How Patrick Mahomes makes the impossible look so easy


We Are Watching Jordan

It happened again, the chemistry on the Kansas City sideline that led to a very big win. Remember in the Super Bowl, when Kansas City was down 10 midway through the fourth quarter to the Niners? Patrick Mahomes went to the sidelines—third-and-15, season on the line—and said to offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy: “Do we have time to run Wasp?”  And 2-3 Jet Chip Wasp was the call, and a 44-yard completion to Tyreek Hill resulted, sparking the 31-21 KC victory.

Sunday night, the moment wasn’t as dramatic. The season wasn’t on the line, but the pesky Raiders were becoming a problem, and they were up 31-28 in their new stadium in Nevada, threatening to sweep the season series, when the Chiefs called their last timeout. Second-and-seven, ball on the Vegas 22, just 34 seconds left.

“Actually,” Mahomes said from the KC locker room 50 minutes after the game, “there was a funny moment in that timeout.”

Mahomes came to the sideline with a definite idea—just like in the Super Bowl. He had a play he really wanted to run, and now he had to sell it to coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Mahomes told Bieniemy the play he liked. “And Coach Bieniemy said to me, ‘Well, I like that play, but I really like this other one better.’ He tells me the play, and I think about it for a second. I said, ‘Hey, I like that play a lot.’ That’s what I love about our offense. We communicate. We’re a good team.”

The play Bieniemy liked was designed for Hill running to the left corner, but when Mahomes took the snap and looked for Hill, there was a cornerback right with him; Mahomes thought he saw a safety over the top, but that must have been a ghost; on replay, it’s only precocious rookie corner Damon Arnette blanketing Hill. Then the route called for Kelce trolling the middle end zone, and then Demarcus Robinson on a stop route to the right, with Mecole Hardman the extra route-runner up the right seam.

“I scrambled to the right, kind of to stretch the play out,” Mahomes said. “I peeked [to Kelce] and I see the safety coming up, running at me. Kelce’s wide open.”

Incredibly wide open, actually. The threat of Mahomes’ athleticism to make the first down caused safety Johnathan Abram to abandon Kelce. Middle linebacker Nick Kwiatkowski was stuck in no man’s land, not sure whether to chase Kelce (he’d have been too late) or to rush Mahomes (useless). Abram must have thought he had help other than Kwiatkowski. But the only help was Arnette, in panic city, leaving Hill to run toward Kelce. No time. Mahomes flicked one to mid-end zone for the easy 22-yard TD to Kelce to win the game. Kansas City 35, Vegas 31. Chiefs 9-1, Raiders 6-4, and the AFC West all but decided with six games to play.

For defenses, this play is the dilemma of the Kansas City offense. Four weapons spread across 45 yards of field near the goal line. If the quarterback was a stationary target, or just moderately mobile, the defense wouldn’t have to spy him. But because Abram had to make a fatal choice—leave Kelce, and it’s a TD; stay with Kelce and it’s at the very least a first-down run, and Mahomes clocks it maybe at the 10-yard line with 20 seconds left. What’s a defense to do?

“That play, that situation,” Mahomes mused in the locker room in Vegas, “those are the moments competitors love. These are the moments you dream of. Honestly, I dreamed of nights like this when I was a kid.”

Let’s give the Raiders some credit here. They beat KC 40-32 at Arrowhead on Oct. 11, and they were up 17-14, 24-21 and 31-28 in the second half in Las Vegas on Sunday night. Mahomes and his mates responded to those three deficits with 93, 91 and 75-yard drives to scores touchdowns. How disheartening must that be for the Raiders?

Still, Las Vegas is going to be trouble for AFC power brokers down the stretch. The Raiders are just 6-4, and their spot in the playoff isn’t assured, but they’re going to be a very hard out if they get there. “That’s the best Raiders team they’ve had since I got here,” said Kelce, the veteran tight end. Mahomes said, “Our franchise has a deep history with the Raiders, and we can feel it come back now.”

But the Raiders are the Isiah-Laimbeer Pistons to the Jordan Bulls. Getting past Mahomes is going to be a headache for every AFC contender for the next, what? Ten years? Fifteen? The kid’s just 25.

“We’re trying to get better and better,” Mahomes told me, “so we have a chance to make a run at the Super Bowl.”

Multiple Super Bowls, I’d say.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!