Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks to throw a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game
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The Magic Behind Mahomes: Why He's Leading the 2022 MVP Race


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Patrick Mahomes breaks records. It's kind of his thing. The young phenom has created a winning environment in Kansas City so quickly that NFL fans have already begun rooting against the undeniable talent, despite falling in love with him and the Chiefs merely two years ago.  It's a whiplashing turn of events for the Chiefs quarterback and a lesson in how fickle fans can be when their teams keep losing and another's keeps winning. 

The Kansas City Chiefs have the loudest fan base in the league and it was only a little over four years ago that the fan base was asking themselves if Mahomes could be the franchise quarterback they'd been longing for. Fast forward and it's clear that Mahomes is indeed the long-lost missing piece Chiefs Kingdom had been dreaming of. The 2018 MVP, who is only in his fifth year starting, is building a season worthy of a second MVP title. Sure, there could be arguments made for Eagles' Jalen Hurts and Bills' Josh Allen, and maybe even one for Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa, but Mahomes Magic is unavoidable, unmistakable and unparalleled in the league. If I were placing a bet today on MVP, I'd place it on the Kansas City gunslinger. 

From Undervalued Draft Pick To MVP

Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine

Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It's easy to forget how long the Chiefs struggled, especially if you're not a lifelong Chiefs fan. For the lifers, the decades of choking in the playoffs and the revolving door of quality quarterbacks unable to get it done, feelings of doomed fate bubbled under the surface. Then Brett Veach and the Hunt family drafted a young quarterback from Texas and the league had no idea what was about to hit them -- Chiefs Kingdom was trepidatiously and pessimistically hopeful. 

It's been five years since Veach convinced Reid and Co. that Mahomes was worth the pick. The general manager's persistence and excitement for Mahomes paid off and led to the Chiefs trading their two first-round picks and a third-round pick to leapfrog 17 spots and snag Mahomes with pick No. 10. I often wonder what kind of nightmares the nine teams who passed on Mahomes have had since his record-breaking debut starting season back in 2018. Do they wish they could go back in time with their knowledge today and pick again? 

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Luckily for Kansas City, legendary Coach Andy Reid can now wax poetic about the early days of Veach's campaign for the Texas Tech star.

"Brett was pushing us with this guy forever, he was wearing John and I out with this quarterback, from the time the kid was a freshman on up through," Reid said. "So we had tape, he'd lay tape on our desk, and we'd go through it and look at it and go, 'Yeah, he's good but he's got another year or two left before he's gonna be eligible to come out.'"

Coach Reid recalls his faith in the Kansas City GM's opinion on the future NFL MVP: "He was down on the field before one of the games scouting him at Texas Tech and he goes, 'You're not going to believe this quarterback. This guy is unbelievable, like the best I've ever seen,'" Reid said. "So you know, when somebody tells you that, that has the experience Brett has, you better look at him."

Since Veach's pestering passion for Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs have made it to the big game twice and finally won a Super Bowl in 2020, ending a 50-year drought. Kansas City has also forged a road to the Super Bowl through Arrowhead, holding the league record for most consecutive games hosted, 2018-2021 and this year could very well be the fifth. 

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Mahomes' magic has permeated throughout the BBQ capital of America and is showing no sign of slowing down, despite the hysteria surrounding Mahomes' cheetah-less offense this year. After breaking Dan Marino's record for most career touchdown passes through 75 games this season (he did it in 72), I think it's safe to say Mahomes can still Mahomes without Tyreek Hill, and this season he could Mahomes his way to a second MVP title within his first five years starting in the league.

Another Season of Record-Breaking Stats

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) runs the ball during the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Buffalo Bills

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If you're still with me, you may be thinking, this chick really rides for Mahomes, and you would be correct -- except I'd say "I'm rolling with Mahomies!" However, as a diehard fan of the game I can objectively look at the facts and applaud other players' greatness. In this particular instance, I'm lucky that the stats support my opinion. 

  • Patrick Mahomes leads the league in passing yards (2,936). Tom Brady and Josh Allen trail the closest behind. 
  • Patrick Mahomes leads the league in touchdowns with 25, and is on pace to hit close to 50. The last time Mahomes hit 50 he was named 2018 MVP. He sits tied for second place with Tom Brady at 50 single-season touchdowns, a single-season record Peyton Manning holds with 55 touchdowns. MVP contenders Allen sits with 20, Tua with 18.
  • Patrick Mahomes sits at the top of the leaderboard in completions with 245, with a 66.9% completion rate. Comparably, MVP racers Allen (220), Tagovailoa (176) and Hurts (163) sit lower on the board. 
  • Patrick Mahomes is on track to break Peyton Manning's single-season passing yard record of 5,477 yards set back in 2013. 
  • Patrick Mahomes broke 20,000 career passing yards in Week 4, and he did it in only 67 games -- the fewest in NFL history. If Mahomes continues at this pace, he could break into the NFL All-Time Passing Yards Leaders List faster than anyone. 
  • Patrick Mahomes became the first player in the Super Bowl era with at least 400 yards and a passing touchdown and 60 yards and a rushing touchdown in the same single game.

Mahomes has accomplished all of this without Tyreek Hill. Hopefully now we can stop doubting Kansas City's ability to succeed without the league's fastest receiver. He also has been able to deliver insane numbers this season despite an offensive line that was struggling at the start of the season. But the craziest fact of all of this is Mahomes has reached this level of excellence in only his fifth season of starting. Five. Years. It's undeniable the caliber of talent oozing out of Mahomes and we are lucky enough to watch him play. 

Mahomes' MVP Status In Action

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates a touchdown scored by Tyreek Hill #10 against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

It can be painful for a writer to admit when their words aren't good enough. But in this case, I feel like I can state the stats and praise the prolific arm, but watching Mahomes in action is the surest way to understand the MVP season he's having.

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There are countless games to choose from this season, but the comeback win against a tough Tennessee Titans team is a perfect example of Mahomes' leadership, ability to execute when it counts, and mental toughness. When Mahomes is down and trailing, you can never count him out. No lead seems big enough. He has the best career win percentage when trailing a team entering the 4th quarter, at 52.9%. Tony Romo comes in second with a staggeringly lower 35.8%. To put it simply, when Mahomes leads the Chiefs into the 4th quarter losing, they have an optimistic 52.9% chance of still winning. Needless to say, Mahomes knows how to mount a comeback and this season alone he's 3-0 when facing a double-digit deficit.

His teammates and coaches have unyielding faith in their quarterback's ability to put points on the board. Coach Andy Reid had this to say about Mahomes' resiliency and ability to scale a comeback: "It starts with Pat," Reid said. "There's no panic if you get behind. You don't want to be behind, but if you're there, he's not panicking, which would send a message to the other guys, really the rest of the team, that we're in trouble. I mean, but the guys always feel like they're in it with the way he handles himself."

It's indisputable that Mahomes is having a MVP worthy season -- the stats, the skill, the entertainment factor are all off-the-charts. The final eight games will set the stellar seasons apart from the MVP caliber ones. NFL aficionados know that anything could happen as we head deeper into the back half of the season, but I'd still push all my chips in on Mahomes donning the MVP crown at the end of the year. He's playing Madden level football.

MORE: Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes: Their Greatest Battles Over the Years

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