Should the Chiefs elect to start Mahomes this week, as most anticipate they will, it will have zero effect on the Chiefs, but a pretty big impact on the fans. Some fans are dying to see Mahomes, some are just happy that the playoffs are locked up and view this week’s game, vs Denver, as completely irrelevant. Whether you’re in the Alex Smith club, or ‘in a club with Ma-homies’, you have valid reasons to want Mahomes to start or sit.
Mahomes Club: Why Chiefs Should Start Him: In the NFL, experience is key. Unless Smith is going to win you a Super Bowl, he‘s basically wasting snaps. Sunday will be a great opportunity for Mahomes to learn, and the quicker he learns, the quicker he starts for real, all the time. On a more basic level though, it’ll be fun to watch. Pretty sure I haven’t watched a QB start a game for the Chiefs who they actually drafted in my lifetime. Mahomes will likely make some mistakes, but it’ll all be worth it to see some of those beautiful throws that no other QB can make. Plus, if the Red Zone Offense actually works for once, we’ll have all the bragging rights.
Alex Smith Club: Why Chiefs Should Start Mahomes: If the Chiefs are going to go anywhere in the playoffs, Smith is going to be the main reason. The last thing you want to do is expose him to a rival defense, and a marked tendency to play dirty. No reason to have Smith absorbing late hits when Mahomes can do it. As an added bonus, if Mahomes doesn’t look very good, we get to torment his fan club all off-season about how it was a wasted pick and will ruin the organization.
Mahomes Club: Why He Shouldn’t Start: Do you really want to give your rookie QB his first start at Mile High, in the winter, against a defense that’s really solid? If the Chiefs rest Smith, you can bet your sweet bippy they’ll rest Kelce and Hill too. Even though they shouldn’t, fans will form an opinion of Mahomes based on one game, in tough circumstances, with no supporting cast. Yes, everyone should understand this and cut the kid some slack, rather than leaping to judgment. But some people are just looking for an excuse to crush him, why give it to them? We all know Mahomes is the starter next year, let‘s not jeopardize his off-season by putting him in harm‘s way. An injury now could really hurt his development if it lingers into training camp.
Alex Smith Club: Why Mahomes Shouldn’t Start: Smith is finally getting into a rhythm after his post bye-week slump. Resting Smith may well be rusting Smith. Alex is also posting the best numbers of his career, let him add to those stats, he deserves it.
Further, if Mahomes starts, and has a fantastic game on a fluke (remember how good Nick Foles looked at first?), the Mahomes club will become utterly insufferable. We’ll never hear the end of it. Reid isn’t dumb enough to switch starters after one good game, so Smith is safe from that standpoint. However, when the Chiefs inevitably exit the playoffs, Mahomies will blame Smith rather than a flawed defense and bad OL. We’ll have to hear about how KC could have gone the distance if Reid would’ve just gone with the hot hand.
A good performance by Mahomes would also make it far more likely the Chiefs let Smith go next year. This could easily lead to a scenario where KC dumps the best QB they’ve had in a long time, for an unproven rookie who had one good game. What happens when defenses get some film on Mahomes, and we get to watch another team enjoying Smith’s veteran skills? That’s gonna suck. Let Smith start, maybe he’ll continue to look good enough that Chiefs decide to hang on to him for another year.
Regardless of what we want, Mahomes is almost certain to see at least reps this week. Rather than hoping for bragging rights, we should all try to remember that this is a rookie QB in his first game in a rough situation. If he does well, great, let’s see if it lasts. If he does poorly, don’t panic or go apoplectic, many great QBs have struggled as rookies. As temping as it may be to draw huge conclusions from this game, understand that we’ll know about as much at the end, as we did at the beginning. Whichever club you fall in, we can all hope for one thing: no injuries. Lets get into the playoffs healthy and hope Brady and Roethlesburger suddenly disintegrate. Go Chiefs!
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