Image Credit – Kansas City Chiefs
As we are nearing the halfway point of the season, today we will evaluate the performance level of the offensive position groups using a letter grade system.
Quarterback – A-
IMAGE CREDIT – LOS ANGELES TIMES
Patrick Mahomes is still by far the best quarterback in the league, which has become expected. We should never take this for granted though, as ten years ago many of us likely thought we would never see this talented of a passer ever in a Chiefs uniform. This has been nowhere near the best year by typical Mahomes standards, but he has still been good, and this past game vs. the Chargers was his best game of the season, throwing for over 300 yards in the first half alone.
Blaine Gabbert is taking over the role of the veteran backup for Chad Henne, and he has struggled a bit – Throwing 2 interceptions in his only regular-season action against Chicago. Hopefully, he can improve and gain the same trust level Chiefs fans had with Chad Henne over the past few years.
Running Back – B+
Isiah Pacheco continues to prove his worth as RB1, and he has taken over more of a role in the receiving game, which is great to see as his athletic ability out in space is always dangerous for opposing defenses. Jerick McKinnon continues to be effective in a mostly limited role (expect him to get more touches later in the season, as he seemingly always does). Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been serviceable at times – but he adds great value as a teammate, with a positive attitude despite the circumstances of losing his starting job last year.
Wide Receiver – C
The game vs. the Chargers was the best performance by this group as a whole. Rashee Rice is showing that he is CLEARLY this offense’s second-best weapon in the passing game, with another great performance vs. the Chargers, bucking the typical Andy Reid trend of not exposing rookie wide receivers. The re-addition of Mecole Hardman came up big in the second half of last night’s game, as he came up with a big catch to move the chains on a key scoring drive, and had a great punt return after struggling to start the game. Kadarius Toney continues to be effective in limited reps, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling had his best game of the season by far. The group as a whole has struggled a bit, but this game showed the upside that the group has for the rest of the season.
Tight End – A
The most obvious grade out of all of the positions, Travis Kelce continues to show why he is a first-ballot hall-of-famer. At 34 years old, he continues to make young corners and safeties look silly and may have the best “feel” for open space in zones of all time. Fighting through ankle and knee injuries hasn’t even slowed him down in the slightest. Noah Gray has taken a step up this year as a reliable, sure-handed backup option, a Blake Bell does his job as an inline blocker. Jody Fortson is missed as a big-body red-zone target, and if he comes back next year this group will be very deep.
Offensive Line – B
Image Credit – BSW Sports
The overall pass protection for 15 this year has been great, the issue has been penalties, penalties, and more penalties. Although the argument can be made that many of the calls on Jawaan Taylor were unfair to start to year, they added up quickly and the Chiefs offense sputtered. The past few weeks have been a more positive trend on that front, as the pass protection has been stellar with no illegal formation penalties or false starts. The interior offensive line continues to be rock solid, and the tackles are rounding into form at the right time. The injury to Prince Tega-Wanogho is unfortunate though, as he was the Chiefs’ best backup tackle. Wanya Morris was forced into his first NFL snaps yesterday and looked solid in relief of Donovan Smith after he had to step out for a few plays with an injury.
Week 7 vs. the Chargers was looking more like the Chiefs offense of old, and now is the right time to round into form as the Chiefs play Miami in 2 weeks. I know we are used to pure explosiveness from this Chiefs offense, but we need to trust the best QB, TE and HC in the NFL. They will get this offense operating at their full potential when it matters most!