Have you ever wondered what NFL players do on their bye weeks? Do they unplug completely, do they watch game film and get extra sleep, or do they take a quick getaway to recharge? One of the best teams in the league this year--the 2020 Super Bowl Champs, Kansas City Chiefs--are on a bye Week 8. So what are the red and gold athletes doing this week? You might be surprised to hear that their record-breaking quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, and reliable offensive powerhouses have other plans for this season's bye week--plans that involve high stakes video games.
Call of Duty Chemistry
To understand the video game centered bye week, we have to look back at Kansas City's dominant Week 7 win over former Super Bowl foes, the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs handily beat the Northern California team 44-23. The win was so ferocious Patrick Mahomes was pulled from the game because Kansas City had such a comfortable lead.
After their frustrating Week 6 loss to AFC rival Buffalo, the Chiefs were gleefully firing on all cylinders. So where did the swagger stem from? According to Chiefs receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Kansas City heavyweights have Warzone to thank for the team's palpable chemistry against San Francisco.
Juju had this to say when asked about the Chiefs' electric chemistry and unwavering trust: "I'm gonna tell you what got us the chemistry we needed this game...Friday night it was me, Pat, Travis, and MVS, we were playing Call of Duty together, we were playing Warzone. We played three games, we won three games back to back and when we got off he's like, Damn. It's really hard to win a game in Warzone Call of Duty and you could just tell like the communication between all of us and the chemistry, it was just like we were in the game...It kind of just led into this game and kind of just showed on the field."
Mahomes, who admits to being "just alright" at Warzone added, "It's cool, when you get away from the facility. You're doing, I mean it's kid like things, and you're on the headset kind of talking, joking around and talking about the week. It kind of gets your mind off of just football and it's about building those relationships."
Now, who's to say if Warzone Call Of Duty is actually responsible for the Chiefs success? But, Mahomes leads the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns after his 423 yards and three touchdowns performance against the 49ers. The win became Mahomes eighth career showing with at least 400 yards and three touchdown passes--the fifth most by any player since 1950. Mahomes' Warzone winning teammates all had exceptional games Week 7 too. So maybe there is some truth to JuJu's Call of Duty chemistry. If the players believe they have found a magic potion, by all means, let them believe.
Kansas City Chiefs Warfare
The biggest offensive weapon for Kansas City's win in Week 7 was Mecole "the jet" Hardman. No. 17 scored three touchdowns, becoming the first wide receiver since 1966 to secure two rush touchdowns and a receiving touchdown in a single game. Hardman may have missed the Warzone three-peat, but Mahomes is fired up to keep the chemistry brewing video game play alive and is bringing the receiver into the Call of Duty fold.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 drops Friday and it's crystal clear that the elite Chiefs offense will be donning headsets and contending with controller thumbs this weekend. I can understand both the excitement and camaraderie of a challenging video game session. Some of my favorite childhood moments with my brothers were spent trying to beat Bowser and save the princess, so I get it.
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) October 28, 2022
But, never in a million years did I imagine star athletes spending their bye week bonding over the world's best-selling video game franchise. Can you imagine your childhood favorites huddled in a room playing Legend of Zelda, Super Mario or Final Fantasy? Please, if this happened, I'm begging former players to release the photographic evidence. In the meantime, I wish the Chiefs Call of Duty club a bye week full of successful missions and wouldn't be upset if they leaked some of the Warfare shenanigans on socials.
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