During the 2017 preseason, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes provided a glimpse of what was to come.
Here’s the play. I remember seeing it at the time, thinking instantly that the rookie from Texas Tech was destined for great things. And it’s precisely why I argued last season, as the Chiefs slumped, that Mahomes should get a chance to work his apparent magic.
The Chiefs resisted. After the season ended with a wild-card playoff loss at home to the Titans, however, the Chiefs made the change, opting to make Mahomes the starter and to trade Alex Smith.
It worked. It worked well. A year later, the Chiefs have the best record in the AFC, and Mahomes is the NFL’s MVP.
Weeks of debate and discussion became a no brainer once the season ended. Fifty touchdown passes. More than 5,000 passing yards. More highlights in one season than most quarterbacks create in an entire career.
Funny body throws. Off balance throws. Sidearm throws. No-look throws. Mahomes is a new breed of quarterback, and a guy who immediately became the best player in the sport. And he’s only 23.
Get used to this outcome. Barring injury, Mahomes will be regarded as one of the best players in football for the next decade or longer. That’s good for football, great for the Chiefs, and bad for whoever will be getting in their way.
Others who deserve consideration include Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. But Mahomes is the guy, without question.