The Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo has gotten the best of the Chiefs quarterback more than any other team. But now, Anarumo’s unit is struggling mightily, having just given up 34 points to Mason Rudolph and the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.
Somehow, Cincinnati allowed three receptions of over 40 yards to George Pickens in that game.
Meanwhile, Mahomes just had the worst game of his career, according to Pro Football Focus, in large part because he had five turnover-worthy plays against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 16.
By far the worst game of Patrick Mahomes’ career yesterday.— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) December 26, 2023
- 5 turnover-worthy plays including pick-6 and two dropped INTs
- Muffed handoff that goes to Pacheco’s stat line as a fumble
-85% of his 235 passing yards came after the catch
He earned a terrible grade of 34.2, according to the football analytics site.
Chiefs PFF grades vs the Raiders. By far the worst game of Mahomes career with a 34.2 grade.— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) December 26, 2023
Next closest was 2019 week 6 vs the Texans (40.0) and 2020 week 4 vs the Patriots (44.9) pic.twitter.com/gqQzO9QlPf
And that performance didn’t come out of nowhere. Mahomes has not been his usual elite self this year, as he’s thrown 15 interceptions, including at least one in each of the last four games.
Patrick Mahomes has thrown an INT in four-straight games and has a career-high 15 interceptions on the season. Chiefs also lead the league with 26 dropped passes. Can Cincinnati’s defense capitalize on KC’s struggles this weekend?https://t.co/14tEeTpI7X— Elise Jesse (@EliseJesseTV) December 29, 2023
Put those pieces together, and what do you get? Mahomes coming out with something to prove against a Cincinnati team that is giving up big yards and finds itself essentially in a must-win situation.
The phenomenon of regression to the mean almost guarantees that Mahomes will play better than he did against the Raiders.
Throw in the fact that Mahomes’ haters are already celebrating as if he’s not the same player, and the superstar will have more than enough motivation to pick apart a secondary that hasn’t been able to stop big plays.
Of course, Cam Taylor-Britt will be back, and Chidobe Awuzie has taken full responsibility for his poor performance against the Steelers, so there is a chance that the Bengals will know how to respond.
We preview the Bengals vs Chiefs game in the video below:
You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: