In the early hours of Friday morning, the curse of Madden struck again. The popular NFL video game has been around for over 30 years, and the claim is that whichever player graces the cover will come a cropper that year.
This year’s version seems to be the dislocated kneecap that will see Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes miss the next month. And, while the curse of Madden may be a myth, Mahomes injury could well have been prevented.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has an excellent record working with quarterbacks and having those passers all develop massively under his tutelage.
In his long career, Reid had coached Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and overseen the rebirth of Alex Smith when he first arrived in Kansas.
Add to that list Patrick Mahomes, and it seems like Reid may be a quarterback whisperer.
But look deeper, and you’ll see that each of the above may also, have suffered under the play calling of Reid.
Mahomes hasn’t been the same this season since week one, when he picked up an ankle injury in 40-26 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mahomes made outrageous plays last season, but a lot of those were based on his ability to move outside the pocket and extend plays. So, even a small mobility issue restricts the 2018 Most Valuable Player’s effectiveness.
So how is Reid to blame?
Looking back at the 2006 season, Donovan McNabb was leading the Philadelphia Eagles when he tore his ACL. McNabb never really recovered from that injury and was traded a few years later.
Next up was Michael Vick. Recruited after a suspension for being involved in a dogfighting ring, he was brought in because of his ability, like McNabb and Mahomes, to extend plays and create attacking mismatches. Not long into the season and McNabb suffered a severe rib injury after being sandwiched between two Washington defensive linemen.
Back to 2019 and with the most prized asset in the league, Reid has decided to rein in and protect the jewel in the crown of the Chiefs offense. If only… He has continued to use Mahomes as if he is fit, making no adjustments, even after that early-season injury.
Reid is an experienced coach, he knows that, in a league where men are paid millions to chase and hit your stars, that the gameplan should have been adjusted. The Chiefs have shifted away from a run game and the best way to protect your quarterback is to run the ball, first and often. Someone with Reid’s experience should know this.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers continued their unbeaten start beating Washington Redskins 9-0 in a severely weather-affected game. The Seattle Seahawks couldn’t keep the pressure on the Niners as they fell to a 30-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens while the LA Rams snapped a three game-losing streak with a comfortable 37-10 in Atalanta.
Miami continued to flirt with a winless season as they succumbed to the Bills – giving up 22 points in the fourth quarter. The Bills moved to 5-1 with the win and keep in touch with the Patriots at the top of the AFC East.
The Cincinnati Bengals will head to London next week also seeking their first win of the season. The Bengals took on Jacksonville and, like the Dolphins, gave up some big scores late in the game.
Teddy Bridgewater continued to deputise at quarterback for the soon-to-return Drew Brees in New Orleans and won his fifth game since taking over as the starter. But with Brees due for a return, Bridgewater may have to find a starting position elsewhere in the league.
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers set a perfect passer rating of 158.3 as he completed 25 of 31 passes and threw five touchdowns, adding another on the ground. The 42-24 win over Oakland Raiders keeps the Pack ahead of Minnesota Vikings who picked up a 42-30 victory over NFC North rival Detroit Lions.
Wins for the Titans, Cowboys and Cardinals over the Chargers, Eagles and Giants respectively rounded out week seven in the NFL.