You could point to a lot of reasons as to why the Kansas City Chiefs came up short in their season-opening loss to the Lions. The absences of Chris Jones and Travis Kelce come to mind, but so does the play of Kadarius Toney. The third-year receiver out of the University of Florida was targeted five times in the team’s 21-20 loss to Detroit and dropped three of those five targets.
One of Toney’s crucial drops fell into the waiting hands of Lions rookie defensive back Brian Branch, who recorded a pick-six on his first career interception.
His critical mistakes wound up being the difference, and while it would be easy to lambast him and cast him aside, his quarterback doesn’t see it as such. Granted, Kansas City doesn’t have a lot going for it in its wide receivers room, but Toney was a huge part of why the team is entering Week 2 with a 0-1 record.
Mahomes, not one to throw any of his teammates under the bus, said he still believes in his 24-year-old receiver, who didn’t stick around to talk to reporters postgame.
“Stuff’s not always going to go your way, obviously. He would’ve wanted to catch a few of those in the game,” Mahomes said of Toney, via the Kansas City Star. “But I have trust that he’s gonna be that guy that I go to in those crucial moments, and he’s gonna make the catch and win us some seasons like he did last year. So we’re gonna continue to work him in, get him more and more reps, and I’m sure those drops will kind of disappear.”
The Chiefs will need those drops to disappear if they have any interest in repeating as Super Bowl champions.