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The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

Patrick Mahomes career rivals NFL greatest just five years in

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

After completing a nearly-flawless fifth season, culminating in a 38-35 Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, Patrick Mahomes continues to rise the ranks of greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. 

In a league of unpredictability and general parity, it is impossible to project where on that list Patrick Mahomes will finish his career. However, what is possible is to analyze Mahomes’ first five seasons, and it is inarguable that Mahomes has had one of the two greatest five-year starts to a career ever.

In his first season as a starter, Mahomes went 12-4 in the regular season, throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns and winning his first MVP. In the playoffs, he defeated the Colts 31-13 before losing in overtime to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, in a game where Mahomes threw for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns. 

In his second season starting, Mahomes again went 12-4, throwing for 4,031 yards and 26 touchdowns despite missing a game due to injury. He proceeded to have one of the greatest postseasons of all time, leading three improbable comebacks en route to winning his first Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP. 

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In his third and fourth seasons, Mahomes continued to be all-time great, despite an uncharacteristic four-week lull in the 2021 season. He led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl in year three and another AFC Championship in year four. 

In last year’s season, Mahomes threw for 5,250 yards – the most of his career – and 41 touchdowns to win his second MVP. In the postseason, despite playing through a high ankle sprain for all but the first quarter, he led the Chiefs to another Super Bowl – his second and the team’s third – as well as his second Super Bowl MVP. 

Mahomes’ worst finish as a starter up to this point has been losing in overtime of the AFC Championship game, a game which he’s hosted for every season as a starter for an NFL record five seasons. 

Most lists attempting to rank the 10 greatest quarterbacks of all time will contain Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and Dan Marino. In his first five seasons as a starter, Mahomes already has more Super Bowls and Super Bowl MVPs than those three combined. He already has the same amount of Super Bowls and more Super Bowl MVPs as Peyton Manning, an undisputed top five quarterback of all time. Mahomes is only 27-years-old. 

In the regular season, Mahomes has almost 4,000 more yards than anyone through their first five seasons, 54 more touchdowns than anyone through their first five seasons and has the best passer rating of all quarterbacks who’ve played more than eight games through their first five seasons. 

In the postseason, Mahomes has the best passer rating, best completion percentage, the best total yards per game, best pass touchdown-to-game ratio and the best touchdown to interception ratio – not to mention the most postseason games won through their first five seasons in NFL history. 

The only man who has an argument against Mahomes’ first five seasons is Tom Brady, and even his argument is flimsy at best. In his first five seasons, Mahomes has thrown for 5,928 more yards, 69 more touchdowns, 18 less interceptions and had a 17.5 percent better passer rating than Brady in the same amount of games.

Brady is a legendary postseason performer, so it’s vital to look at their postseason statistics as well. In his first five postseasons, Mahomes has 1,591 more yards, 20 more touchdowns (35 in comparison to Brady’s 15) and only two more interceptions in three more games played. 

However, Tom Brady won three Super Bowls to Mahomes’ two, which is enough to elevate Brady over Mahomes for a large portion of the football world. However, in his first five years, Brady missed the playoffs, which Mahomes never has. 

To Patrick Mahomes, though, the first five years are just the beginning. When asked about chasing Tom Brady, Mahomes said, “I’m trying to catch Tom. But Tom’s a long ways away. You can ask me when I’m like 38 years old.” 

It’s possible that no one will ever match Brady’s sustained level of greatness, but if anyone has a shot, it’s Patrick Mahomes.

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