BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots will have their hands full with the 5-0 Chiefs this weekend, and it starts with Kansas City’s young and talented quarterback.
Patrick Mahomes is the talk of the NFL, leading the league with 16 touchdown passes in the first five games of his career. And that’s with a touchdown-less afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, who picked Mahomes off twice — the first interceptions of the 23-year-old’s career. It didn’t matter though, as Kansas City cruised to a 30-14 victory. Mahomes threw for 313 yards to up his season total to 1,513, and ran for a touchdown in the KC victory.
So even when Mahomes isn’t firing on all cylinders, the Chiefs offense seems to find the end zone. He may have returned to earth a bit on Sunday, but one can only imagine what the second-year quarterback will be able to do to the Patriots’ occasionally porous defense come Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.
Luckily, head coach Bill Belichick and his staff got a few extra days to prepare for the NFL’s new wunderkind. While Patriots players had the weekend off following their Thursday Night Football win over the Indianapolis Colts, Belichick wasn’t taking any days off and was hard at work scouting their next opponent.
Asked what impresses him about Mahomes, Belichick said it’s not just one aspect of his game.
“Pretty much everything. He gets the ball to all of his receivers quick, quick release, sees things quickly, can extend plays, got a great arm, got a fabulous arm, can throw the ball out of the stadium. He makes good decisions, accurate, gets the ball out on time,” Belichick explained on his Monday morning conference call.
It appears as though Mahomes’ cannon of an arm is what has caught most of Belichick’s attention — much like the rest of the football world.
“No matter where it goes, it gets there pretty quickly. The further the quarterback can throw it then the more you’ve got to defend. If the ball is on their 20-yard line you’ve still got to defend to the goal line against him,” he said. “He can rip it.”
The Patriots have been among the better teams this season in limiting big plays, with just 14 of the 205 pass plays they’ve faced going for 20 yards or more yards (eight-best in the NFL). The Chiefs offense has 25 such plays, ranking second in the league behind the Rams’ 28 passing plays of 20 or more yards.
With Mahomes’ rocket launcher of an arm coming to Gillette Stadium, the New England secondary will be on their heels for much of the evening on Sunday.
WBZ-TV will have Sunday night’s Patriots-Chiefs clash covered, starting at 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning with Patriots GameDay! After the game be sure to switch to WBZ-TV for full reaction and analysis, plus Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s press conferences LIVE, on Patriots 5th Quarter!