By Michael Haag | Sports Writer
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a gunslinger with undeniable talent. His style of play involves throwing a lot of deep, risky throws which can be fun to watch. However, that is no ground to be putting him on the level of greatest of all time status yet. Mahomes is an unpainted canvas that has yet to be finished, and we need to pump the brakes on comparing him to the stature of the greats.
Since becoming the starter for the Chiefs, Mahomes has been unreal. There’s been a lot of explosive plays and success as he has taken over the reins of the offense. My biggest concern with even categorizing his resume or potential with the greatest QB’s to play the game is the fact that he is arguably not even the best in the game right now. We saw Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady lead his team and dominate Mahomes in the 2021 Super Bowl. On the biggest stage, Mahomes put up zero touchdowns. Brady also maintained his throne a few years prior in the 2019 playoffs. Brady, at the time, played for the New England Patriots, and defeated Mahomes’ Chiefs 37-31. In big time moments and in big games, Mahomes has never taken that throne from Brady.
Mahomes is what you call a gunslinger: a quarterback that will be aggressive and try to force deep passes to hit his receivers for big gains game in and game out. While this looks cool and puts up a lot of points, the fact of the matter is, it’s not really efficient. Last season, Mahomes ranked 16th in the NFL in quarterback completion percentage at 66%. The best quarterbacks tend to make reads and lead efficient drives. For Mahomes, it is quite the contrary. His offense relies on a lot of deep shots to speed threat wide receiver Tyreek Hill or the best tight end in football, Travis Kelce. And while Mahomes does have the best deep-ball in the NFL, he doesn’t have the efficiency of an all-time great passer. The greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game were known to be pin-point, accurate passers. Think of guys like Brady, Peyton Manning and Joe Montana. Mahomes is much more like Terry Bradshaw, or Brett Favre. These were guys that were undoubtedly great quarterbacks that could sling the ball all over the field, but you would never put them in that tier list of the best to ever play the game.
People also tend to negate just how unreachable Brady’s resume is. Not Mahomes, or anyone else, will be able to do what Brady has done in his career. He has dominated the game of football, winning seven Super Bowl rings, while appearing in ten total. Along with that, he is a five-time Super Bowl MVP. Brady also has three regular season MVP awards as well, and the list goes on. Mahomes has quite the long journey ahead of him to even come close to the stratosphere that Brady is in.
Fun and exciting play from the high-scoring Chiefs has made fans blind to what makes a quarterback great. Mahomes is fantastic at creating plays for his team and making throws that should not be humanly possible. However, with where he is at in his career, we need to slow down. Let the canvas paint itself before we assume he will be like the greats. His pace is great at the moment, but there is one thing we have yet to see from him: taking 44-year-old Brady’s throne, or even coming close to his resume. Maybe one day when Brady retires, Mahomes will dominate the NFL – maybe. And even if that were to happen, the counterargument will always be: But could he ever do it against Brady?