In an article released by The Athletic’s Mike Sando on Monday, an anonymous “defensive play caller” classified Patrick Mahomes in a way we’ve never seen before.
Charles Robinson @CRob5769
Writer – @ChiefsFocus
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus
Last season, it took 5 weeks for people around the NFL to start questioning Patrick Mahomes.
To take it even further, through the first 7 games of the 2021 NFL season the Chiefs were 3-4, lost at home in a blowout to the Buffalo Bills in Week 5 and on the road in Tennessee in a blowout in week 7, Mahomes had thrown for 18 TD but had an eye-popping 9 interceptions, and the Chiefs were dead.
The league had figured out Mahomes and the vaunted Chiefs offense and the Andy Reid/Patrick Mahomes dynasty had crumbled before our eyes in Kansas City. The 3 year run that had propelled the QB to megastardom, racking up a league MVP, hosting 3 straight AFC Championship games, Super Bowl 54 MVP and championship, and a trip to Super Bowl 55 were all for naught. Nothing mattered and the run was over because Mahomes was washed.
Except everyone was wrong. The Chiefs rattled off wins in 9 of their remaining 10 games. Mahomes threw for 19 TD and 4 picks the rest of the way. The KC offense was as efficient as ever while maintaining the explosive ability that had been their trademark over the course of the previous 3 seasons. The Chiefs hosted the AFC Championship for a 4th consecutive season as well before falling short to the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime to narrowly miss their 3rd consecutive Super Bowl appearance.
So the record should show that doubting Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs is generally bad practice. Naturally, when I read the article that Mike Sando dropped in the Athletic about QB tiers yesterday by heart nearly skipped a beat.
Was it because Mahomes nearly tied defending 2-time MVP Aaron Rodgers as the top QB in the league in a poll of 50 anonymous NFL coaches and executives? No. That’s to be expected. After all, his coworkers in the league deemed him the league’s best player going into the 2021 via the NFL 100.
The shock came from the comments from one anonymous “defensive playcaller” that was polled as a part of this exercise. I’ll leave the comment below :
“We love Mahomes because of his unorthodox throws, not because of his natural pocket presence. And when that disappears, that is when they lose games. I don’t think that is a 1. I think that is a 2. Nothing against the guy. I love the kid. But take his first read away and what does he do? He runs, he scrambles and he plays streetball.”
What. The. F*ck?
It took me a little bit to process this, but I’m going to give the best response I can to this absolutely ludicrous take. So here goes nothing.
We’re talking about Patrick Mahomes. League MVP, Super Bowl MVP, all-time leader in passer rating (105.8), passing yards per game (301.4), and adjusted yards per pass attempt (8.68).
We’re talking about Patrick Mahomes, who in a “down year” in 2021 still threw for 4,839 yards and 37 touchdowns. Compared to 13 interceptions. Sure, he had 13 picks which was a career high. But you know who had more? Josh Allen (15), Justin Herbert (15), and Joe Burrow (14). The guys who are supposed to be coming for that belt. The guys who I’m sure this league executive lauds because of things like “poise in the pocket” and “moxie”.
Well guess what, if you want to go in on Patrick Mahomes and say that when “those things” go, the Chiefs start losing games – let’s consider one thing. The Chiefs barely lose games. In Patrick Mahomes’ career in KC, the Chiefs have lost 15 games total. 3 by double digits. 2 of those games were sans-Mahomes all together – a 31-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers in 2019 and a 38-21 loss to the Chargers in 2020 when the Chiefs were 14-1 and had everything clinched going into week 17.
We’re talking about Patrick Mahomes. The guy who ran a 4.8 40 at the combine. This morning on Get Up on ESPN, Robert Griffin III was ironically one of the talking heads discussing the comments on air. RG3. A guy who ran a 4.4 and was a Division 1 hurdler at Baylor. One of the fastest, most elusive QBs in the history of the game, who is 32 years old and on TV because he couldn’t stay healthy.
We’re not talking about mobile QBs who represent themselves in contract extension talks like Lamar Jackson, who ran a 4.44 and has missed 6 games in the last 2 seasons. We’re not talking about Kyler Murray, who needs an “independent study” clause in his new contract because his team doesn’t trust him to learn their opponent’s defenses. Oh, by the way – Murray ran a 4.3 and is notoriously elusive, but missed 3 games in his second season due to an ankle injury.
That’s 1 more than Mahomes has missed due to injury in his entire career. The reason he was out? Dislocated knee cap on a called QB sneak.
Mahomes speed and elusiveness is not what makes him a Tier 1 (or on an island as the best QB in the game, period) player. His ability to move in the pocket and deliver the ball from all angles is what sets him apart, and what will continue to set him apart. When will the Chiefs start losing games? When Patrick Mahomes is gone, or when the Chiefs can no longer properly protect him. Do we expect him to be Peyton Manning and just stand in the pocket and deliver darts? Is that what you have to do to be a first ballot Hall of Famer?
The answer is a clear and resounding “No”. Mahomes’ resume so far would get him into the Hall, and he will turn 27 in September.
Shockingly, Ryan Clark summed this up the best in the crack he took on the comment on Get Up. We’re now to a point in sport coverage where we’re looking for childhood scars on a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. That’s what we’re doing if we’re giving credence to this type of comment.
If Patrick Mahomes is a Tier 2, then Tier 1 simply doesn’t exist. If you want to put a 40 year old Aaron Rodgers ahead of Mahomes, fine. Rodgers has been on a heater the past 2 seasons and appears that the grease from his hair fuels his ability to continue to perform. But who else? Mahomes has proven that he has sole custody of Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson. Joe Burrow got him twice last year, sure, but let’s see what happens when Petty Pat gets a crack at Joe Sheisty and the baby Bengals in 2022.
My sincere hope is that the individual who made these comments is outed. I would love nothing more than for Mahomes to make an example out of this insane individual on national television. Whoever this was, I hope the league secretly knows and this gets a primetime slot and we all get to find out it’s happening. Mahomes will literally put 600 yards and 8 touchdowns on this guy’s head.
Until this happens, I guess we (and Mahomes) have to assume that it could have been everyone. That’s going to make the 2022 Revenge Tour that much more fun to watch for Chiefs Kingdom. We all know Petty Pat is the most Dangerous Pat. I truly didn’t expect us to unlock Lavon this early in 2022.