The preseason served as a much-needed palate cleanser for the Chiefs.
When we last saw Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes looked more like a running back than a quarterback, doing his best to evade a constant swarm of Buccaneers defenders in Super Bowl LV.
In the months since, Chiefs brass spent plenty of cash and cashed in some assets to revamp their decimated offensive line in hopes of preventing such a disaster from happening again. Their showing in each of the three exhibition wins suggests that investment was money well spent.
“I think they’ve had an amazing preseason,” Mahomes said after Friday’s win over the Vikings, per USA Today. “I haven’t got hit a lot; I don’t really think I got touched today. I think that just speaks to them and how they’ve been playing. They’ve done a great job and gotten better each and every week so I’m excited for the season.”
As Mahomes alluded to, the O-line, led by newcomers Joe Thuney and Orlando Brown, was excellent in pass protection throughout the preseason. According to Next Gen Stats, Mahomes was pressured only three times and not sacked at all in limited action.
In addition to Thuney and Brown, the Chiefs brought in a couple new faces (Kyle Long, Creed Humphrey ) and welcomed back some old ones ( Laurent Duvernay-Tardif , Lucas Niang ) that could prove to be reliable starters like what they used to have in Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, both of whom were released in March.
So far, Mahomes likes what he’s seen from his new blockers.
“Obviously they’re all really talented,” he said. “You can see that in their practice, you can see that when they’re doing one on ones, whatever it is. As you kind of gel as an offensive line, with the quarterback, with the whole entire offense, when everybody is on the same exact page is when you have those truly great offensive lines and great offenses. I think you see us as games are going on, we’re communicating better and better, and I think we’ll continue to improve throughout the season.”
While it’s true that this is only a start, it’s also true that it’s encouraging to see the group come together how they have early on, especially considering that only five linemen and one starter (Andrew Wylie) returned from last season.
The Chiefs would love nothing more than for the starting five with whom they begin the season to be the same five with whom they end it. If they are able to pull that off, a third consecutive Super Bowl berth may be all but guaranteed.
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