One reason Mahomes is the league’s reigning MVP is he became one of the league’s most efficient quarterbacks when attempting short and intermediate passes. In the Chiefs’ comeback victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, none of Mahomes’ 21 completions traveled more than 20 yards past the line of scrimmage.
Of course, Reid and Mahomes can anticipate the next trend: Opposing defenses starting to zig to more conventional coverage, a mission to clog the short and intermediate passing windows for Mahomes.
As the article would go on to mention, Mahomes' 8.2% deep ball rate in 2022 was a career-low. Particularly when the team returns a healthy Travis Kelce who can do so much damage in the short-to-intermediate areas of the field, the Chiefs may be pushing the ball downfield more often while defenses attempt to prevent their ultra-efficient short game.
Despite his horrendous first week of the season, Toney should expect some of that action to go his way, as his speed will often see him at the perimeter and beyond the defense. Valdes-Scantling was an incredible best ball target throughout the summer for this exact same reason. They are both difficult starts outside of deep-league Flex plays, but they will certainly pop from time to time this season.