Why Patrick Mahomes is the Most Valuable Player in the NFL


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Ansh Suchdeve

The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, has set several quarterback records at the age of 24, but he’s just getting started and has a presumably bright future ahead of him.

Mahomes attended Whitehouse High School before attending Texas Tech to play quarterback for the Red Raiders. In college, Mahomes threw for 11,252 passing yards, 93 touchdown passes, and 29 interceptions during his three years at Texas Tech.

After completing his football career at Texas Tech, Mahomes declared for the 2017 NFL draft, where, on draft night, the Kansas City Chiefs traded for the tenth overall pick (via Buffalo), and selected Mahomes, envisioning that he would become their quarterback after Alex Smith’s departure. Mahomes would start one game in the 2017-2018 season, where he would play in a rather meaningless week 17 contest against the Denver Broncos; however, many saw glimpses of the future for Mahomes, as he threw for 284 passing yards en route to a 27-24 victory. Mahomes’ career would take off in the off-season, as Kansas City traded veteran quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins, and decided that Mahomes would start immediately, setting up the career (first season as a full-time starter) of a future MVP.

By the Numbers:

In 2018, Mahomes threw for 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions across 16 games, while being awarded with the 2018 Most Valuable Player award. Adding on, Mahomes currently leads the NFL in passing yards (1510), touchdown passes (ten), air yards per attempt (11), and yards per game (377.5) after the first four games of this season, according to Pro Football Reference. Not to mention, Mahomes leads the league in EPA for the second straight season with 36.2, proving that Mahomes brings the most value to a team in terms of production on offense. Compared to other superstar quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Russell Wilson, Mahomes leads all signal-callers in touchdown passes, quarterback rating, and adjusted net yards per attempt by a significantly wide margin.

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Mahomes is just 24 years old, under the average for a starting quarterback in the NFL He will likely remain the field-general for Kansas City for the next 10 to 15 years, while other star quarterbacks, such as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Philip Rivers are in the final years of their respective careers. Given that Mahomes will most likely play for the next 10 to 15 seasons, he’s on pace to shatter several NFL records such as most touchdown passes and passing yards by a quarterback. Mahomes’ competition does not appear as stiff as other star quarterbacks had at the beginning of their careers, given that AFC quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson are still developing into pure passers, with flaws still remaining in their game.

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Mahomes plays the most important position on the offensive side of the ball due to his arm talent and developing accuracy. Mahomes’ arm talent is among the best in the league, as proven when he launched a ball from his own 25-yard line to the opposing seven-yard line in a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons (2018-2019 season), which was seven yards further than any pass through the air in the previous season. The New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, complimented Mahomes on his arm strength, where he went on to say that “he gets the ball to his receivers quick, quick release, sees things quickly, can extend plays, got a great arm, can throw the ball out of the stadium. He makes good decisions, accurate, gets the ball out on time.”

(Photo: Denny Medley/USA Today Sports)

Compared to other Superstar Players:

Many star players are in contention with Mahomes for the most valuable player in the NFL, but his statistics, age, and value to an offense blows players such as Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Donald out of the water. For instance, while Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald may be considered the best player on the defensive side of the ball, the position he plays is valued less by teams. Even if Donald does not play up to his presumed ability, the Rams still have other quality players to make up for it, such as safety Eric Weddle and outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr., who are seasoned veterans that impact the Rams defense as well. Meanwhile, if Patrick Mahomes performed below his value, it would significantly impact the Kansas City Chiefs offense’s success, because the quarterback generally leads the team to success, as demonstrated when Aaron Rodgers led the 2010 Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl victory, given no game-changing weapons on offense, with the exception of Jordy Nelson.

Overall, Mahomes decision-making and arm strength make him one of the best, if not the best quarterback in the NFL, despite not being one of the most accurate passers. Given the sheer number of skilled players such as Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and rookie wideout Mecole Hardman, Mahomes’ statistics will certainly spiral for the remainder of the season, as he has yet to throw an interception this season. Furthermore, Mahomes’ happens to be among one of the youngest starting quarterbacks in the league, and has already risen to stardom in his first season as a starter, while many quarterbacks typically take a few years to develop into quality players. Factoring in Mahomes ability as a quarterback to extend plays, it becomes incredibly difficult as the seasons progress to game-plan for Mahomes, as his unpredictability is a trait that only a select amount of quarterbacks possess in league history. For example, Los Angeles Chargers head coach spoke about Mahomes’ unpredictability on the football field, going on to say that “you can watch what they’ve done in the past, guess what they’re going to do and prepare that way. But you don’t know exactly what they’re doing with that young man.” In conclusion, Mahomes’ quarterback traits and potential as a passer should lead him to inevitable success throughout the rest of his career.