Analysis

Patrick Mahomes hurdles Wilson in MVP race after stellar four-touchdown performance

Another lethal and precise air raid propels Mahomes past Seattle QB and any other contender in a shootout win over Carolina.

A much more explosive Carolina offense came out to play against Kansas City Sunday, bolstered by the return of Christian McCaffrey and with a refreshed Teddy Bridgewater who ended up throwing for over 300 yards. But once again, Mahomes would not be denied, going off on the Carolina defense for over 370 yards and 4 touchdowns, two of which going to Tyreek Hill.

After a slow start by the Chiefs defense against the Panthers, Mahomes picked up the reigns and showed everyone why he should be considered the frontrunner for MVP this season. Although the game came down to a missed 67-yard field goal by Carolina kicker Joey Slye as the clock hit zero, the victory never seemed to be out of Mahomes’ control–even when trailing.

This continued dominance of Mahomes should shine brightly on MVP voters after another multiple-turnover game for Russell Wilson against a Buffalo team that Mahomes has already defeated handily this season.

And although his defense failed to record a turnover for the first time this season, Mahomes didn’t need them to, after turning it on in the second quarter and finding his stride after a couple of overthrows to Hill.

After becoming the first quarterback to reach the milestone of 20+ touchdowns and just one interception in a team’s first eight games, Mahomes ripped off another 30+ point game by effortlessly carrying the Chiefs to victory from behind once again. Coming back from a 14-3 deficit has never looked so easy, or so lethal, but in doing so Mahomes added to his collection of accolades by breaking Dan Marino’s record of fastest QB to 100 passing touchdowns by four games.

“Another record, put it on the shelf,” said Kelce, one of Mahomes’ favorite targets, who had his third 100-yard receiving game of the season before the Chiefs week 10 bye week.

Although the Chiefs didn’t seem dedicated to the run, only choosing to rush 12 times, they still seemed faithful to using motion and using it effectively. The one-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson was proof of that as Mahomes seemed to fool everyone on the defensive line as he began running right pre-snap before returning and catching the shotgun snap while still in motion.

Although nobody is diminishing the excellent work that Russell Wilson is doing in Seattle, there is no denying that Mahomes is now in a league of his own after yet another 4+ touchdown game in a victory decided while he was on the sideline.

Wilson’s shortcomings this season seem to come from rare mistakes and costly turnovers in big games, but they are also eerily similar to the downfalls of 2018 Chiefs’ defensive squad.

With Seattle’s defense in last place in overall defense, passing defense, and yards per game it seemingly is up to Wilson to have a perfect game every week in order to keep his team from losing. While Mahomes and Wilson both started their games Sunday down multiple-scores to their opponents, only one was able to come from behind and gain a lead, which was ultimately held by Spagnuolo’s defense all the way to the final drive of the game.

Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson are the clear favorites for MVP so far this season, no one is doubting that, but many critics often mention Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady as clear contenders for the honors.

Through the first nine weeks of the NFL season the stats lead to the clear and obvious choice for MVP:

  • Patrick Mahomes, through nine games: 2,852 total yards, 27 total TDs & only one turnover, KC leads the AFC West by a wide margin with an 8-1 record
  • Russell Wilson, through eight games: 2,806 total yards, 29 total TDs & 10 turnovers, Seattle only leads the NFC West by one game with a 6-2 record
  • Aaron Rodgers, through eight games: 2,253 total yards, 24 total TDs & three turnovers, Green Bay leads the NFC North by one game with a 6-2 record
  • Tom Brady, through nine games: 2,398 total yards, 20 total TDs & eight turnovers, Tampa Bay is second in the NFC South with a 6-3 record.

The road to MVP honors now seems to be paved, swept and power washed for Mahomes, who has the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL after their bye week and one of the healthiest, most dominant offenses in the league.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks have a seemingly easy schedule as well, facing the likes of the Jets, Giants, Washington, and a bitterly-injured San Francisco but Wilson, who has lost two of his last three games, has seen that he will not be able to rely on his defense, even against some of the worst teams in the league, unlike Mahomes.

Next up for Wilson is two straight divisional games in the forms of a rested Rams team coming off a bye and an Arizona team that already defeated them in overtime two weeks ago. Mahomes, on the other hand, heads into the bye week riding a four-game win streak to prepare for a vengeful attack on the Las Vegas Raiders who are the only team to hand Mahomes a loss since week 10 of last season.

While there are still 8 more weeks of football left, it seems apparent that Mahomes should be the favorite for MVP but, as any NFL fan knows, a lot can happen between now and the playoffs.

And although Wilson and the Seahawks still seem poised to make a deep playoff run, he is consistently going to have to carry his defense, much like Mahomes in his MVP year, if he wants to do so.

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