On January 31, 2018, quarterback Alex Smith was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Washington Redskins.
Thus, the Patrick Mahomes era has begun in Kansas City.
Woo! Hoo-ray! Yippie! Wreck'em!
...Or maybe we should hold off a bit before we expect him to be the greatest quarterback in the NFL.
Mahomes has all the intangibles to be a great quarterback in this league, but he's started one regular season game in the NFL, and he played...decent. I'll give him some credit, the Denver Broncos defense is one of the better ones in the NFL. Mahomes still posted the fourth worst QBR against the Broncos all year (among starters), which is why the expectations should not be as high as they will.
Alex Smith was a top ten quarterback last season, and the Chiefs went 10-6 and had the eighth-best record in the NFL. To expect the same from Mahomes is unfair to him, but it's going to happen. He might be expected to be the best of the second year quarterbacks, but that is still a bit steep given that Deshaun Watson looked like an MVP candidate before he got hurt.
From a raw potential standpoint, Mahomes will be one of the best quarterbacks Kansas City has ever seen (granted that bar isn't that high). As someone who goes to Texas Tech, I want to see Mahomes put up the kind of ridiculous numbers in the pros that he put up here, but I'm not gonna put that on him. We placed unrealistic expectations on him at Texas Tech, and he had to put up insane numbers here to even make us competitive.
When you think about the best NFL players to come out of Texas Tech, you think of people like Zach Thomas and Wes Welker, and maybe Danny Amendola and Donny Anderson, depending on your standards. These are all players who earned their status because they worked hard and earned it, not because they were day-one Hall of Famers.
That is not to say that Mahomes can't be a Deshaun Watson or Carson Wentz type player next year, but don't let that be your expectation. Watson and Wentz were amazing last season, but they were not normal seasons for a young quarterback, and both of those spectacular seasons ended in injury.
Texas Tech and Kansas City Chiefs fans need to temper expectations before we set the bar so high that Mahomes can never reach it. The "Mahomies" need to let Mahomes do Mahomes, and he will do his best to be the best. Give him a few years to develop, and if he somehow does set the league on fire next season, then we can celebrate that much more.