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Patrick Mahomes: 3 bold predictions for Chiefs QB in season opener vs. Cardinals

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

The 2022 NFL season is just around the corner for the Kansas City Chiefs, so it is time for some Patrick Mahomes Week 1 bold predictions. The Chiefs open their season Sunday on the road against the Arizona Cardinals, and expectations are very high this year.

Last season, Mahomes and Kansas City had a rough start. The team went 3-4 through its first seven games, raising some questions if they would even make the postseason. Eventually, the Chiefs bounced back by winning nine of the 10 remaining games. They would end up losing to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game, where Mahomes threw two interceptions, including one in overtime. Because of that, he will try to erase the bad memories surrounding his last outing with a solid performance in Week 1.

With that being said, here are three bold predictions for Patrick Mahomes in the Chiefs’ season opener against the Cardinals.

3. Patrick Mahomes will throw for at least 300+ yards, 3 touchdowns

Even though he had a slow start last season, Mahomes still had good numbers. He threw for 4,839 yards with a career-best 66.3% completion rate for 37 touchdowns. However, he had a career-worst 13 interceptions.

While the Cardinals have some solid pieces on their defense, including the likes of Budda Baker and J.J. Watt, Mahomes shouldn’t have too much difficulty dissecting Arizona. Still, he’ll have to overcome some challenges.

Mahomes will be without Tyreek Hill for the first time in his career. Hill was a crucial part of the team’s Super Bowl runs in recent years and will certainly be missed on the field. In six seasons, he had 56 receiving touchdowns. That type of production is difficult to replace, but Mahomes will look to get Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster involved early in order to quickly build rapport. Plus, he has Travis Kelce at his disposal still, who has arguably been his most dependable receiving threat during Mahomes’ tenure in KC.

It’ll look a bit different, but Mahomes should still put up vintage numbers in the season opener.

2. Mahomes rushes for at least 50 yards

Patrick Mahomes is such an elite passer that sometimes fans forget he can use his legs too. In 2021, he rushed for 381 yards on 66 attempts, averaging 5.8 yards per carry and scoring twice on the ground. All those numbers were the best of his career.

Now that the team won’t have Hill, Mahomes will mostly rely on Kelce. He will also have Smith-Schuster and Valdes-Scantling as options, but since they are new additions to the team, chemistry might be a bit off in the beginning of the 2022 season. It’s entirely possible that he is in sync with his new additions early on, but it’s no guarantee. 

Because of that, Mahomes might need to use his legs a bit more in Week 1. Facing the previously mentioned Watt as a rusher, the Chiefs quarterback will likely face some pressure, which could result in him opting to make plays with his legs in order to pick up some yards.

As Arizona’s defenders make Kelce and company’s job a little tougher, Mahomes will be more creative on the ground. Even though head coach Andy Reid would rather preserve his quarterback’s body early in the season, using Mahomes’ abilities as a runner could have a big influence in the outcome of the game.

1. Mahomes will lead the Chiefs to a touchdown on the opening drive

One of the things people tend to say about a quarterback is that they need to get into their midseason form. Fortunately for Kansas City fans, it seems Mahomes is already there for the season opener.

In two preseason games, he completed 18 of his 26 pass attempts, totaling 222 yards. Although he had limited time on the field, Mahomes was impressive nonetheless.

He led the team in a total of three drives across those games. He managed to find the end zone in all three of them, giving him a 100% touchdown rate in his 2022 preseason drives.

It’s also worth noting that those three touchdown passes were caught by Blake Bell and Jody Fortson, two guys who are not primary receivers. That could suggest that Mahomes won’t be afraid to air it out for his newest weapons in Smith-Schuster and Valdes-Scantling.

A strong start with a touchdown could be what the Chiefs need to control the game. Getting an early lead will be crucial for the defense’s confidence, and will also open up the playbook for Eric Bienemy to get creative. Mahomes getting the Chiefs off to a hot start could be a decisive factor in the outcome.