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Patrick Mahomes says Justin Herbert dig was taken out of context

Matt Fitzgerald

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is going to be dueling against his Los Angeles Chargers counterpart Justin Herbert twice per season for years to come, and because they’re AFC West rivals, you can bet the competitive fire will be burning hot.

When Mahomes was playing in a celebrity golf tournament last weekend, he made an offhand remark about being superior to Herbert, but insisted that he was simply having fun with fans, not disrespecting the Chargers’ reigning Rookie of the Year.

USA Today‘s Jori Epstein pressed Mahomes on the matter, and here was the Chiefs superstar’s response:

“I think it got taken out of context. I was talking some trash to all those Raiders and Broncos and Chargers fans out there. […] For him to come out in Year 1 and play at that level is a special thing. Not a lot of guys can do it. And I know I’ll have a lot of tough games against him in the future. So it was kind of a joking matter that I think blew up on Twitter like most things to do. […] I have a ton of respect for him…as a guy and a player.”

Here’s the original exchange between Mahomes and the fan from the gallery, courtesy of FOX4 Kansas City’s Rob Collins:

It seems pretty harmless. Not like Mahomes delivered any personal cheap shot at Herbert or anything. In fact, what Mahomes said didn’t actually even make sense if you think about it. He probably meant to say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

So that smack talk wasn’t even delivered properly. How serious could Mahomes have been about it?

Why Patrick Mahomes doesn’t need to walk back Justin Herbert comments

Why Patrick Mahomes doesn't need to walk back Justin Herbert comments
Dec 29, 2019; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates with fans after defeating the Los Angeles Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

There’s nothing wrong with being friendly off the field, but with the direction the Bolts are going in thanks to Herbert’s swift development and the type of dynasty Mahomes and the Chiefs are building, this Kansas City-Los Angeles rivalry could be the NFL’s best for the next decade.

Not only is Herbert thriving much earlier than many anticipated he would in the NFL, but he also has one of the brightest young coaches in football in Brandon Staley. Last year, Staley was the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator, and his innovative schemes helped them be the No. 1 defense in football.

Combine Staley’s acumen on defense with Herbert’s special ability and a talented Chargers roster, and you’ve got a pretty worthy challenger to the Chiefs in the AFC West.

Mahomes and Kansas City have made back-to-back Super Bowls and have played in the AFC Championship Game three years running now. They’re the undisputed champs of the division until someone dethrones them.

That said, Herbert isn’t the type to get all fiery and vocally confrontational toward opposing players. he has more of a laid-back leadership style and quiet demeanor. He may not even respond to Mahomes’ remarks.

The bottom line here, though, is that Mahomes doesn’t need to apologize. He said what he said. He’s on track to be an all-time great, and if rookie seasons are any indication, Herbert is, too — he’s just not as accomplished as Mahomes is yet.

Mahomes was well within his rights to say what he did — or rather, what he meant to. Again, the trash talk delivery could use some work!

These two just need to give us a fun QB beef, even if it’s manufactured. It’d only add to their epic matchups, which we’ll see first in Week 3 when the Chiefs host Herbert and the Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium.

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