I took one look at Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ eyes when he was in the tunnel before kickoff at Super Bowl LV, and I knew Kansas City did not stand a chance.
Years ago, when I was growing up dreaming of becoming an NFL scout, Matt Millen said something I have never forgotten about the Redskins’ quarterback Mark Rypien. Millen was a linebacker for San Francisco at the time and they were playing the Redskins in the playoffs on January 12, 1991.
“I took one look at Rypien’s eyes and knew we had this game won.”
I remember thinking the same exact thing, the day I watched Rypien play in that game. Even my Grandma said to me, “His eyes don’t look right.” I remember having this thought that I saw this profound sadness in his eyes. His eyes looked different than I had ever seen his eyes look since he had played in Washington. I had also personally met him a couple of times growing up as a Redskins’ fanatic.
The eyes are the windows to your soul – William Shakespeare
Rypien and the Redskins lost to San Francisco 28-10. Rypien threw 3 interceptions in the game.
When I looked into the eyes of Mahomes prior to kickoff at this last Super Bowl, his eyes looked “glassy and glossed.” He looked like he “was out of it.” I could see in his eyes, he was “troubled and distracted.” That is what went through my mind.
I wrote about it on Facebook the following day and of course, I got verbally blasted, mocked, and made fun of. However, I knew what I was seeing. I did not need anyone to believe me.
I wrote in the Facebook post, “I believe his career is in jeopardy, it’s that serious.”
People thought I had lost my mind.
Seeing Kansas City at 3-3 is no surprise to me. From everything I have seen and heard about Mahomes, he has not looked like his old self this season. He is consistently throwing 1-2 interceptions per game this season, which is a big change. He has thrown 8 interceptions in the first six games of 2021.
Mahomes threw 11 interceptions in the previous two seasons combined.
I believe there is something very serious going on with Mahomes, that is going to surface. The team is just not responding to him like they used to. I have ideas of what it could be, but in fairness, I am not going to speculate.
Then against Washington last week, I saw this play.
This was not just an interception.
This is a manifestation of what is going on inside of Mahomes. This is one of the absolute worst decisions an NFL quarterback could make, deciding to throw the football straight up into the air into the field of play as he was going down to the turf. In my 40 years of watching the game, I cannot ever remember seeing a star quarterback do anything like this. All it did was reconfirm my concerns.
Mahomes is not the same guy he used to be and all people are doing is making excuses for him. Something is off. Something is really off. I saw it in the Super Bowl and I am continuing to see it manifest on the field. Mahomes’ total quarterback rating (QBR) is the lowest it has been since his rookie season in 2017 according to ESPN.
The Kansas City Chiefs are in trouble. They are signed up to invest slightly over a half of billion dollars ($503 million) into a quarterback who is not the same player he was when he signed that extension.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.