OPINION: Should Kansas City Chiefs Rest Patrick Mahomes Before Playoffs?

January 3, 2021 5:30 am

While the fight for the NFC top seed is set to go right down to the wire, the debate surrounding the same in the AFC has been settled. With a win against the Atlanta Falcons, the Kansas City Chiefs booked their second AFC top seed in 3 seasons.

The last time the Chiefs claimed the top spot was in 2018. The very same season saw Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes getting honored as the league MVP.

In 2020, much has remained the same. The Chiefs are on top of their Conference and Patrick Mahomes is in the running for MVP yet again.

But with the top seed in the bag, the Chiefs announced that their star QB will not be padding up for the last game of the regular season. This has garnered a mixed response from fans and pundits alike.

Benching Patrick Mahomes to avoid injury concerns

The obvious reason behind resting Patrick Mahomes is to make sure the star quarterback does not pick up any injuries. Mahomes’ contribution to the Chiefs’ offense is critical. And the stats speak for themselves.

With 4,740 passing yards and 38 touchdowns to his name, Mahomes has been the man to make the Chiefs tick. Ever since his breakthrough season in 2018, the quarterback has been indispensable. And Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reed is thus understandably keen on sitting his QB out with the top seed clinched.

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Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill will sit out the dead rubber tie against the Los Angeles Chargers as well. This means that the Chiefs will be without their starting QB and main WR. Back up quarterback Chad Henne is expected to start for the Chiefs on Sunday.

Will the break weigh on their momentum?

The one concern that fans have with the benching of Mahomes is the side’s break in momentum. The Chiefs could very well lose the game against the Chargers on Sunday.

But the key aspect to note here is the break in momentum that the team might suffer because of it. The Chiefs have been unstoppable when at full swing. But benching Mahomes means that he will most probably be seen resting his throwing arm for almost 20 days.

Given the first-round bye that the Chiefs will get in the Playoffs, Patrick Mahomes is looking to take to the pitch again only once the Wild Card round is done with. A gap that big could spell trouble.

While the QB will continue training with his side, staying off the pitch for that long could affect his match sharpness. And once in the Playoffs, the room for error will be infinitesimal.

Do you think the decision to bench Mahomes will work out for the Chiefs? Or will it backfire?

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Shivayan Roy

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Brief stints with The New Indian Express and Zee News were followed by a return to the field of sports to cover gridiron football. The football classic 'Rudy' sparked an undying love for the game in Roy. Apart from playing Madden in his spare time, he also takes time out to follow Formula One.

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