Jets on stopping ‘hellacious’ Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes: ‘A true test’

Here’s a scary NFL thought for trick-or-treat weekend: Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams believes Patrick Mahomes has just “scratched the surface” of the player he can be.

Williams offered that assessment Friday as the Jets (0-7) made final preparations to face Mahomes and the Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in the star quarterback’s first career start against Gang Green.

“[I’ve coached against] a lot of Hall of Fame quarterbacks, and when we’re doing evaluations of people you try to say ‘same as, same as,’ but really, he’s of his own,” Williams said of Mahomes on a Zoom call after practice in Florham Park. “He has a lot of intangibles about him, and he’s getting very strong coaching to help him continue to mature.

“But I think he’s just scratched the surface. I think he’s going to continue to grow in this league.”

Williams has schemed against Mahomes once before, when he was the Browns’ defensive coordinator in 2018. In his 10th career start, Mahomes completed 23 of 32 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns at Cleveland on his way to winning league MVP honors.

Patrick Mahomes
Patrick MahomesGetty Images

Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins called Sunday’s game “a true test,” acknowledging “things can real bad real fast” against the speedy and balanced Kansas City offense.

“The guy is only [25]. Imagine what a couple more years will do for him,” Jenkins said of Mahomes. “When he’s really starting to understand. He knows the game pretty well now, but imagine when he gets the knowledge and the vet savviness to him.

“I can agree with what Gregg’s saying. He’s still a young guy and he still has a lot he can do, a lot he can learn, and just keep adding and adding to his belt over the years.”

In addition to his 2018 MVP award, Mahomes led the Chiefs last season to their first Super Bowl title in 50 years. He has thrown for 16 touchdowns with just one interception through their 6-1 start this year.

Asked what separates the mobile Mahomes from other top quarterbacks he has faced, Jenkins cited “the amount of times he’s been on SportsCenter,” especially for his ability to roll out of the pocket to one side of the field and throw it to other side with accuracy.

“The guy is just the guy,” Jenkins said. “Right now he is probably [the head] of the new wave. You got the Bradys, the Mannings, and now he’s one of the ones of the younger generation.

“He’s a hellacious player, he’s a playmaker and he’s just a really good quarterback. He makes different kinds of throws, left and right, and he puts it on the money. He makes throws you don’t see a lot of guys making. He’s just good.”

Williams also said he believes Mahomes is a strong fit within longtime nemesis Andy Reid’s offensive system. The Chiefs are averaging 30.5 points per game, fifth-most in the league this season.

“[Mahomes] plays with confidence and has really good ability, but he’s got really sound coaching around him, too, that does a fantastic job of how they’re using him,” Williams said. “Going against Coach Reid for a long time, back in the Philly days when I was with the Washington team, I’ve been really impressed with how he has always been up to the very front of the game and been into the changes and how to morph a little bit of what he did in the West Coast offense.

“Now he has his own style of the West Coast offense. I’ve always tried to study as much as possible because I do have a lot of respect for him. I think he’s one of the best coaches that has ever coached in our league, and his staff is really good. Not only do they have elite speed, but those players obviously understand that they’ve got some good coaches there working with them.”

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