I know that it’s just an image, from a corporate Twitter account nonetheless. It’s there strictly for engagement purposes.
There is no reason for me to get this worked up over an image, but these things are supposed to be worth a thousand words right? There have been some words said about Patrick Mahomes that I have not appreciated this offseason, and this one image from the NFL Twitter account lumped together all of the disrespect surrounding Mahomes. The league account would lead you to believe that Mahomes isn’t one of the first players who should come to mind when talking about MVP favorites.
That is quite an interesting choice of players, especially since Mahomes is listed as having the second–best odds to win MVP according to most sportsbooks. There has been a narrative out there since last season that Mahomes has somehow fallen from his perch as the best quarterback in the NFL.
There was no way for him to keep up the pace from his first year as the Kansas City Chiefs starter in 2018. Throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns while averaging 9.6 yards per attempt is not sustainable. His stats have significantly rolled down the mountain from that peak, but he’s still looking down at the rest of the league. The only player capable of Mahomes’ level of playmaking is Lamar Jackson, and as great as his arm is, he can’t put the ball on every mark on the field from any spot in the backfield like Mahomes.
That’s why it’s ridiculous when an anonymous defensive coordinator makes the head-scratching comment that Mahomes plays streetball. I’m sorry anonymous DC that you’re starting quarterback isn’t capable of contorting his arm the many different ways that Mahomes can and make those highlight-reel throws. Just because it’s unconventional doesn’t make it streetball. It’s simply elite-level quarterback play.
Then there’s Warren Sharp. He ranked the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL by several different on-target percentage stats. According to that metric, an on-target pass is one in which it is deemed that the wide receiver does not have to significantly contort his body in order to make an effort at a reception.
It sounds like a solid stat, until you take a look at Sharp’s rankings of the 40 most accurate quarterbacks. Mahomes is 18th on that list behind Jared Goff, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Darnold, and Tyler Huntley. The top two names on the list are questionable but reasonable — Joe Burrow and Kyler Murray. But if the data concludes that Trevor Siemian is a more accurate passer than Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers, it’s hard not to question the usefulness of the information.
Also, what exactly qualifies as too much movement from a pass catcher to be qualified as an “on-target” pass? Sometimes it’s best for a tall player to high-point the ball, or for a wide receiver going over the middle to drop to his knees to make a catch, or for a tight end to reach to his back shoulder to make a grab because it allows him to use his body to keep the defender out of position. Reading Sharp’s explanation of what qualifies as an on-target pass, I’m not sure that it does take into account the times when it’s necessary for quarterbacks to put the ball somewhere rather than between the numbers.
Then there’s the diabolical hater Skip Bayless who earlier this week said Mahomes is a product of Tyreek Hill’s speed. Hill is going to be missed this year, but Shannon Sharpe was absolutely right to come back at him with how Hill performed when Alex Smith was his quarterback. Hill missed four games in 2019 yet still had more receiving yards and touchdowns than he did when Smith was the starter, on fewer receptions.
I try not to pay too much attention to the top 100 list that the players vote on every year. It’s fun television and I like to watch the videos, but any list they make shouldn’t be taken seriously. They can’t watch every team play. They all mostly play on the same day, Sunday, and there is so much time during the week taken up with game prep, when are they going to find the time to watch someone play who is not on their schedule? That being said, Mahomes as the eighth-best player in the league is laughable
Yes, Mahomes turned the ball over more than he usually does last season, and that includes in the AFC Championship Game. After a dazzling performance the week before against the Buffalo Bills, he threw an interception in the third quarter and overtime in the AFC title game, both of which led to points for the Cincinnati Bengals including the game-winning field goal.
Defenses played him differently last year with more two-high safeties, and they rarely sent extra pass rushers, but made sure to disguise as well as possible which four players would be attacking Mahomes. Yet, the Chiefs were still in the running at the end of the season for the best record in their conference and were very close to a third-consecutive Super Bowl appearance, which does not happen in the new millennium version of the NFL. Not even Tom Brady’s New England Patriots were able to accomplish that feat.
No quarterback has accomplished as much as quickly as Mahomes. Yet, after four seasons as a starter and four home AFC Championship Games, now something is wrong with him because the Chiefs offense didn’t cause scoreboards to explode for once. I don’t know the man personally, but as a football player, we need to better appreciate this one-of-a-kind talent.