Patrick Mahomes might be labeled Most Valuable Player once again. But the proof may come in a way his Kansas City Chiefs never wanted to think about it.
Mahomes' injury situation from Thursday night in Denver has been labeled a "best-case scenario", but the star quarterback is still expected to miss at least three games as the league heads in Sunday's Week 7 action.
Obviously, Mahomes' health is of the utmost concern. But while he heals, life must nonetheless go on at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs were able to band together to beat up the lowly Broncos after Mahomes' forced departure, but the slate doesn't get much easier from here on out.
Interconference matchups against Green Bay and Minnesota (the former a Sunday night game) precede a visit to Tennessee. Dangerous division matchups could coincide with Mahomes' return, but the present bears much bated breath. The Chiefs were generally competitive in the new century prior to Mahomes' arrival under Alex Smith, Matt Cassel, and Trent Green, but there was denying the levels the newcomer raised them to. Their ill-fated conference championship game from last season was their first such trek since 1993.
Veteran Matt Moore is expected to be the temporary solution, a job he previously filled in Carolina and Miami. From a backup quarterback standpoint, Moore is fairly close to ideal when it comes to a brief option. He's had success as a starter before, and even partook in a playoff game in 2016. But, to ensure this player, any player's, perfect health, the last thing you can do is rush him back. Thus, Kansas City may be tempted to view several contingency plans.
Enter Josh Rosen.
Wait, you say...it's not like the Chiefs can go out and quckly add the recent first-round pick at a moment's notice. Rosen is currently employed in the gridiron graveyard that is Miami, and things have become truly nightmarish. In a slugfest with the equally winless Washington Redskins, Rosen was benched...for Ryan Fitzpatrick and his signature glimpses of fun football. This comes less than a year after Arizona tore up the Rosen-led script they wrote for their future and put Kyler Murray in the starring role instead.
Yet, the football-loving and analyzing public has been very reluctant to label Rosen a bust. Perhaps it's a sense of not wanting to be "Old Takes Exposed", but the defenders have procured plenty of evidence. It certainly hasn't helped, from any standpoint, that Rosen went from a rebuilding situation in Arizona to a very thinly-veiled tank effort in Miami. Such displays have afforded little protection and help for Rosen, who has been sacked 61 times in less than two full seasons in the league.
Enter Kansas City.
With the NFL's trade deadline quickly approaching, it'll be interesting to see what moves from both the Kansas City and Miami spectrum make. The Dolphins could start to stockpile draft picks, and a day three option might be able to do it for Rosen.
While it's obvious the Chiefs' tempo and power lowers a few notches without Mahomes, there's still enough talent on this team to get by in a pinch. LeSean McCoy has established himself as an experienced rushing option. Travis Kelce is the top receiver, followed by Sammy Watkins, rookie Mecole Hardman, and Demarcus Robinson. Add a passable line and defense and it's a situation that would be satisfying to any fledgling thrower, and miles better than any situation Rosen has previously partaken in.
It could be the factor that truly decides whether Rosen is NFL material. Kansas City really doesn't have much to lose in the long run. If Rosen doesn't pan out, they simply use him as a back or try to trade him yet again. Their 5-2 standing, kickstarted by winning their first four games, puts them in relatively decent shape to take a chance like this, offer a showcase to a player that has taken a lot of literal and figurative hits to open his NFL career. If Rosen pans out, trade him with the confidence that he gained during his brief tenure, one that hypothetically saves his NFL career.
The two sides are in completely different points on their NFL maps. A simple convergence, if ever so brief, could accomplish both of their goals, long and short-term.