The NFL offseason is a time of trades and player movement. It’s also a time for the NFL Combine and pro days, culminating in the NFL draft. With all that now in the rearview mirror, and the 2022 schedule release slated to take place on Thursday, it’s now time to start ranking position players.
Who better than ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith to yell his opinion all over “First Take”?
While Smith believes Kansas City Chiefs gunslinger Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo Bills signal caller Josh Allen are at the top of the list, he isn’t falling into the belief that Allen has surpassed Mahomes.
In a debate with fellow ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky, SAS took Mahomes’ side.
Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen will meet in the Divisional Playoffs on Sunday.
They have nearly the same exact number of touchdown passes since the start of last season.
They rank 1-2 in Pass touchdowns outside the pocket, or on the run, in that span. pic.twitter.com/8a3SrJ3msw
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 23, 2022
“I love Josh Allen. He’s big time. I ain’t gonna put him over Patrick Mahomes yet. Not yet. I mean, you act like he could do stuff that Patrick Mahomes can’t do. What it’s saying is we’ve seen how great Josh Allen is. I believe in the brother.
“I believe in him,” Stephen A Smith added. “I’m glad he got his money. I’m happy for him. I love that. And I think he’s gonna win Buffalo a Super Bowl sooner than later. I got all of that. What I’m saying is, it is Patrick Mahomes that’s a Super Bowl champion. It is Patrick Mahomes that went back-to-back Super Bowls.”
“It is Patrick Mahomes, that went to four AFC Championship games. And it is Patrick Mahomes who beat Josh Allen the last two years. How in the hell do you put Josh Allen over Patrick Mahomes when obviously, the résumé isn’t the same, and he hasn’t knocked off Patrick Mahomes in the postseason, yet?”
Mahomes Has Had Allen’s Number Head-To-Head
The two talented gunslingers are the future of the league at the QB position. But in head-to-head matchups Mahomes has been the better QB, holding a 3-1 edge in regular season wins and 2-0 record against Allen in the postseason. While both have had moments in the matchups, nothing tops this past season’s AFC divisional playoff game win by the Chiefs (42-36) in overtime. Mahomes and Allen left it all on the field, but Mahomes struck last and won the game.
While their careers mirror each other’s in some ways, Mahomes has arguably had the better team overall. But with speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill being traded to the Dolphins and Bills star pass catcher Stefon Diggs re-signing a lucrative long-term extension, the belief is the power will now shift to Buffalo. But this will be Allen’s first season without offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who left to become the head coach of the New York Giants. Daboll was a key figure in Allen’s ascension in the QB hierarchy.
The Bills and Chiefs boast the first and third-best odds to hoist the Lombardi Trophy next February.
Both Have Put Up Amazing Numbers
Mahomes has a stellar career record of 50-13 as a starter. He’s passed for over 18,000 yards, 151 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. Allen is 39-22 having passed for over 14,000 yards, 103 touchdowns and 46 interceptions.
Allen uses his legs in the run game more, having rushed for 2,000 yards in his four seasons under center. While both are wizards in and out of the pocket, Mahomes still gets the nod for now, but Allen is on his heels.
Let’s just wait until he beats Mahomes with something on the line before we leapfrog a guy who lives in the AFC Championship Game.