The NFL has never seen anything like what we just saw this season from Patrick Mahomes, who on Saturday night became the first player in Kansas City Chiefs history to win the AP NFL MVP Award.
The 23-year-old phenom took the league by storm from the moment he first stepped on the field this past season—earning back-to-back AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors in the first two weeks of the season. Those two games were both on the road against the Chargers and Steelers and saw the Chiefs’ offense average 40 points per game.
Some may have thought it was a fluke, but really, it was just the start.
Mahomes would take those performances, which saw him toss 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions and go on to have one of the most-prolific and widely-documented seasons by a quarterback in NFL history—becoming just the second player to ever throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in the same season.
He’s also now the youngest player in the Super Bowl era—dating back to 1967—to ever win the MVP award—edging out former Dolphins’ Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino by only two days.
But despite the stats he put up, the records he broke and the path he’s blazed to begin his career on his way to this award, Mahomes—even when he had every reason to—still didn’t make it about himself.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Mahomes explained over the phone shortly after winning the award. “But it’s a credit to all those guys I play with. It’s not just me. I got the trophy, but it’s this team that was so special and the reason why I got it. It’s a credit to being in a great situation and having great coaches around me with Coach [Andy] Reid, coach [Eric] Bieniemy, Coach [Mike] Kafka, and coach Nags (Matt Nagy) last year, and then being with a lot of great players that can make me look good and make it easy on me.
“And then having Alex [Smith] last year, it really helped me learn how to become a Pro’s Pro and sped up the process of me learning the difference between college and the NFL.
“I just got put in a great spot. It’s truly humbling to be a part of a group like this.”
Even when the entire football-watching world is singing his praises and talking about his ridiculous performances this past season, Mahomes simply used his platform as a chance to talk about everyone around him once again.
It’s a pattern with him. He’s consistently been this way from the day he first arrived in Kansas City, which should give fans even more reason to feel optimistic about the future.
That natural ability, combined with genuine humility and an unquestioned desire to win, which was obvious to anyone who watched any number of Chiefs’ games this season, is what’s drove Mahomes to this point.
“It’s something I’ve always had,” Mahomes noted. “I’ve always wanted to play against and compete against the best and find a way to beat them. It’s something I was born with. I love the competitive nature and I love everything about team sports, and I love everything about football.”
Even if it might seem that way just because he’s all over the place, Mahomes never comes across like a guy who is seeking out the limelight, which made his last week in Atlanta a little different because of all the attention he was getting—from appearances on Good Morning America to every football show on television.
He’s the new face of the NFL.
“It’s been crazy for sure,” he laughed. “It’s a little different than being in Kansas City, I mean, people are coming up and taking pictures with me everywhere I go. It’s fun. I enjoy it, but I’m going to be happy to get back to Kansas City and be able to go back to the facility and work out.”
With the Chiefs being so close to having played in the Super Bowl this year, the past few days spent right in the center of all the media hoopla going into the most-watched sporting event in the world every year has only intensified Mahomes’ desire to lead the Chiefs to this game next year.
“I’m very confident,” Mahomes explained of getting the Chiefs to the Super Bowl next year. “We have a lot of the same pieces coming back. We were just short. We could have easily been in the game this year and driving by the Super Bowl every single day down here (in Atlanta), it’s just giving me more and more motivation to find a way to get better and hopefully inspire my teammates to get better, too.”
The same guy who made sure to tell his trainer on draft night that he needed to get a workout in before his early morning flight to Kansas City isn’t taking much time off before starting to prepare for the 2019 season.
“Day after the Super Bowl,” Mahomes said quickly of when he’ll start preparing for next season. “That’s when I want to start getting ready to go again. I’ll get back after it. I’ll definitely start slow. You want to build up and you want to make sure your body is back to 100 percent after a long season, but you want to still make sure you’re moving around and staying active.”
It’s fair to say Mahomes isn’t going to just sit back and rest on the fact that he’s the best player in football right now—the distinction that comes with winning the MVP Award.
Mahomes will continue to be the same guy he’s always been—speaking about team accomplishments and team goals and working to be the guy to lead his team in that way, which is exactly why he’s called out and praised as an individual—demonstrating leadership characteristics well beyond his years.
The future looks bright, Chiefs Kingdom.