The one stat that scares Patrick Mahomes ahead of Chiefs vs. Bills



The Kansas City Chiefs’ championship defense continues Sunday night in Buffalo, where Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce will face Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and the rest of the Bills at Highmark Stadium. The winner will advance to the AFC Championship Game against either the Houston Texans or the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens — and for the Chiefs, this task will need to be done on the road, for the first time in Mahomes’ career.

Beyond the intrigue of seeing how Mahomes will do in his first conference playoff game away from Arrowhead Stadium, the two-time MVP will want to see a secondary target emerge beside tight end Travis Kelce. The troubles of the Chiefs’ receivers — specifically in avoiding drops — have in part defined Kansas City’s season, and no quarterback in the NFL has suffered more from his receivers’ inconsistency than Mahomes in 2023.

Mahomes has lost nearly 400 passing yards due to drops!

According to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Mahomes would have an additional 363 passing yards to his name if it wasn’t for his receivers’ frequent inability to catch the ball. The Chiefs led all NFL teams with 44 drops, and several of Mahomes’ career-high 14 interceptions during the regular season were the result of a ball bouncing off a receiver’s hands.

Mahomes would have been much closer to the NFL’s passing yards lead had it not been for all the slippery fingers. Adding in those 363 yards lost due to drops, Mahomes would have finished the regular season with 4,546 passing yards — just 78 behind Tua Tagovailoa, who led the NFL in the category this year.

Rookie Rashee Rice has slowly emerged as Mahomes’ most reliable receiving option behind Kelce, but it remains to be seen whether Mahomes, Andy Reid, and offensive coordinator Matt Nagy have anothe trick up their sleeves against the Bills’ stingy defense.

A good omen for the Chiefs’ defense?

The Kansas City defense isn’t too shabby, either — only Baltimore allowed fewer points during the regular season. The Chiefs proved to be specialists at getting to the quarterback undetected, as no team accrued more unblocked pressures than Kansas City during the regular season.

Steve Spagnuolo’s defense held Tagovailoa’s explosive Miami Dolphins to only seven points in the wild-card round. Repeating that kind of performance on the road against Allen and the Bills will be even more impressive — and likely secure a sixth straight AFC title game appearance for the Chiefs.


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