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Monday Morning Pleighbook: Welcome to the Patrick Mahomes show

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Vontae Davis retired at halftime, Ryan Fitzpatrick had his own Philly Special for the Eagles, and the Browns are still Brownsing in Week 2’s Pleighbook.

Patrick Mahomes is a monster.

Expectations were high coming into this season after the flashes he showed in the Chiefs’ preseason last year. We knew he had a stupid big arm and threw for a trillion and a half yards in college. We didn’t know if he’d be able to become one of the few good air raid quarterbacks in the NFL. Now we know — he could.

He had a great start in Week 1 against the Chargers, throwing for 256 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-28 win. On Sunday in Week 2, he carved up the Steelers, completing 23 of his 28 passes for 326 yards and six touchdowns. Between the two games, he’s off to the best start for any quarterback ever. Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Charley Johnson all had seasons with nine touchdowns in the first two weeks. Mahomes had 10 at just 22 years old (he’s 23 today — HBD, pleighboi).

His touchdowns haven’t all been Easy-Bake Oven shit either. Look at the zip on this ball. I’m not sure Travis Kelce was falling into the end zone on his own here — the velocity on the football carried him there:

Mahomes propelled the pork to Tyreek Hill for his sixth touchdown, a perfect ball that probably would have gone for one of those signature 50-plus-yard touchdowns if Hill had the space in front of him:

In SB Nation’s NFL preview, I wrote about Deshaun Watson and how he was able to capture everybody’s attention with his dynamic play, regardless of what else was going on. Mahomes is having a similar effect, and if he keeps this up, Mahomes could surpass Watson’s glow up from 2017.

Mahomes is on pace to throw for 80 touchdown passes this season. That’s obviously not going to happen. However, we’re still in for plenty more magic moments with Mahomes. It’s only Week 2, after all, and the Chiefs aren’t short on weapons between Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Kareem Hunt.

If the Chiefs could play a lick of defense, we’d probably even be talking about the Chiefs as the Super Bowl favorite right now. It’s still early, though. Wegonsee.

Vontae Davis *actually* quit on the Bills

Any other week, this would lead the pleighbook (kinda says how good Mahomes is). Second place ain’t bad, though.

The Bills have been atrocious this season. They got curb-stomped by the Ravens in Week 1, 47-3, and were down 28-6 at halftime against the Chargers on Sunday.

Vontae Davis had enough, and called it quits at halftime:

He released a statement on his retirement, which is arguably the most abrupt in NFL history. In the statement, he gives a good reason for just dropping his career in the moment:

I would almost never advocate for quitting during the middle of a game. However, I respect Davis’ decision because of the nature of the game. Football is brutal on the body, and we’ve seen what it does to players once their careers are over from head to toe.

Because of that, I won’t fault Davis for what he did, and neither should you — Traditional Sports Values & Beliefs aside. Could he have stayed on the sideline in his jersey? Sure. At the same time, we don’t know his headspace in the moment. He made the best decision for himself and his health, and that’s really all that matters.

His specified reasoning aside, Davis’ retirement still says a lot about how bad the Bills have been. He was willing to literally end his career during a game, and it’s hard to imagine that would have happened in the same fashion if they were winning that game.

The Browns are the tragic gift that keeps on giving

You have to truly love the Browns to be a fan, because the heartache week in and week out is something nobody sticks through without some sort of passion. They were up 12-3 in the fourth quarter, and allowed the Saints to take an 18-12 lead, because that’s just how Browns games go.

They looked dead, and then Tyrod Taylor hit Antonio Callaway on a fourth-and-5 for a 47-yard touchdown:

That could have been the game. Either way, the Saints were able to get a field goal to make it a 21-18 game, and Zane Gonzalez would have another chance — this time to at least tie the game.

Successful redemption stories are nice, but this isn’t one of those.

Georgia State legend Wil Lutz shared a Warm Moment Of Sportsmanship after the game with Gonzalez, comforting the kicker in his moment of sadness:

I wouldn’t expect anything less from my fellow commuter-school graduate.

While the Browns keep finding new ways to lose (or tie, in the case of last week), they’ve kept up with teams we expected to be good this season in the Steelers and Saints. That’s worth a little something ... right?

