The Kansas City Chiefs have shockingly dropped two of their first three games in 2021, despite the continued magic of Patrick Mahomes. The 2018 MVP and Super Bowl LIV champion has impressed early on, but can’t seem to dominate opposing teams like he’s done in the past.
According to Denver Broncos pass-rusher Von Miller, that’s because Mahomes is missing an unsung hero that used to be on his team: former Chiefs offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz.
Miller explained that he used to have a tough time going up against the former Kansas City tackle and expressed his confusion about why Schwartz wasn’t on an NFL team as of late September.
“The toughest challenge for me was Mitchell Schwartz. And you wouldn’t expect it,” Miller told Collin Cowherd in a podcast Thursday. “You wouldn’t expect. I think Mitchell Schwartz having a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes that can really play to, you know, Mitchell’s angles… I had the toughest time with Mitchell Schwartz. You know, I’m really surprised that he’s not on the team right now.
“It would be the weirdest thing for me. Like, any move I would try, he would be sitting on it. Any good rush that I had, Patrick Mahomes would trump that and scramble or throw the ball away. But playing against Mitchell Schwartz and the Kansas City Chiefs was a tough time for me… It’s shocking to me that Mitchell Schwartz is not on a team right now because I know he has some good football left.
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) September 30, 2021
Miller’s endorsement of Schwartz as an offensive tackle is a huge one, considering his stature as an elite pass-rusher. If he felt this way about going up against the offensive tackle, the Chiefs must’ve been thrilled to have a player like that defending Mahomes.
Even without Miller’s praise, Schwartz’s accomplishments speak for themselves. A former second-round pick out of California, the offensive tackle blossomed into a star at his position. He made All-Pro teams every season from 2016-2019, won a Super Bowl with the Chiefs and was named to the CBS Sports’ NFL All-Decade Team in 2019.
Schwartz was released after five seasons in Kansas City this past March after undergoing surgery to repair a serious back injury that he suffered during the 2020 campaign. He confirmed this week on the Ryen Russillo podcast that he’s not officially retired, but is waiting to explore his options until he’s fully recovered from the surgery.
Without Schwartz, the Chiefs offensive line hasn’t been fantastic, but also hasn’t been the primary issue thus far in Kansas City. The team’s defense has struggled through the first few weeks, giving up 95 total points in three games.
The Chiefs have plenty of time to turn things around and should have a good chance to do so with Mahomes under center. However, Miller is surely pinning his ears back and getting excited at the prospect of taking on Kansas City without an offensive lineman like Schwartz leading the way.
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