Of course with the benefit of hindsight the answer is obviously yes. Worst case scenario we still lose. But even without that benefit should Reid and the rest of the organization benched Alex Smith in favor of Mahomes after seeing his performance against the Broncos?
On the one hand, Smith had one of the best seasons of his career. Despite a bit of a slump in the middle of the year, he managed to finish strong and clinch the division with time to spare. He also was a respected leader in the locker room, having the 3rd most wins of any quarterback from 2013-2017 (behind only Brady and Russell Wilson). Mahomes was a rookie with virtually no NFL starting experience, and especially going an inferior team like the Titans there’s a fear that he could have gave away an otherwise winnable game.
On the other hand, even in his one game of action Mahomes showed why the team was so excited about him. Even playing with backups he was able to effectively move the ball down the field while repeatedly making something out of nothing. It’s hard to imagine Mahomes only managing 21 points in that game, considering that in his 36 starts he’s scored 21 or fewer just once. Yes he was still a rookie with just one start, but he still looked incredible in that one start.
With all the hype Mahomes gets, some of his ridiculous plays from his first start get lost. Why doesn't this one get more play? pic.twitter.com/24GmUI48RD
— Tony Sommer (@ajsommer1) June 3, 2020
Overall I think I would have started Mahomes, if only because I think you’re more likely to win the Super Bowl by taking risks.