Chiefs QB had 10 TDs at this time last year; only 7 now
Patrick Mahomes sure has regressed in year 2 as the Kansas City Chiefs’ starting quarterback.
Last year he tossed 10 touchdowns without an interception over the first two games of the season. This year? Only seven touchdown throws without an interception after two games.
Sheesh. That’s a 30% dropoff in scoring-pass production.
Flash in the pan! One-hit wonder! The bomb to the bum …
Relax. I’m joking, of course.
The 23-year-old Mahomes remains simply amazing, nine months after being named NFL MVP. He dazzles still.
In Sunday’s 28-10 win at Oakland, Mahomes’ aerial stat line sparkled: 30-of-44 for 443 yards and four TDs. This, after completing 25-of-33 for 378 yards and three scores in a 40-26 win at Jacksonville.
Mahomes still makes incredible feats of athleticism and difficult throws look crazy easy.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to him,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. “We’ve got to do a better job next time.”
Two head coaches on Sunday eschewed overtime and went for a two-point conversion and the win in the final minute, after scoring a touchdown to trail, coincidentally, by the same score: 13-12.
One made the two-pointer, the other didn’t. But both lost in regulation.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone decided to roll the dice at Houston after his plucky rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II ran and passed the Jaguars to what appeared to be a game-tying touchdown with 30 seconds left; he hit wide receiver DJ Chark with a four-yard TD throw.
On the two-point conversion Marrone and his offensive coordinator, John Defilippo, tried to screw up the Texans defence by putting a receiver in motion within a trips left-formation, only to hand off to dogged running back Leonard Fournette up the gut.
The Texans stacked up Fournette just inches short of the goal line to essentially win the game.
“It was a decision I made prior to us getting the last possession,” Marrone said. “I said I’m going to go for two. (We) immediately had a play in mind … It just didn’t work.”
In Denver, the Broncos capped a late 62-yard drive when Joe Flacco lobbed a fantastic pass into the right corner of the end zone to wideout Earnest Sanders, for a seven-yard score. Chicago led 13-12 with 31 seconds left.
Denver’s first-time head coach Vic Fangio didn’t hesitate to go for two. But Flacco didn’t notice the play clock winding down, and the officials flagged Denver for delay.
Rather than go for two points from the seven, Fangio instead opted to have the five-yard penalty walked off from the one-point scrimmage line, the 15, rather than the two-point scrimmage line, the two.
Broncos placekicker Brandon McManus then missed the lengthened, 38-yard extra point.
But wait. The Bears were rightly flagged for offside.
Fangio then elected, by rule apparently, to enforce that penalty walk-off from the two-point scrimmage line, rather than the 20. Meaning the ball was moved half the distance, from the two to the one-yard line.
From there, Flacco then hit Sanders for what appeared to be the winning two-pointer, with Denver now up 14-13.
Only Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky subsequently completed two passes, the latter for 25 yards down to Allen Robinson down to the Denver 35.
Robinson fell to the ground with barely one second still left. The clocked then ticked down to 0:00, and the Broncos began to celebrate.
Only referee Adrian Hill a moment later informed everyone that the Bears somehow had called their final timeout in that last split-second, and thus were awarded one more play. Mighty strange.
Tens of thousands of Broncos fans lost their minds.
And on that last gifted snap, Bears placekicker Eddy Pineiro promptly booted the hell out of the ball on his 53-yard field goal attempt, which easily made it over the crossbar and between the uprights — for a walk-off 16-14 Chicago victory.
Pineiro later tweeted: “If you don’t believe in God you better start believing / he’s REAL thank you Chicago!”
JACKSON HAS SEVEN TDs TOO
Baltimore had trouble holding on to defeat Arizona, 23-17. But QB Lamar Jackson was fabulous again. He threw for 272 yards and two TDs without a pick, and ran 16 times for a game-high 120 yards.
Jackson, like Mahomes, has now thrown seven TDs without a pick after two games.
Also, Jackson became the first player in NFL history with at least 250 yards passing and 120 yards rushing in one game.
“Lamar is a football player. He has talents. He has abilities,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s out there playing the game. He’s applying his gifts. He’s applying his football IQ.”
The Cardinals ran for but 20 yards. Rookie QB Kyler Murray for the second straight week was pretty good in trying gamely but unsuccessfully to rally his team to victory: 25-of-40 for 349 yards and no interceptions, although no TDs.
Murray joined Cam Newton as the only QBs in NFL history with 300 passing yards in each of his first two pro games.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“How many times can this happen to the Saints? Unbelievable.”
— Joe Buck, play-by-play man on FOX’s telecast of Rams-Saints, after the Saints got jobbed yet again by NFL on-field officials, when Los Angeles QB Jared Goff fumbled and a Saints player picked up the ball and scored the other way.
The problem was, officials blew the play dead, believing Goff’s arm came forward for an incomplete pass.
The Saints challenged and the play was properly overturned to a fumble, but because the play had been blown dead the fumble-six could not stand.
New Orleans merely gained possession at its own 13. The score was 3-3 at the time. New Orleans could have taken a 10-3 lead but, as it was, never led in an eventual 27-9 loss.
OFFBEAT QUOTE OF THE DAY
Dan Fouts, colour commentator on CBS’ telecast of Dolphins-Patriots, after the hapless Miami Dolphins under first-time head coach Brian Flores called a timeout prior to New England’s extra-point attempt after going up 13-0:
“Are they trying to freeze (Stephen) Gostkowski in 87-degree weather?!”
OFFBEAT QUOTE OF THE DAY II
Ian Eagle, play-by-play man on the same Dolphins-Patriots telecast, on the timeout — when Gostkowski after the interruption went ahead and shanked the conversion kick wide right:
“It’s a new strategy.”
COLTS HAVE THEIR NUMBER
Indianapolis and Tennessee always seem to play close, low-scoring games. And if it seems as though the Colts usually win them, it’s because it’s true.
Indy improved to 1-1, and the Titans dropped to 1-1, after the Colts hung on to win 19-17 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
Indianapolis has won 19 of its last 21 games against Tennessee since December 2008.