Connor’s Corner: Patrick Mahomes


Hello and welcome back to the fifth edition of Connor’s Corner, where I discuss a standout performance in professional sports and that player’s journey from high school to the professional level. Following the conclusion of one of the most exciting NFL seasons in recent memory, there was one player in particular that led his team to their second Lombardi Trophy in four years — that was none other than Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes. 

Mahomes proved to the world last Sunday why he is the best player in the NFL with 21-of-27 passing, good for 182 yards and three touchdown passes. The future Hall of Famer came out strong from the get-go, matching a Philadelphia score with one of his own to cap off a 75-yard drive against one of the top defenses in the entire league. Despite Mahomes’ hot start, that would be it for his offense at the half, as the Chiefs would miss a kick from 42 yards out and scoop and score a defensive touchdown. Despite an offensive lull, the first half was anything but quiet. Football fans across the world held their breath on KC’s final drive of the half when Mahomes appeared to have reaggravated his pre-existing ankle injury and came up limping. 

Despite trailing 24-14, Mahomes came out following Rihanna’s stunning halftime performance with victory on the brain and would open up the second half with a 10-play 75-yard drive, including a 14-yard scramble to put his team within five yards of the endzone and keep their drive alive. Mahomes would then command three more scoring drives, including one ending with a Super Bowl-winning 27-yard field goal by Harrison Butker. 

While Mahomes’ 182 passing yards won’t be breaking any NFL records, his importance to his team’s victory must be recognized. Mahomes was the catalyst; every big play, every score was set up by him. If a play broke down, he didn’t hesitate to tuck it and run to pick up extra yards, despite his injury. After the slow first half, he stepped up as a leader and even gave some of his teammates, like rookie Skyy Moore, a sense of urgency in a halftime speech. Postgame, Moore said, “Pat gave a speech. Trav fired us up. And we came out ready to go.” Moore would catch a four-yard touchdown to give Kansas City an eight-point lead — a game that many thought was over before Rihanna took the stage. However, it seems that the Super Bowl MVP thrives under pressure; he owns a career 14-10 record when trailing by double digits at any point in a game. 

Before the fame and fortune, Mahomes attended Whitehouse High School in Whitehouse, Texas, where he was a two-year starter. The Wildcat quarterback would have two exceptional years. As a junior, he threw for 3,839 yards, 46 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He played even better in his senior year with 4,619 yards through the air, 50 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. Funny enough, the future champion was so exceptional that classmate Spencer Shaw said in his high school yearbook that he was most looking forward to “Seeing Patrick Mahomes’ Super Bowl ring.” An earthshattering game for the future pro was in his final high school game against Mesquite Poteet. 

Despite the game being a nail-biter coming down to the last drive, little defense was played that day. The final score was 65-60 in a contest where Mahomes threw for 605 yards: surprisingly, only the fifth most in state history. Mahomes would also add five passing touchdowns and would throw the game-losing interception, which ended his chance for a state championship. Not only was the Texan a star on the gridiron, but he was also a star on the diamond, as his baseball resume in high school included a 16-strikeout no-hitter. He caught the eye of the Detroit Tigers, who selected him in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB draft. After an exceptional high school career, Mahomes would pursue baseball and football at Texas Tech as the 50th-ranked player in the Lone Star State. 

Despite having a successful collegiate career, his team didn’t share the same success; the Red Rangers owned a poor 13-19 record. Mahomes still put up video game-like numbers. In a 2016 contest against Oklahoma, he amassed 734 yards through the air and 819 all-purpose yards. Despite putting his team on his back, they still fell short 66-59. In his junior year, he would throw for 5,052 yards, 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Instead of playing out his senior year, Mahomes opted for the draft after Texas Tech finished only 7-6. Despite the poor record, the Kansas City Chiefs decided to take a chance on him with the No. 10 pick in the NFL draft. 

The rest is history. Mahomes has had it his way in the NFL, and he has had one of the best starts to an NFL career anyone could ask for. He has thrown over 5,000 yards in two of his five full seasons, and he threw for over 4,000 in the other three years. He had arguably the best “rookie” year ever, throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 passing touchdowns, joining Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as the only quarterback to throw for over 50 touchdowns in a season — not bad for your first full try. 

Coming into this season, many believed that the Chiefs weren’t good enough for a Super Bowl run after they traded All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill for draft picks; they only got worse — or did they? This season, the Super Bowl MVP threw for a career-high 5,250 yards, which also happens to be the fourth-highest of all time.  

What we are witnessing is truly once in a lifetime. In his short five-year career as a starter, Mahomes has brought Kansas City to five straight AFC Championships, winning two Super Bowls and crushing records every Sunday. If Mahomes decided to pull a Michael Jordan and try his luck in the MLB, he would still be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The future is bright for the 27-year-old and for Chiefs fans. If Mahomes can keep playing at the unprecedented level he is playing at, he has the potential to shatter every passing record, win even more Super Bowls and etch his name as the greatest athlete in professional sports history. 

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