Sitting last year helped Patrick Mahomes this year

AP

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has taken the league by storm, despite sitting for almost all of his rookie season. So what would have happened if he’d played right away in 2017?

“I would have just been trying to make plays,” Mahomes told PFT by phone after Sunday’s 42-37 win over the Steelers, “and I wouldn’t have had the same confidence I have now.”

Instead, Mahomes learned while not playing. He learned how to prepare. He learned how to read coverages. He learned how to execute the Chiefs offense the way coach Andy Reid wants it to be executed. As a result, Mahomes was ready for games like the one he played today, in a stadium that he said was the loudest he’d ever experienced as a player.

He learned another important lesson last year, after the Chiefs started 5-0 a year ago and slid to 6-6. Mahomes learned the importance of staying focused on taking care of business and “never being satisfied,” week after week. No matter how well things are going.

And that’s what Mahomes plans to do. One day after becoming the youngest player in league history with at least six touchdown passes in one game, Mahomes turns 23. And he said he’ll spend the whole day watching film in advance of next week’s game against the 49ers, in what will be the first home start of his career.