Patrick Mahomes’ First Season as a Starter Ranks Among Best in NFL History

The football-watching world just witnessed one of the greatest regular seasons we’ve seen from a quarterback in NFL history.

That’s not hyperbole. What Patrick Mahomes did this past season was nothing short of miraculous.

It’s proven in facts, film and faith in those who have been coaching the game longer than most of today’s players have even been alive.

“He’s been the MVP,” Chiefs’ coach Andy Reid, who picked up his 206th career win on Sunday, which moved him into sole possession of 7th place on the NFL’s all-time wins list, explained of Mahomes following their 35-3 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon. “I was fortunate to be around a three-time MVP and a couple of guys who were right on the edge of being the MVP, and this guy is in that category.

“He’s so deserving (of that award, which is announced the night before the Super Bowl during NFL Honors). In a world of great players, for him to do the things he’s done is phenomenal.”

On Sunday, Mahomes became just the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards and have at least 50 touchdowns in the same season.

Only Peyton Manning, who did that back in 2013 with the Denver Broncos, had ever done that before. That’s obviously considered the best season of Manning’s career, and he did that with the wisdom of a veteran player at 37 years old.

Reid spent years around Pro Football Hall of Famer and three-time MVP Brett Favre—the most-mentioned player in terms of comparisons for Mahomes, but Reid never saw Favre eclipse 4,500 yards passing or 39 touchdowns in any single season. Mahomes did both in his first season as a starter.

With his 50 touchdown passes this year, Mahomes also tied the New England Patriots’ future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady for the second-most ever thrown in a season. Brady did that back in 2007, which is considered the best season of his illustrious career.

Mahomes matched that with 17 career starts under his belt.

And furthermore, there are only four quarterbacks (and a total of seven seasons in NFL history) in which a quarterback has thrown for more passing yards than the 5,097 we just saw this season from Mahomes.

Those were Manning (2013), Drew Brees (2011-13, 2016), Tom Brady (2011) and Ben Roethlisberger (2018), and the next-youngest to Mahomes, who is 23 years old, in doing so was Brees back in 2011, and he was 32 years old at that time.

Those are the facts—Mahomes’ first season as a starting quarterback stacks up statistically against any of the best to ever play the position in any of their best seasons _ever. _

It’s truly unprecedented how good Mahomes has been this early, and with his impressive coaching resume, Reid does know a thing or two about MVP-level quarterbacks. Again, he spent years around Favre, who still to this day credits Reid for a lot of his success.

And Reid couldn’t have said more about his young quarterback than he did Sunday after the win over the Raiders.

“His work ethic and everything else is MVP-caliber level,” he added. “He comes to work with a purpose, makes everyone feel a part of it, makes everyone around him better and has done that for our organization, for all of us, his fans and coaches and owner too. He’s been very important.”

The MVP talk has gained steam throughout the year, but Mahomes has been pretty steadfast and consistent when any praise is put directly on him.

“For me, it’s all about playing for my teammates and this community, that’s the biggest thing,” Mahomes said. “No matter what happens on the outside, they know that every time I step on that field that I give it everything I have, and hopefully we win a lot of football games doing that.”

When pressed about his thoughts on potentially winning the award, Mahomes remained neutral.

“That’s a hard question,” Mahomes admitted. “There are a lot of guys who have played this year that I feel like deserve the MVP award. It’s not up to me. I just go out there and play my game and try to win football games and let all that stuff handle itself after the season. Hopefully, I’m still playing whenever it happens.”

Photos from the Chiefs Week 17 matchup against the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium on Dec. 30, 2018

Mahomes’ teammates weren’t shy about their feelings on what he’s done for the team this year.

“The guy has got a swagger about him that’s infectious,” center Mitch Morse explained.

“His numbers speak for themselves,” veteran linebacker Justin Houston added. “He made history. I’m just glad he’s on my team.”

The play that made the history that Houston is referring to—an 89-yard touchdown strike to Demarcus Robinson midway through the third quarter, which put Mahomes over 5,000 yards passing and was also his 50th touchdown pass of the season, wasn’t exactly how it was drawn up—something that’s become kind of a staple of many of the highlights we see from Mahomes every week.

“[Robinson] was supposed to run a stop route, but he beat (his defender) so well off the line that he just kept running,” Mahomes noted. “He threw that hand up, so I just put it out there and he made a great play and scored on it.”

Considering the types of plays we’ve seen from Mahomes all season and the film he’s put out there for everyone to witness—from the left-handed toss against the Broncos in Denver on a late game-winning drive, or the ridiculous scramble and throw against the 49ers in the red zone, or the fourth-and-9 heave and no-look pass against the Baltimore Ravens, the toss to Robinson was really the perfect way for Mahomes to hit such a historic milestone.

It’s indicative of the types of plays he’s put on film all season.

“When you’re in the moment, you’re not really thinking about it,” Mahomes explained after the game of what it meant to him. “It’s a credit to my teammates. The offensive line kept me up all season long, guys were making plays on short passes that were scoring touchdowns.

“It’s a combination of all that with [Reid] calling these great plays.”

Late in the game against the Raiders, the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium began chanting “MVP! MVP!”

“I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last time with that guy,” Houston laughed when asked about it.

“It’s special. This place, Arrowhead, this community and this team,’ Mahomes added. “For me, it’s awesome to be a part of it and I’m excited for the future ahead.”

“He still has room to grow, and that’s the exciting part and something for Kansas City to be very excited about,” Reid said.

In his first season as a starting quarterback, Mahomes gave the football-watching world one of the greatest regular seasons we’ve ever seen from a quarterback in NFL history, and now we get to see what’s next.

“We know what every game means, what every play means, and we’re going to have energy like that all the way through the playoffs and hopefully to the Super Bowl,” he said.

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