Patrick Mahomes is good.
This is no revelation because the numbers tell the story. Through the first three starts of his National Football League career, the 23-year-old Mahomes has completed 60 of 90 pass attempts for 866 yards and 10 touchdowns. Only one of those 90 passes has been intercepted.
So, as you can imagine, the imaginations of Chiefs fans are running wild. And can you blame them? Imaginations were created, I believe, to run wild. It’s fun to imagine what could be instead of wallow in what is. Even if “what is” is pretty good. Am I right?
This is a fan base, after all, that has been disappointed more often than it cares to remember. Kansas City played in the first Super Bowl on Jan. 15, 1967, then won Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings on Jan. 11, 1970.
Since then, nothing except more playoff heartbreak than a franchise should have to endure.
Mahomes has done nothing to dissuade the throngs of Chiefs fans who view him as a savior. Kansas City, after all, moved up 13 spots as the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. That was after Mahomes picked apart the Big 12, passing for 93 touchdowns and 11,252 yards in only 32 starts for Texas Tech.
Since Len Dawson more than a half century ago, the Chiefs have been looking to draft and develop a quarterback that could lead them to special places. And if three games are an indication, Mahomes could be that player.
Of course, it is only three games.
But the reason for such enormous Chiefs glee goes beyond Mahomes to an arsenal of offensive components quarterbacks dream about.
Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce and Chris Conley can catch the ball. Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware can run with it. The offensive line is keeping Hill safe.
OK, there are legitimate questions about the defense. It might not be good enough for the Chiefs to sustain this early-season success, which has included road wins over the Chargers and Steelers.
An offense this loaded, though, can cover up a lot of defensive miscues. The Chiefs don’t need the Steel Curtain out there.
And Mahomes is just getting started. He hasn’t even started a game at Arrowhead Stadium yet; that happens Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
It’s difficult not to be excited. And I’m not even a Chiefs fan.
Mahomes’ success made me curious about how other quarterbacks – who would become iconic – started their careers. So I checked on the top 10 passing quarterbacks in NFL history: Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Tom Brady,
Dan Marino, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, John Elway, Philip Rivers and Warren Moon.
Together, they have passed for 598,801 yards and 3,765 touchdowns. They have won 13 MVPs, 15 Super Bowls and 107 playoff games while being chosen for 93 Pro Bowls.
In a year or two, it might seem silly to include Mahomes in a discussion involving the 10 quarterbacks in NFL history who have passed for the most yards.
For now, though, it’s a worthwhile exercise.
A reminder about Mahomes’ numbers through his first three starts: 60 of 90, 866 yards, 10 touchdowns, one interception. The Chiefs are 3-0 with Mahomes as their starter.
Now for the others:
- Peyton Manning, 1998, 22 years old, 0-3 record: 62 of 114, 693 yards, two touchdowns, eight interceptions.
- Brett Favre, 1992, 22 years old, 1-2 record: 67 of 85, 709 yards, three touchdowns, one interception.
- Drew Brees, 2002, 23 years old, 3-0 record: 47 of 78, 504 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions.
- Tom Brady, 2001, 24 years old, 2-1 record: 58 of 101, 618 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions.
- Dan Marino, 1983, 22 years old, 2-1 record: 47 of 77, 704 yards, eight touchdowns, two interceptions.
- Eli Manning, 2004, 23 years old, 0-3 record: 35 of 83, 448 yards, one touchdown, four interceptions.
- Ben Roethlisberger, 2004, 22 years old, 3-0 record: 45 of 68, 568 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions.
- John Elway, 1983, 23 years old, 2-1 record: 28 of 62, 313 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions.
- Philip Rivers, 2006, 24 years old, 2-1 record: 46 of 68, 488 yards, 3 touchdowns, one interception.
- Warren Moon, 1984, 27 years old, 0-3 record: 46 of 103, 778 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions.
You don’t need me to tell you that Mahomes’ numbers through three games are better than any of these from the all-time greats.
And I can hear some of you shouting “IT’S ONLY THREE GAMES!!!” I hear you loud and clear. And I warn every Chiefs fan who is starting to count the championships Mahomes will win to be cautious.
But I also think it’s good to enjoy the moment and to imagine what could be. Mahomes, at least, looks like the real deal. What’s not to like?
Let your imaginations run wild.