, but he would probably be classed as the Chiefs’ second-best receiving option behind the unicorn that is Travis Kelce.
Who are some of the key players on defense that Texans fans should be on the lookout for?
I’m sure Texans fans are very familiar with Chris Jones so I won’t point out the obvious. Instead, I’ll highlight the linebacker pair of Nick Bolton and Willie Gay. Bolton is a tackling machine which wears the green dot for the defense, while Gay Jr. is his running mate who plays with a bit more freedom. It was Gay Jr who showed off his athleticism against the Broncos last week by going up and getting a Russell Wilson pass attempt and then taking it to the house for six. Bolton on the other hand is a little less flashy. Every now and then he’ll pop out of the screen, but most of the time he’ll be quietly going about his business.
The Chiefs have all but clinched a spot in the playoffs this year, but there are a lot of good teams in the AFC. Who amongst the contenders are you most concerned about come playoff time?
Yep, I can’t believe it is that time of year already. It sounds arrogant but it feels like the regular season is becoming less and less exciting as the Mahomes’ era goes on. Being a playoff team should never be taken for granted (you know this more than most), but I just want to get there now. I think the Chiefs have a real shot at the AFC’s number 1 seed as I fully expect them to win out — we’ll have to wait and see if the Bills can drop a game. When it gets to the playoffs, I must admit that I am concerned about the turnovers. They have too many dumb ones and they don’t create any themselves. As I write this, the Chiefs are in the bottom half in both categories — not exactly where they need to be. The Chiefs can win games without their defense creating turnovers, but I doubt they can win in January if they’re turning the ball over themselves.
The Chiefs opened as 14 point favorites against the Texans and the line has held there most of the week. Do you feel comfortable giving that many points or are there other prop bets that you feel more comfortable recommending?
I do think the line is about right and I’ll tell you why. The gulf in class between the two teams is obvious but that hasn’t necessarily translated into the Chiefs covering larger spreads, previously. If this Chiefs team are guilty of anything then complacency is it. Just last week, the Chiefs were cruising at 27-0 then suddenly found themselves in a dogfight. That simply cannot happen again this Sunday otherwise the Chiefs Kingdom will have a meltdown. So I expect the Chiefs to put their foot down and then play sensible football. That’s why I am backing the over on Isiah Pacheco rushing yards. If you hadn’t heard of Pacheco yet, you’re sure to hear a lot about him in the next couple of months.
Thanks for having me Texans fans and good luck for the rest of the season.
We want to thank Tom for joining us this week and for taking the time to answer our questions. If you want more Chiefs news remember to check out our sister site at Arrowhead Pride. We want to wish the Chiefs the best of luck in the rest of the season and playoffs and hope we can catch up with Tom again down the line.