CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Kansas City Chiefs have the 4th best offense in the NFL and is averaging 31 points per game-- 2nd best in the league. A big reason for that is quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Clearly, the Panthers know that if they want to have a chance at shocking the NFL Sunday when they take on the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium, they have to find a way to slow Mahomes down.
Easier said than done.
Some of the plays he makes in a game can be jaw dropping. Even when you feel like you got him, he can make the impossible, possible with his arm and his legs.
“He’s just one of those rare guys that it really doesn’t matter if you get him off his spot-- the only thing that matters is getting him on the ground,” said Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson. “If you get him off his spot or get him uncomfortable, he can still make the throws. He can still make flashy plays. On the back end, we are going to have to make sure we plaster (the receivers) and make sure we have great eye discipline .”
“His arm strength is so strong that they can run routes you don’t ever see,” said Panthers head coach Matt Rhule. “You don’t see routes that they run at the depths that they run them and it’s because of their elite speed and his arm strength and they also have a fantastic offensive line.”
Stopping Mahomes is almost impossible… That’s just reality. So far this season he has 21 TD passes and just one INT.
He’s good and the weapons around him are good so the Chiefs are going to make their plays. But when they do, there is one thing this young Panthers defense must remember.
“You just got to be ready to bounce back,” said Panthers defensive end Brian Burns. “I don’t want to get too high or too low dealing with Pat.”
And that leads to something else that is being preached this week to the Panthers defense.
“You have to just play the game that is being played on Sunday and play against the quarterback that is playing and not what has done and not what he is going to do,” said Jackson.
From a mental aspect, the Panthers should be ready. But will that match the performance needed to shock the world. We will find out on Sunday.