Tamba Hali commented on Patrick Mahomes in 2017, expressing that there were moments when they were eager to see him take the field

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Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes overjoyed during the match

In June 2018, before Patrick Mahomes made his mark in football, Chiefs defensive end Tamba Hali foresaw his potential.

“You’re going to get a complete player,” Hali remarked. “I mean, he’s a smart player. He can throw the ball. Athletically, he’s gifted. You don’t have to coach it. . . . I don’t want to hype him, but I compare him to Brett Favre. He runs around the field and he throws the ball and he’s just having fun.”

Hali was so sure about Mahomes that during his press conference for the Chiefs Hall of Fame, he and his teammates expressed eagerness to see Mahomes play before his second NFL season began.

“At times, we wanted him to play,” Hali mentioned. “We wanted him to be on the field.” This anticipation wasn’t unfounded. In October 2017, tight end Travis Kelce praised Mahomes for his exceptional performance in practice.

It’s natural to ponder what could have occurred if the Chiefs had switched to Mahomes from Alex Smith during the 2017 season. And it’s easy to identify when on the schedule Hali and others were keen to see Mahomes in action.

Kansas City had a strong start in 2017 with a 5-0 record, but then struggled, going 1-3 before the bye week.

Usually, a break gives teams coached by Andy Reid a chance to reset, but that wasn’t the case this time. They lost two more games in a row, scoring only nine and ten points against the Giants and Bills, respectively. This rough patch might have been the perfect moment for Chiefs players to want Mahomes in the game. Their 5-0 lead turned into a 6-5 record.

Tamba Hali on the ground

Reid stuck with Smith instead of putting in Mahomes. However, the offense showed some improvement, scoring 31 points against the Jets, although they lost the game.

Afterward, the Chiefs won their next four games to finish the regular season. Mahomes even started in a game against the Broncos that didn’t matter for the standings. But their season ended in disappointment when they lost at home to the Titans in the wild-card round. The Chiefs had a big lead but blew it, getting outscored 19-0 in the second half.

This raised questions about whether things might have been different if Mahomes had been given a chance earlier. Since Mahomes became the starter, the Chiefs have reached the AFC Championship six times in a row. Could it have been seven if Mahomes had played earlier?

Maybe they could have made it to five Super Bowls in seven years instead of four in six. The Chiefs drafted Mahomes because they believed Smith had reached his limit. The struggles in 2017 seemed to confirm that. Considering how well Mahomes has played since then, it’s reasonable to think he could have kickstarted his career and the Chiefs’ run of success sooner.


By Christopher Kamila

I am an experienced content writer with a specialization in WordPress. I have written engaging articles for various websites that have achieved a total of 5,500 monthly views. In addition, I have played a key role in boosting their organic traffic by 30% and achieving top Google rankings through SEO. My passion lies in creating user-friendly content.

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