- AFC No. 1 Seeds | Record: 14-3
- Odds of winning the Super Bowl: +310
- Odds of winning conference: +145
BIGGEST WEAKNESS: Patrick Mahomes performance slump under pressure.
There are so many areas where Mahomes dominates the NFL — he broke the season record for offensive yards (5,614) and led the league in QB wins, passing yards, passing TDs and total TDs this season. But a key factor is what happened this season when Mahomes was under pressure: His passer rating dropped 61.3 points according to next-gen stats. That was the third largest such drop in 2022, behind only Lamar Jackson (88.6) and Kyler Murray (68). (For what it’s worth, in their Week 10 meetup with the Chiefs, the Jaguars pressured Mahomes on 31.4 percent of his dropbacks, and Jacksonville has a 37.4 percent pressure rate between Week 9 and the Super Wild Card weekend.)
It pays to keep Mahomes clean, as evidenced by his league-leading 34 passing TDs and 119.0 passer rating, when he’s not under pressure in 2022, and minimizing the pressure will be a major key for the rest of the be Chiefs season. Based on the production we’ve seen of their offense, they have the right supporting cast to keep the pressure at bay through an offensive scheme; Kansas City was the only team in NFL history to have 12 players with 100+ scrimmage yards and multiple touchdowns in a single season. They’ve had another leading receiver in five of their last six games. Additionally, 28 of Mahomes’ 41 regular-season TD passes went to running backs and tight ends, tying Mahomes for the most such shots in NFL history (with YA Tittle’s 1963 mark).
An additional note ahead of Saturday’s game with the Jaguars: In the regular season, the Chiefs’ defense allowed a 112.0 passer rating against downfield passes (those that cover at least 10 air yards), per NGS, the second-highest in the league . Kansas City also allowed Christian Kirk to accumulate 54 yards and a TD on three such receptions in his narrower-than-expected win over Jacksonville in Week 10.