A half-century of TDs and a trio of passing records — MVP Patrick Mahomes in Opta numbers

The NFL has a new Most Valuable Player, with Tom Brady dethroned by Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who received the league’s highest individual honor on Saturday.

Though he was unable to get past Brady and the Patriots in the playoffs as the Chiefs lost in the AFC Championship game, Mahomes became the clear frontrunner after a scarcely believable first season as Kansas City’s starting QB.

Mahomes ended 2018 near the top of almost every statistical category, having transformed the Chiefs offense, and looks set to serve as one of the faces of the NFL for years to come.

With his stunning effort this year coming after a Week 17 one-off appearance as a rookie last term, Mahomes has now played 17 NFL regular-season games, with his performances in that timeframe ranking as one of the strongest starts to a career in league history.

Here, with the help of Opta, we examine just how impressive the NFL’s newest superstar has been at the helm of one of the league’s best offenses.

A trio of passing records

Through his first 17 games, Mahomes has completed 405 passes for 5,381 yards and 50 touchdowns. 

All three of those numbers are NFL records among quarterbacks in their first 17 games, and were achieved with a completion percentage of 65.9.

His completion percentage for his 16 regular-season games in 2018 was 66, only good enough for 16th in the NFL, so even better numbers could be on the horizon if he can even slightly improve on that figure.

Exalted company in the 50-touchdown club

All of Mahomes’ 50 career passing TDs came in the 2018 season. Only two other quarterbacks have thrown for 50 touchdowns in a season — Brady in 2007 and Peyton Manning in 2013, with the latter’s 55 an NFL record. 

Despite the aerial dominance enjoyed by this trio, none of the teams they played for won the Super Bowl. Mahomes was undone by the Patriots, who infamously went 16-0 in 2007 only to stunningly lose to the New York Giants in Super Bowl 42.

Manning’s Broncos were crushed 43-8 by the Seahawks In Super Bowl 48.

The Magnificent Seven

Mahomes is one of only seven quarterbacks to throw for at least 5,000 yards in a season. He joins Brady, Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Dan Marino and Matthew Stafford.

Of that group, only Marino and Stafford have failed to win the Super Bowl in their careers, with Lions starter Stafford yet to win a playoff game, an achievement Mahomes has already fulfilled.

The man to end Chiefs’ championship drought

Of the 17 games he has played, Mahomes has won 13, with that number tied for fourth all time in that span.

The Chiefs had been successful before he took the reins under center, but had not won a home playoff game since 1993 before Mahomes ended that tortuous wait by leading Kansas City to a defeat of the Colts in this season’s Divisional Round.

With his ability to throw with venom from every arm angle and his abilities on the run, Mahomes has transformed the Chiefs offense into a juggernaut and appears to bring the best out of head coach Andy Reid as a play-caller.

After ending an infamous postseason drought in his first year as a starter, is he man to bring to their 50-year wait for a second Super Bowl title to a close next season? His rapid rise and astounding numbers suggest the answer is yes.