It would have been fascinating to watch the ’85 Bears try their luck against Patrick Mahomes, or maybe the 2000 Ravens, or maybe the old Steel Curtain.
Or anyone but the 2020 Jets.
Patrick Mahomes versus the 2020 Jets was as advertised:
The Harlem Globetrotters versus the Washington Generals.
Mike Tyson versus Michael Spinks.
Secretariat versus the field at the Belmont.
And naturally, against The Natural, Adam Gase had this brilliant idea that you might be able to beat Patrick Mahomes kicking field goals.
So it was Sergio Castillo versus Mahomes for a while until the Chiefs blocked Castillo’s fourth field-goal try of the first half and Mahomes went on his merry way to his 21st 300-plus yard game and the only suspense late in the fourth quarter was whether the Jets could cover the 19.5 spread.
They could not, of course, and didn’t even try, and it ended Chiefs 35, Jets 9.
And Mahomes (31 of 42, 416 yards) celebrated his fifth TD pass of the afternoon by giving Tyreek Hill, who had just caught his 41-yard TD strike over Bless Austin, a piggyback ride to the sideline.
“It looked like he was a little dinged-up,” Mahomes said. “He made a great play on the ball, and I got him over there, and luckily he ended up being fine, so we’re just having fun out there.”
The goal of every defense is to make a team one-dimensional.
Naturally, the Jets opted for the wrong dimension.
“They were really focused on stopping the run,” Mahomes said, “which they did a good job of doing. They were coming down fast, and the guys were getting open in space, and I was putting it in their hands.”
Yep, Gregg Williams and the boys prevented The Revenge of Le’Veon Bell (6-7 rushing, 3-31 receiving) and bottled up rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire (6-21 rushing, 3-10 receiving).
That forced Mahomes to complete passes to 10 different receivers. Those RPOs became deadly Pass Options.
“The biggest thing was he [HC Andy Reid or OC Eric Bieniemy or both] kept calling those plays, he kept giving me the option to run or throw the pass, and I think when you do that, it really puts a lot of stress on the defense,” Mahomes said.
Mahomes’ five touchdown passes happened to be five more than Sad Sam Darnold was able to throw and two more than Sad Sam has thrown in six games this season.
While Sad Sam (18 of 30, 133 yards) was assuring everyone that his fragile shoulder was fine after being sandwiched by defenders because he didn’t slide, Mahomes was being asked which of his five touchdowns was his favorite.
“Probably the last one, because I kinda checked to it, and we’ve been working on that check for a while, we got the look that we liked,” Mahomes said. But then he remembered his 3-yard underhand TD flip to TE Travis Kelce called Stampede Right that made it 21-9 before the half. “The underhand one was sweet, man, every time I get that opportunity I try to take advantage.”
The great Reid — think Lombardi versus Kotite, or something close — played this one as if he were the one with nothing to lose, as if Sad Sam was the Super Bowl MVP with weapons surrounding him, as if Trevor Lawrence would be allowed to leave quarantine and leave Clemson for the second half, calling a successful fake punt on fourth-and-4 at the NYJ 49 in the second quarter.
“I’ve been through too many of those where you pull off the accelerator and then something bad happens,” Reid said.
So punter Tommy Townsend made like Mahomes with a 13-yard completion, albeit high, to Byron Pringle.
“I thought it was sweet, man, he ripped that thing, it wasn’t no, like, lollipop at all,” Mahomes said.
Mahomes promptly fired a 36-yard laser to Hill and it was Chiefs 14, Jets 3. Sad Sam, meanwhile, would be throwing short of the sticks on third-and-11 to Jeff Smith for 10 yards in the third quarter at a time when it was 21-9. Mahomes promptly matriculated the ball down the field and made it 28-9 with a 26-yard TD pass to Demarcus Robinson.
“He had complete command of everything going on, including the check at the end when they were in a blitz look,” Reid said.
Mahomes’ 2020 stats: 16 TDs, 1 INT.
“He knows how to play the quarterback position,” Tyrann Mathieu said. “He knows how to make everybody seem like they’re involved in the game plan. … I’m glad he’s on my team.”
The kid’s in a league of his own.
As are the 0-8 Jets.