The Kansas City Chiefs will rest superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes for Week 17’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, and Chad Henne will get the start under center on Sunday.
With the No. 1 seed in the AFC locked up, it makes sense for Chiefs coach Andy Reid to sit Mahomes in the regular-season finale.
Kansas City Chiefs to start Chad Henne over Patrick Mahomes for Week 17
Henne is a career backup who last started for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. This marks his third season with the Chiefs, so at least he’s very familiar with the system and isn’t a recent addition who’d struggle to operate the offense without a starter’s practice reps.
It shouldn’t be easy for Henne, though, because as has also been noted by team reporter Matt McMullen, Kansas City is going to sit several starters in Week 17.
That’ll give many of the Chiefs’ key contributors a two-week layoff thanks to the first-round bye the team has earned with a 14-1 record to date.
Patrick Mahomes stats, Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl outlook
After winning NFL MVP honors in his first full season as a starter and earning the Super Bowl MVP last postseason, Mahomes’ encore act featured yet another magnificent year.
Although it appears as if Mahomes will fall short of the league MVP — which is likely to go to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers — the 25-year-old wunderkind still has plenty to be proud of.
In 15 starts, Mahomes racked up an NFL-best 4,740 yards passing, and threw 38 touchdowns to only six interceptions with a 108.2 passer rating, a 66.3% completion rate and 8.1 yards per pass attempt. Mahomes continued proving himself as a dual threat as well, racking up 308 yards on the ground on 62 carries (five yards per rush) with two additional scores.
As for the Chiefs’ hopes of winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles, well, they’ll have a fresh team to proceed through the playoff gauntlet with.
The No. 1 seed isn’t quite as significant as years past due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant absence of fans. Nevertheless, it still means home-field advantage throughout the postseason, so the Chiefs won’t have to make any long road trips to earn their way back to the battle for the Lombardi Trophy.
With the playoff picture still sorting itself out, the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers are locked in as the remaining top AFC seeds. Those teams seem like the biggest threats to knock off Kansas City, while Rodgers and the 12-3 Packers could well be the team to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LV.