The first Sunday of the 2022 regular season has passed… See thoughts on this week’s game, position breakdown, and thoughts toward the rest of the season.
By: Justin Miles @justm1les
The first Sunday of the 2022-23 NFL season has finally arrived and it did not disappoint. With a combination of it all, this week 1 was one for the ages. The Chiefs took on the Cardinals and won 44-21 in a dominant performance. Patrick Mahomes led the way going 30/39 for 360 yards and 5 (Yes, you read that right, 5.) touchdowns. The Broncos and Seahawks have yet to play but Mahomes by far had the best quarterback performance this week. He is off to a great start and looks to once again become a serious MVP candidate. This marks the 6th time Mahomes has had a 5+ touchdown game. Which means he is now tied with Ben Roethlisberger and Dan Marino for the third most games with this feat in NFL history.
Week 1 allowed us to finally see the new offense in a real game. Rookie running back Isiah Pacheco led the team in rushing with 12 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. Clyde Edwards-Helaire got involved in both the passing and rushing game, tallying 10 total touches for 74 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jerick McKinnon also got 4 carries for 22 yards. The running back room showed great depth and high promise. All 3 guys proved they could contribute and Chiefs fans should be excited for this committee moving forward.
The Chief’s passing game saw 9 different players get involved and catch a pass. Travis Kelce led the way with 8 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. Another familiar face, Mecole Hardman only caught 3 passes but managed to rack up 16 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Jody Fortson caught only one pass for one yard but that was all it took for yet another touchdown. The Chiefs got to see 3 of their biggest new weapons go to work this week as well. Former Steeler, JuJu Smith-Schuster led the new guys, racking up 6 catches for 79 yards. Former Packer, Marquez Valdez-Scantling was not far behind with 4 catches for 44 yards. Finally, rookie Skyy Moore only caught 1 pass but it was for 30 yards. Despite not much action, Moore looked to have some great potential moving forward and will likely see an increase in targets as the season progresses. The Chief’s wide receiver room was undoubtedly one of the most underrated groups in the NFL heading into the season. However, it continues to become clearer and clearer that we have a great committee receiver room that is stacked with talent. It could very well be a different guy leading the pack each week. As we expected, the passing offense did not seem to miss a beat despite losing Tyreek Hill this offseason.
The Chiefs spent time beefing up their offensive line this offseason and it proved to be a job well done as not a single sack was allowed. On the flip side, the defense tallied up 3 sacks and had a great overall performance. Nick Bolton and L’Jarius Sneed took charge and racked up 18 total tackles. There were a lot of good things demonstrated that will not show in the stats but are crucial to winning a football game. For example, the O-line also did a great job run blocking and setting up other guys to succeed. We saw some great coverage from the defense and they were flying around. While not every snap was picture-perfect, it is only week 1 and we will only look to improve from here. Especially defensively.
While a lot of good things were done, every game will have its not so good side as well. The team definitely has things that need to be cleaned up but overall they played a great game on all sides of the ball. While the Chiefs look to continue to improve each week, they proved why they are a huge threat to make yet another Super Bowl push. The Chiefs look to continue their hot start next week as the Los Angeles Chargers will be coming to Kansas City. As far as the year in general, Chiefs fans should have high hopes for yet another great season.
Stats via: ESPN, NFL & CBS Sports