With a resume that includes a league MVP, a Super Bowl victory and a Super Bowl MVP, it seems almost impossible that Patrick Mahomes is just getting started. Yet, at the age of 24, his NFL career has really just begun. And as the previous generation of elite quarterbacks begins to fade into the sunset of retirement, Mahomes’ arrival as the league’s best quarterback could not have come at a better time.
It’s not unreasonable to say that Mahomes’ first two years under center have been the best of all time. Through the first 31 games of his career as a starter, he has compiled a historic 24-7 record, 76 touchdowns, 9412 yards, a passer rating of 108.9 and only 18 interceptions not including the playoffs, where his numbers are equally stellar. For contrast, in Tom Brady’s first two years in the league, he threw 46 touchdowns and 26 interceptions while Peyton Manning threw 52 and 43 respectively. Even the two most decorated quarterbacks we’ve ever seen had their struggles out of the gate. Quarterbacks just are not supposed to dominate the NFL at such a young age, yet Mahomes has.
Not only is Mahomes a first ballot Hall-of-Famer in the making, he’s the perfect player to be the new face of the NFL in this period of transition. While the Manning brothers have retired, Tom Brady, 42, Drew Brees, 41, Philip Rivers, 38, Ben Roethlisberger, 37, and Aaron Rodgers, 36 are all closer to retiring than not. There’s no replacing what each of them has brought to the NFL over the past two decades, but with Mahomes leading a crop of young and likable star quarterbacks that includes Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, the future of the position remains bright.
Although Mahomes is an absolute sensation on the field, his real value to the NFL is the energy it has brought to the fans of the game. It’s been years since a young quarterback has taken the league by storm like this. In fact, in my experience, there has been a growing sense that the NFL has grown somewhat monotonous in recent years. It seemed every year the Super Bowl was merely a showcase of the other-worldly greatness of Tom Brady and Bill Belichik’s Patriots. Now, at the very least, the Patriots have a new and very worthy challenger for supremacy over the AFC. Mahomes has breathed new life into a sport that had gone stale for many of its fans.
Perhaps the most exciting thing Mahomes offers is that he is the first quarterback in generations who appears to have a fighting chance to one day be considered the best quarterback of all time. I know that may seem presumptuous, but his numbers certainly show he could do it if the rest of his career is anything like the first act has been. Regardless of if Mahomes ever becomes the proverbial “GOAT,” it’s just incredible to witness a 24-year-old set himself up to be one of the NFL’s all-time greats. With his talent, leadership and winning pedigree, it looks like Patrick Mahomes will be the face of the NFL for a very long time. Cheers to the Super Bowl LIV MVP.