While Patrick Mahomes recently said that although he has thrown ten interceptions this season, which is second in the league for most among starting quarterbacks, the former NFL MVP has said that he will continue to throw the deep ball and work on what used to be the bread and butter of the Chiefs offense.
The Kansas City Chiefs are preparing for a divisional matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders and a win could once again put them in the playoffs and divisional title conversation.
End zone coverage could be the reason for Mahomes and Chiefs offensive issues
The Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive issues have been baffling as of late. Coming off of two consecutive trips to the Super Bowl, their inept offense this season has been nothing short of baffling.
Mahomes struggles to throw the ball in rhythm affects the production of the rest of the offense, including tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
But there may be a particular reason as to why Mahomes and the Chiefs offense are struggling, and it has to do with opposing defenses.
While analysts and fans say that the NFL has ‘figured out’ Mahomes and the Chiefs, they’re not completely wrong. Opposing defenses have changed the way that they defend the Chiefs offense in order to put a stop to their dominance.
Defenses have now taken a different outlook into zone coverage against the Chiefs. With safeties playing deeper, it hinders Mahomes’ ability to use Hill and Kelce.
The two-deep defensive scheme has become a problem for the Chiefs as Mahomes is now unable to get the ball deep downfield and into the hands of his trusty receivers.
In the last five games, opposing defenses have played zone coverage against the Chiefs offense on over 60% of the time when Mahomes drops back. Mahomes QBR is now at 40.5, compared to his league-leading 79.9 QBR last season.
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Lamar Jackson comes in second to Mahomes in terms of seeing two-man coverage, with 14.4%. Showing that defenses have begun to go heavy on the safeties in deep coverage in order to stop any forward progress in the Chiefs offense.