Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a close look at the start of Justin Herbert‘s NFL career in Week 2 last season and watched as the first-round pick staked the Chargers to an 11-point lead in the third quarter of the game.
Mahomes mounted a comeback and the Chiefs prevailed 23-20 in overtime, but it was a sign of why Herbert impressed most observers in his first professional season. Herbert’s play has raised expectations for what he’ll do this year and one fan let Mahomes know that at last week’s American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe.
That fan told Mahomes to watch out for Herbert and, as captured on video, Mahomes replied by saying “I’ll see it when I believe it.” Some found that dismissive of his fellow AFC West quarterback, but Mahomes told Jori Epstein of USA Today that was not his intention.
“Yeah, I think it got taken out of context,” Mahomes said. “I was talking some trash to all those Raiders and Broncos and Chargers fans out there. I have a ton of respect for him as a player. . . . For him to come out in Year 1 and play at that level is a special thing. Not a lot of guys can do it. And I know I’ll have a lot of tough games against him in the future. So it was kind of a joking matter that I think blew up on Twitter like most things to do.”
Herbert wasn’t seen as a sure thing coming out of Oregon, but his play as a rookie made plenty of believers in his ability to be a star in the NFL. That should make his duels with Mahomes priority viewing for years to come whether or not any offseason zingers are added to the mix.