Even when the Browns don’t win, good still comes out of their games. NFL fans enjoy their moments of How Are The Browns Going To Blow THIS One? while laughing about it collectively on Twitter.

Though at heart, I believe most of us wouldn’t mind seeing the Browns do well. They’ve been through enough.


Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t waste any time picking up where he left off last week, and found DeSean Jackson for a 75-yard touchdown on the very first play of their game against the Eagles:

That start was an omen for how the rest of the game would go for Fitzpatrick and the Bucs. He finished the game 27-of-33 passing for 402 yards and four touchdowns against just one pick. He joined an exclusive club with Dan Marino and Billy Volek (LOL. IKR?) in having back-to-back games with 400-plus yards and four or more touchdowns.

As you might imagine, he was feeling himself after the game, and his wardrobe showed it.

You’re probably asking yourself the same question that I was when I initially saw this sudden pop from Fitzpatrick: where did he acquire such drip? He typically looks like he got here in a time machine from the 19th Century.

Well, DeSean Jackson helped him out:

That is some legendary team chemistry right there. It’s not surprising that Jackson was willing to lend juice to Fitz, though. Jackson’s caught five touchdowns from Fitzpatrick since he joined the Bucs, and just one from Jameis Winston, according to ESPN Stats and Info. They click.

Until the Fitzmagic runs out, it looks like Jackson might have to lend more outfits in the future. The Buccaneers have now beaten a team one Minneapolis Miracle away from the NFC Championship, and the Super Bowl champions. There are worse ways to start a season.

Fake punts > backup quarterbacks (that are named Blaine Gabbert)

This isn’t nearly as beautiful as North Texas’ fake fair catch punt return for a touchdown, but it’s a great special teams play nonetheless.

The Titans wanted to get creative on Sunday, with Marcus Mariota out of the game due to injury and Blaine Gabbert under center. That’s totally understandable, and this was the result:

This ended up helping make the difference for the Titans in their 20-17 win over the Texans.

As of today, Kevin Byard has the most passing touchdowns on the Titans’ roster, and is also one of the better safeties in the NFL. Clout.

While that’s nice, the Titans will be hoping to get Mariota back sooner rather than later, because this doesn’t seem like a sustainable model for success.

Blaine Gabbert caught a pass and threw twice on a single play

Gabbert completed a pass to himself after it was deflected by Texans LB Brennan Scarlett. Then, with CB Jonathan Joseph in pursuit of him, he threw the ball away so he wouldn’t get drilled:

Yup, that’s illegal. But I’m not sure anybody was really mad about it, because it’s Blaine Gabbert.

Gaine Blabbert.

James Conner showed off the paws

THiS pLaY DidN’t EvEn CoUNt!

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s celebrate this sick snag by James Conner, who has been making the most of his opportunity while Le’Veon Bell has (rightly) been out trying to secure bread.

Conner didn’t have nearly as good of a showing as he did in Week 1. He had 17 yards on the ground with one touchdown, as well as five catches for 48 yards. At the very least, he’s shown that he’s got just enough potential for the Steelers to keep playing hardball with Bell, and that’s really all they want.

Pay the man, though.

This is the catch of the year

The Jaguars did a lot of good things on Sunday — mostly beating the snot out of the Patriots — but this catch by Keelan Cole was just absurd.

It was immediately heralded as OBJ-esque, which is considered the highest of bars for determining just how good a catch is.

Cole made it look so incredibly easy, and we’d probably be saying it was just as good, if not better, than Beckham’s 2014 catch against the Giants had he fell into the end zone instead of the 46-yard line.

Not even Jalen Ramsey could call Blake Bortles trash after his performance

I’d be remiss to not mention that Blake Bortles went 29-of-45 for 377 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. In a game against the Patriots. In 2018.

He was feeling himself so much that he stopped making business decisions.

Bortles might fear no man, but if he wants to have the opportunity to have another performance as he did on Sunday, he might want to play that one a tad more carefully.

The Jaguars being so good after many years of garbage is weird, and really fun.

And Sunday’s biggest incompletion goes to ...

[aggressive rap airhorns]