Patrick Mahomes” by Jeffrey Beall (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Kansas City Chiefs are one of a number of teams in the AFC Championship that are undergoing major changes this summer. Those teams, including the Chiefs, will begin 2018 with a question mark over them and with something to prove. For Kansas their question mark will be their new quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and is he the man to make them a force in the AFC once again?

The Chiefs made everyone aware of how much they liked Mahomes during the 2017 draft. They moved up from number 27 in the line up to number 10 to make sure they landed their number one target, and gave up a lot to get there. Mahomes was taken, and the rest is history, he played his first full season under the tutelage of the now departed Alex Smith, and will be looking to use that experience from last season as something to build on this summer.

Mahomes will be the number one guy for Kansas; he has no safety blanket around him, and the world now rests on his shoulders. He has to show two things – the first is that he is mentally tough enough to be a number one in the NFL at such a young age, and the second is to show that he is good enough to do it. Those are two big tests, and not only will those two things be scrutinized by the fans and the media, but they will also determine how well the Chiefs do this season. With Alex Smith traded to Washington, the fans have no choice but to get on board and support Mahomes.

Arrowhead Stadium” by Greenstrat

Should they have poor quarterback play, the Chiefs look likely to have another relatively level season, where they will once again be around the edges of the playoffs, but lacking the quality to do any damage. However, if Mahomes can step up and deliver what his team needs then they have a chance to challenge in the AFC. Mahomes doesn’t need to come in and be a superstar quarterback in his first season, but he does need to do the basics right and keep mistakes to a minimum.

The latest NFL betting has Kansas at 12/1 for AFC glory, something that would drop considerably should Mahomes have a good start to the season and prove his worth. The Chiefs have a lot of firepower in their line up, and their price of 12/1 is solely based on Mahomes not being quite ready for the big time. Should he prove people wrong, then the Chiefs will become serious contenders in the AFC, make no mistake about it.

Like many other franchises, this is a very big summer for the Kansas City Chiefs and one that will involve big changes on the field. They have Patrick Mahomes in place as their quarterback, a man they have singled out and chosen to be their leader for years to come. Some people think this is a year too soon for him, but he has been given an opportunity to shine, and if he takes it the Chiefs could be AFC dark horses in 2018.

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