Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes made headlines on Monday with a subtle jab at LA Chargers quarterback, Justin Herbert.
When told by a fan to watch out for Justin Herbert next year at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, Mahomes responded with a mixed-up popular saying.
He will see it when he believes it. We all know that he should have said that he will believe it when he sees it, but that is beside the point. The message was sent loud and clear. Whether he legitimately means it or is just sending a subtle jab, Mahomes and the Chiefs are not worrying about Herbert and the Chargers.
Even as a Charger fan I cannot totally fault the Chiefs for this line of thinking. They have dominated the matchup for nearly a decade now and are primed to continue winning the AFC West for years to come. It is not hard for a team that has made back-to-back Super Bowls to overlook a team that has finished last and third in the division the last two years.
That is exactly how Charger fans should want the Chiefs. Ignore the reality of the situation so it sneaks up on them because one thing is for certain:
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs should be worried about Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers.
There is no denying that the Kansas City Chiefs are the consensus favorites in the AFC. Trying to pretend like the Chiefs are not a great football team is silly. They fixed the one issue they had, the offensive line, and still have one of the most explosive offenses in football.
However, they are not unbeatable and while they have not beaten them with Mahomes starting since 2018, the LA Chargers have consistently played the Chiefs tough. If there is one team that has kept Patrick Mahomes at bay, it is the Chargers.
Mahomes has completed 61.2% of his passes in five starts against the Chargers, averaging 231.4 yards per game. His completion percentage is 5% worse against the Chargers than in his career and he averages 75 fewer passing yards. That is significant.
The Chargers' defense is only going to get better as well. Brandon Staley is one of the best defensive minds in the league and has had an undeniable positive impact on every team he has coached for. It is safe to assume the same impact will be seen in LA.
More importantly, Mahomes and the Chiefs cannot be sleeping on Justin Herbert. Herbert just had the greatest rookie season in NFL history and absolutely torched Kansas City's defense in Week 17. Yes, not every defensive player started that game, but Herbert was dissecting the defense as if it was a high school defense.
Justin Herbert was also thrust into starting Week 2 with 10 minutes' notice and took Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to overtime! If Anthony Lynn didn't shell up and punt on fourth and one perhaps the Chargers would have won. It did take a 58-yard field goal in overtime to beat Justin Herbert in his first career start, after all.
Something tells me he is only going to get better from that first career start.
Herbert is a legitimate MVP candidate in 2021. He thrived in a terrible situation last year with some of the worst playcalling in the entire league and the worst offensive line. The deck could not have been more stacked against him and he still thrived.
He did not get the benefit of coming into a situation on a team that was already a playoff team. He did not get to play for one of the best offensive minds in football while having the best tight end of this generation and one of the best receivers of this generation.
Give Justin Herbert two Hall of Fame pass-catchers, the coaching and the offensive line that Patrick Mahomes has had and I guarantee he would be putting up record numbers as well.
Keep sleeping on Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers. We like it that way.