The Kansas City Chiefs might have the worst stable of pass catchers in the NFL without Travis Kelce, surely wishing they had the New England Patriots' pass-catching unit. One thing that I have maintained about the Patriots' skill players on offense is that the unit does not have a top-end unit, but does have a ton of "solid" players and is pretty stinkin' deep.
That is not the case for the Kansas City Chiefs, who seem to have one viable pass catcher on offense in Travis Kelce, who turns 34 this year and missed the Chiefs' Week 1 loss to the Detroit Lions. It's abundantly clear that KC doesn't have much at all on offense outside of Mahomes and Kelce. And without Kelce in the lineup, Mahomes was not nearly as productive as he usually is.
He completed just 21/39 passes on Thursday for 226 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, which is a stat line we'd cringe at if Mac Jones had done it. The most productive pass catcher on Thursday for the Chiefs was Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who would probably be the fourth option on the New England Patriots.
The top pass catchers on the Patriots include Kendrick Bourne, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Hunter Henry, and Mike Gesicki. Honestly, that's a pretty solid unit, but it does miss that top-end player. However, KC only dreams that they could have as deep of a pass-catching unit as the Patriots do. Perhaps this could be a sneaky advantage that the Pats can utilize this year.
There are just a lot of players on this offense who can have an exceptional game or season, so that does force opposing defenses to gameplan differently. For the Chiefs, the only pass catcher you truly have to look out for is Travis Kelce, who missed Week 1 with a hyperextended knee and perhaps could begin to decline this year as he approaches his mid-30s.
I don't think it's outrageous to suggest that the New England Patriots have a better pass-catching unit on offense than the Kansas City Chiefs, and I bet in an alternate universe, KC would swap with the Pats and take their unit over their own.