Black Quarterback Chronicles | How Patrick Mahomes’ Evolution Without A Star WR Has Led Him To MVP Front-Runner

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Patrick Mahomes has evolved into the NFL standard at the quarterback position. That’s never been more crystal clear than this season. As the maestro of the vaunted Kansas City Chiefs, the Super Bowl champion has led the team to a 9-2 record, which is tops in the AFC. Mahomes has done this minus superstar receiver Tyreek Hill, who was traded to the Dolphins in March.

During a recent episode of the “Rich Eisen Show,” Eisen raved about Mahomes’ evolution and maturation this season.

“You take a look at the standings, as a matter of fact, and rubber’s meeting road in the AFC with the Chiefs. No Tyreek Hill, no big whoop, 9-2. They won nine of their first 11.”

“A loss to the Indianapolis Colts,” Eisen continued, “That will still be a head-scratcher when the season is done, no matter what happens now and at the end of the season.”

Will Patrick Mahomes Break NFL Single-Season Passing Record?

The Chiefs have been dominant in road wins at the Cardinals and Buccaneers, and pulled out tough nail-biters against the Raiders, Titans and Chargers. Through it all, the play of Mahomes has been the main reason for the team’s success though 11 weeks of the season.

Mahomes has passed for nearly 3,600 yards, 29 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He’s on pace to break the single-season passing yardage mark.

 

Mahomes Hasn’t Missed A Beat Without Tyreek Hill 

Coming into the 2022 season Mahomes knew he had to get better in a few areas, because without the game-breaking Hill he’d have to play with a more methodical approach. That meant less risky throws and more of taking what the defense gives you. That’s exactly what Mahomes has done, with nine players having at least 12 receptions, and as many as 17 different players having at least one reception from his strong right arm.

In the end that approach has helped him increase his completion percentage and cut down on the mistakes.

His group of trusted hands is led by all-world tight end Travis Kelce, who continues to add to his glowing Hall of Fame résumé. This season he has 73 catches and 12 touchdowns, meaning every six times he touches the football he also hits paydirt. The addition of JuJu Smith-Schuster has been a crafty acquisition. He’s a tough, sure-handed, reliable weapon who has taken some pointers from Kelce on route running.

Mahomes Wants To Avenge Playoff Loss To Cincinnati Bengals 

If you ask Mahomes about this season he’ll tell you, while they’re playing well, last season’s AFC championship choke job at home to the Bengals still stings. In fact, the Chiefs lost to the Joe Burrow-led Bengals twice in a month by three points, and each time they blew big leads. None hurt more than the second one.

This coming Sunday, Mahomes and the Chiefs will look to right their wrongs against the defending AFC champs, who have been inconsistent this season. Mahomes, who’s a student of the game, understands that limiting mistakes will be the key to victory. 

“Man, it’s not a good place,” Mahomes told reporters. “I mean they’d beat us. I played terrible in the second half. And we lost at home … So, we’ll be ready to go next week for sure.”

While it’s only one game, a win will go a long way toward building K.C.’s Super Bowl confidence and boosting Mahomes’ MVP candidacy.