A second-year quarterback out of Texas Tech in his first year as starter is quickly and not-so-quietly taking the NFL by storm. In fact, he set a new record this week by throwing his tenth touchdown pass in the first two games of a season.
His name is Patrick Mahomes, and the new Chiefs’ starter is quickly becoming a household name.
In Sunday’s matchup against the Steelers, Patrick Mahomes was dominant. The 23-year-old completed 23 of 28 pass attempts for 326 yards and six- yes, SIX- touchdowns. For those following along at home, that’s an 82% completion rate. His ten TD passes in the first two weeks broke the previous record of nine, which was held by Drew Brees (2009) and Peyton Manning (2013).
So how did a backup QB who had one start last season, and of whom few had even heard, suddenly become the most exciting player in the league?
Mahomes was drafted tenth overall in the 2017 draft. The Chiefs were so committed to taking him that they traded their 2017 third-round pick and a 2018 first-round pick to snag him. Mahomes rode the bench for most of 2017, slowly learning the art of the job from veteran Alex Smith. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid gave Mahomes a chance to start in Week 17 versus the Broncos, which the Chiefs won. An offseason trade of starter Alex Smith from the Chiefs to the Redskins opened the door for Mahomes to take over as head play-caller in Kansas City.
His debut in Week 1 against the Chargers confirmed the hype, as Mahomes completed 15 of 27 for 256 yards and four TD’s. He also has not thrown an interception yet. (Knock on wood.)
It doesn’t hurt Mahomes to have guys like Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Sammy Watkins as targets. With Watkins and Hill manning the outsides and Kelce challenging safeties up the middle, the Chiefs’ offense is one that should be feared by even the best of defenses. And with Mahomes’ arm strength, no defense is safe even on 3rd and long. What’s even more impressive is how comfortable Mahomes looks in the saddle- even after just three NFL starts.
Now, I know what all you rational fans are saying: “Small sample size.” And you’re right. He’s only started three games in his career. He’s only thrown for 582 yards in two games. He’s only completed 38 of 55 attempts in his first two games as starter. He’s only thrown ten touchdowns in the first two games of the season. Sure, some regression is to be expected. But until then, I am completely content to enjoy the ride aboard the Patrick Mahomes train.
Better hop on now before it leaves you behind!