Patrick Mahomes has led the Chiefs to a third straight AFC Championship. This is also the third straight time that the Chiefs will host the AFC Championship, something that has never been done in AFC history. This is just another in a long line of firsts that Mr. Mahomes has accomplished in his still somewhat short career.
Hosting three straight AFC Championships is unprecedented, and Patrick has led the Chiefs to this milestone in just his third year as a starting quarterback in the league. What does this accomplishment mean for his legacy?
To evaluate what this means for his legacy, we have to examine what his legacy holds up to this point. Some notable points in his career so far include:
- When he was finally given the chance to play in a throwaway game in week 17 his rookie year, despite playing with all the other backups, Mahomes led the Chiefs to a 14-point lead over the AFC West rival Broncos. After Mahomes was pulled for Tyler Bray, the Broncos tied the game up. Mahomes was put back in just in time to lead the Chiefs on a game-winning drive in his first NFL game. This was a sign of things to come.
- In his first season as a starter in his first three games, he threw for four touchdowns, six touchdowns, and three touchdowns. In his fourth game as a starter, he led the Chiefs on a fourth-quarter comeback from 10 points down, including a left handed throw with Von Miller on his heels that sent shockwaves around the league and announced his presence as the stud we know him as today.
- After the season was complete, he was named 2018 NFL MVP. After completing his first year as a starter, he became the third QB to throw for 50 TD’s in a season, joining Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as the only QBs to do that.
- In his first trip to the AFC Championship (and the first time for the Chiefs in 25 years), he went shot for shot with Tom Brady and the Patriots dynasty. Mahomes scored 31 points in the second half of that game alone, three of which came from a 39-second game-tying drive. Unfortunately, that game didn’t end up going Mahomes way, with “Touchdown Tommy” winning the coin flip in OT and preventing Mahomes from even stepping on the field. That game and the following one marked the end of the Patriots dynasty, being the last AFC Championship the Patriots would make.
- Before dislocating his knee in week 7 last year, Mahomes had thrown for 240 yards in each of his first 25 games. This tied him for the longest streak of games with 240-plus passing yards by any QB at any point in their career in NFL history. He followed this up three weeks later by throwing 446 yards, leading the Chiefs to their second straight 12-4 season.
- Mahomes then proceeded to lead the Chiefs to double-digit victories, after being down at least 10 points in each game. In the process, he led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl victory in 50 years and was the youngest ever QB to be named Super Bowl MVP.
- Amongst quarterbacks with at least 150 attempts through the air, Pat has the highest regular-season passer rating (110.3) and postseason passer rating (106.6) according to footballreference.com.
So what does Patrick leading the Chiefs to a third straight AFC Championship at Arrowhead Stadium? It has never been done before in the AFC, but when has that stopped him before? Apparently, the answer is not often.
It’s just another notch on a belt full of them. A great, fun stat to pull out at your next party or argument about whether or not Mahomes is the GOAT (newsflash; he is.) If he retired today, before his fourth season is even complete, Mahomes has a legitimate argument for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What player could that ever be said about before? As far as I am concerned, none.