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Mahomes gets baptism by fire, and that could be a good thing for the Chiefs

Mike Florio

The Kansas City Chiefs break in a new starting quarterback this year, and Patrick Mahomes will be getting a baptism by fire.

Four of his first six games will be played on the road, and all will feature still challenges against potentially contending teams and/or in tough places to play: at Chargers, at Steelers, vs. 49ers, at Broncos, vs. Jaguars, at Patriots.

Before assuming this will automatically result in Mahomes struggling, keep in mind that defenses don’t yet know how coach Andy Reid is using Mahomes, and they’ll need at least four or five editions of game film in order to fully begin cracking the code. So since the Chiefs have to play those six games anyway, it’s better to play tough games early, before defenses figure out what he does well and scheme to take it away.

While the schedule as a whole won’t be a cakewalk for the Chiefs or Mahomes, loading up with tough games early can be a good thing for team and quarterback. Some of the easier spots (Bengals in Week Seven, Broncos at home in Week Eight, Browns in Week Nine, Cardinals in Week 10) will come during the time when defenses may be better equipped to throw plenty of roadblocks in Mahomes’ path.