Sports Take: Patrick Mahomes will be one of the greatest players of all time

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates as time expires in an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be one of the greatest of all time when his career is all said and done, barring injury of course. The 25-year-old has accomplished a lot in his young career, including things that some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time never accomplished. Mahomes has the ring that Dan Marino and Warren Moon never won, and the MVP greats like Drew Brees never received.

In his first season as a full-time starter in 2018, he had one of the best seasons I have seen in recent years. At the age of 23 he threw 50 touchdowns (third all time) becoming just the third player to throw that many in a season, trailing only Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Mahomes passed for 5,097 yards (ninth all time), and had a passer rating of 113.8 (eleventh all time). He also became, at the time, the second youngest player to ever win MVP as well as throw six touchdowns in a game, as well as be selected to both the Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro. Plus, Mahomes led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game where he threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns, but ultimately fell to the Brady-led Patriots dynasty and eventual Super Bowl champions 37-31.

Entering his fourth season as a starter this year, Mahomes, now 25, already has a resume for the ages. Mahomes is an MVP, Super Bowl MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, three-time Pro Bowler, and is currently first in all-time quarterback rating (109.1). He has the record for most passing touchdowns (117) and passing yards (14,489) through a player’s first 50 games, despite only having played 47.

All of his accomplishments aside, I am a firm believer in the “Eye Test.” Mahomes is one of, if not the most skilled throwers I have ever seen in NFL history. I understand that the flashiness of no-look passes, sidearm throws and a strong arm doesn’t necessarily correlate to being a good passer, but this isn’t the case for Mahomes. It is the accuracy and precision in which he makes these throws deep down the field, while often being under pressure. His ability to throw on the run is unparalleled, and I have never seen anything quite like it. No matter the direction he scrambles, no matter if the throw is cross-body, sidearm, or even while being tackled, he throws absolute darts to any target. In no way is he the first person to do these sidearm and no-look throws, but I would make the argument he has taken them to another level.

In the 2021 Super Bowl, despite losing, he made a tremendous effort while running for his life the entire game. During the game Mahomes made two of the best throws I have ever seen. In back-to-back plays early in the fourth quarter he made throws that I still can’t comprehend. On a third and nine, he scrambled to his left, did a 360 spin while being tackled and threw the ball 40 yards in the back corner of the end zone where only his receiver could catch it. On fourth and nine he made an even better throw. Scrambling once again, he was tripped up by the defender. While falling, he made a leap and threw the ball 30 yards while his body was completely horizontal to the ground and made an accurate throw to his target in the end zone. Even though his receivers couldn’t catch the ball in both plays, the passes from Mahomes were inhuman.

There may never be a player that could catch Brady’s current seven rings or break seemingly every major quarterback record that he holds. However, Mahomes is off to an unprecedented start to his career and if he can keep this pace and have longevity, he will surpass the resume of most of the current G.O.A.T. candidates. He could pass Brady in terms of overall skill set and the “Eye Test,” and ascend to a level no one else can reach. Tom Brady is currently the G.O.A.T. but the “Baby G.O.A.T.,” Patrick Mahomes, will at the very least give Brady a run for his money.

Read the opposing Sports Take: Patrick Mahomes is a long way away from being G.O.A.T. status