113.8 passer rating.
Those are the numbers produced by Patrick Mahomes. Pretty great, right? He’s the favourite to win the MVP and deservedly so, in this person’s opinion. Some people won’t agree though and that’s fine, but I’m here to tell you why Mahomes has not been given the credit and hype that he deserves.
In Andy Reid, Mahomes has been lucky to have a coach who is wise and experienced, but at the same time has shown an incredible ability to keep his finger on the pulse regarding the trends in college and NFL schemes. Would Reid be able to implement this offense without a player of Mahomes’ ability? No is the answer and the facts show that. Mahomes has executed it spectacularly.
Also, cynics have spoken about the weapons he has around him – Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, the all-pro receiver/tight end pairing that catch passes from Mahomes. They are both top level players, but it would be harsh to use this as a stick to beat Mahomes with. These players have been on the Chiefs roster for three years (Hill) and six years (Kelce), yet they haven’t performed in previous years how they did this year. Kelce and Hill both had career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns. As much as their undoubted talent has been a huge help to him, they have benefited equally from having Mahomes throw to them.
When picking the MVP, the anti-Mahomes crowd would likely want the award to be given to the seemingly ageless Saints quarterback, Drew Brees.
Mahomes boasts better touchdown (by eighteen), completion, yards per attempt and yards (by over a thousand) figures than Brees. Sometimes the Brees hype, as good as he is, is inflated by the fact that he’s aged 39. But if you want to laud Brees for performing at this level at this late stage of his career, you have to give credit to Mahomes, who has produced historic numbers at the opposite end of the spectrum. It is astonishing that Mahomes has produced this season after only one start previously.
It should not be forgotten that despite a year sitting behind respected mentor Alex Smith, Mahomes is still essentially a rookie. That has not stopped him becoming only the third man to throw 50 touchdowns – Tom Brady achieved the feat in 2007 aged 30 and Peyton Manning in 2013 aged 37. Mahomes also became only the second man to throw for 50 touchdowns and five thousand yards in a season, after Manning established the historic mark in his incredible 2013 year. The fact that Mahomes joined that elite club aged just 23 is unbelievable.
Nothing should be taken away from Drew Brees, not for a second. If anything, the fact that the legendary Saints signal caller has put up this kind of a season and has still been outplayed illustrates just how good Mahomes has been.
Brees is a first ballot Hall of Famer, and now the exclusive owner of the NFL record for passing yards. He’s been the model of consistency throughout his career and this year has been no different. His numbers, however, don’t match up to those of Mahomes. To give him the MVP on the basis that he’s never won it before would be to devalue the award. This year’s Most Valuable Player is Patrick Lavon Mahomes II.
From a neutral’s perspective, the perfect Super Bowl would be to see the Saints and Chiefs facing off. Brees may well be victorious in the season’s finale, but the regular season has belonged to the most exciting young quarterback the league has seen since Peyton Manning.