The Patrick Mahomes injury is bad news. For the Chiefs, obviously, but just as much for the AFC and the league.
Mahomes wasn’t 100% to begin with
Mahomes was probably already carrying some sort of injury since week 2. His ankle wasn’t 100% it seemed. But he was doing fine in the game against the Denver Broncos, up until the 2nd quarter QB sneak.
Then came the dislocated knee. Popping the knee back in. Mahomes limping off the field. And the win. But a sour one.
Some wins aren’t as joyful as others
Matt Moore was solid in his absence with 117 yards in the air and one touchdown pass. In a relatively weak AFC, even without Mahomes for a while, most expect the Chiefs to make the playoffs. But chasing the New England Patriots? Beating them? This seems like a super difficult task even with Mahomes, arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. With Moore and the leaky defense, that’s pretty much impossible.
While the league doesn’t really worry about competitiveness as long as the numbers and $$$$ are right, there is a bad look to the disparity in one conference, and the general lack of balance between two conferences. The Patriots rule the AFC with an iron grip, and having perhaps its main competition getting thrown out of the competition is bad news.
Quarterback injuries hurt more
Especially through quarterback injury, which we seem to have too many of anyway. And there aren’t that many good ones around. Maybe it’s a standard, annual, vague complaint about the QB quality in this league.
Maybe it’s not bad for the league to shift its focus from quarterbacks elsewhere. But teams also know – it’s easier to mold a “face of the franchise’ out of a quarterback. And the Chiefs just lost, hopefully not for too long, one of the most marketable ones.
The Chiefs aren’t in terrible hands in Moore, a veteran backup who perhaps hasn’t played more in this league because previous teams have paid him rather well just for being their security blanket, rarely to be used. But in the long run, they need Mahomes. The NFL, in its ever-going quest to find new star players to build narratives around, need this Mahomes injury to be over quickly, and to be something without any long-term implications on his health and ability.