The game’s most significant play occurred in the second half when Mahomes threw a flawless, on-target throw to Toney during the break. The wideout appeared to be unresponsive after the pass, but was caught by Lions rookie defensive back Brian Branch, who completed the move for sacks. This type of pass can sometimes be mistaken as an interception on the QB, even though it was not perfectly executed by the offsider.
The lackluster performance of Toney exemplified a receiver corps that was plagued by uncertainty at the start of the season following injuries to JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman. It was widely expected that Tony and second-year receiver Skyy Moore would take over.
That was not the case during Week 1.
One yard on eight targets, Toney and Moore combined for a catch.
Toney’s night was a disappointment, but it was more unexpected that Moore made three or four attempts. The player who was expected to play starring roles in Year 2 was silenced on Thursday.
Mahomes acknowledged Moore’s lack of connection, which resulted in missed opportunities at the box. However, he stressed the importance of continuing to work on his skills and talent.
Five drops were recorded by the Chiefs on the night, which is tied for the most in any game during Mahomes’ career. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was the leader with 48 receiving yards on two receptions, and it also marked the lowest number of yards received by a Chiefsburg game-leader in his entire career (the third-highest in franchise history).
Unless the Super Bowl MVP is able to function as both passer and receiver, he cannot continue throwing objects.
“They are aware of my decision to keep firing, so we will work on fixing it this next week and rectifying it before our next game,” the QB stated about the drops.
The Chiefs opted to distribute the ball and have Travis Kelce as their WR specialist after the Tyreek Hill trade. However, with the All-World tight end not present on Thursday, the message was that the transition in 2023 may not be as straightforward as it had been previously thought.
“It’s embarrassing for me to lose any time,” Mahomes said. “After the ring ceremony, I moved on to the next season.”