Did the Kansas City Chiefs just waste a year of Patrick Mahomes' prime?

The Chiefs messed up in 2023.
Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs
Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Did the Kansas City Chiefs put too much faith in Patrick Mahomes and totally waste a year of his prime? If you look at the WR room that the Chiefs have and have had all year, the answer is yes. When the team traded Tyreek Hill before the season, KC proceeded to win the Super Bowl. In fact, they had the top scoring offense in the NFL.

Travis Kelce enjoyed a very strong year in 2022, and their second and third-best receivers that year, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scanting, also had respectable years. However, JuJu departed in free agency and signed with the New England Patriots. Mecole Hardman also left in free agency.

The Chiefs didn't do much to their WR room in 2023, and it has certainly come back to bite them in the rear end. Outside of rookie sensation Rashee Rice, the Chiefs have gotten little production from their other weapons, including Travis Kelce, who looks to be physically declining. The Chiefs have lost double the amount of games this year as they did last.

Their scoring offense ranks 12th in the NFL, only putting up 22.4 points per game, which is the lowest in the Mahomes era. Mahomes is also having the worst year of his career. He's thrown 27 touchdowns against 14 interceptions, and his 92.6 passer rating is pretty pedestrian. Kelce is having a nice season on paper, as he is likely going to notch another 1,000 yard year.

Rookie WR Rashee Rice is also very close to 1,000 yards, but outside of that, the Chiefs are getting virtually no production from anyone else. Did the Chiefs just waste a year of Patrick Mahomes' prime? Did GM Brett Veach put too much faith in Mahomes to make it work with this group of pass catchers?

That's what it seems like. And now, the Chiefs, even with a win in Week 18, will limp into the postseason and will have to go on the road in the playoffs for the first time in the Patrick Mahomes era. They clearly aren't a Super Bowl contender and have taken some ugly losses in recent weeks.

Since beginning the year 6-1, the Chiefs have gone 4-5 over their last nine games. They've hit the 30-point mark just three times this year, and the offense is just not a unit that opposing defenses have to be afraid of anymore. Sure, I guess the Chiefs could go on a run in the postseason, considering the duo of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid have won two Super Bowls since 2018, but this seems like an issue that the team simply cannot solve this year.

I'd expect KC to invest heavily into their WR room in 2024.