Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes excited to face first AFC West opponent

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes excited to face first AFC West opponent
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Following the Kansas City Chiefs’ loss to Baltimore in Week 2, fans have officially pulled the fire alarm on the team’s season. It hasn’t gone according to plan so far, with issues on defense and the offensive run game characterizing the Chiefs’ struggles. With tough opponents on the horizon, quarterback Patrick Mahomes is taking everything in stride.

The 2018 league MVP has kept his head up amid criticism of Kansas City’s rocky start, squarely focused on getting a win in Week 3 after the Week 2 loss. In his press conference after practice on Wednesday, Mahomes told reporters that the team has moved on, and that Sunday’s game against the Chargers will be a proving ground for the team’s resilience.

“Everybody is ready to go,” Mahomes said confidently, “We lost to a really good football team and it was a really good football game, but it’s still a long season. We got an AFC West opponent, a great football team coming into town, so you got to kind of turn the page and move on to the next opponent.”

Their coming matchup against Los Angeles will pit the most established quarterback in the division against an upstart sophomore still fresh off an Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign. Justin Herbert, the Chargers’ talented young signal-caller, seems to have left a big impression on Mahomes, who is looking forward to witnessing his development firsthand in their first of two games on the 2021 schedule.

“His arm talent is crazy,” Mahomes raved. “I mean the way he’s able to throw some of these throws, it’s kind of like when you throw it it’s like I don’t know if this is a good throw but he’s always hitting it perfectly in there so it’s always a great throw. He’s someone who has a lot of talent and is learning more and more as he gets in this league. Whenever you can have success without having the knowledge, usually you start getting more and more knowledge and you get even better.”

Herbert’s trajectory coupled with the return of Derwin James after a meniscus injury in 2020, make the Chargers a formidable adversary. Mahomes has nothing but respect for the game of the star safety and the team as a whole, as he told the media in wrapping up his comments.

“[Derwin James is] a one of kind player so having him out there, I mean he can play the deep safety or literally be at the line of scrimmage just as good,” Mahomes said of the budding safety. “You don’t get players like that all the time that can literally do it all. He’s a special player that you have to account for on every single play.”

On the challenge of playing Los Angeles, Mahomes was equally generous in his analysis.

“It’s the AFC West. It’s definitely going to be a massive game,” Mahomes said. “If you look across the AFC West in general, we have a lot of really good football teams and so every single one of these games that we play against each other will be extremely important. We understand that and they have a lot of playmakers that are healthy and that are ready to go and I’m sure they want to win.”

While Kansas City will be favored by oddsmakers, and for good reason, the Chiefs know they’ve got a lot to prove in their next game. Just two practices separate them from a chance at redemption after sustaining their first loss of the season. Judging from the star quarterback, they are motivated as ever to prove the doubters wrong.

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