I can’t lie.
Prior to the beginning of the 2018 season, I worried if Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes could live up to all the ridiculous hype he was getting. And I am not talking the usual “the one” talk that fans in Kansas City have always had whenever there is a new starting quarterback.
I’m talking moments like general manager Brett Veach calling him one of the best players he’d ever seen and Tamba Hali comparing him to both Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, then ESPN’s Louis Riddick confirming as such by saying “the hype is real.”
The crazy thing is that...it was very real—through 11 weeks of the NFL season, Mahomes has more than 3,900 yards, 37 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and is in a two-man MVP race with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
For some fans, all that still isn’t enough, and I get it. Years and years of heartbreak have conditioned Chiefs fans to always expect the other shoe to drop.
What Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on Thanksgiving Thursday may help with that:
Aaron Rodgers on Patrick Mahomes: "I don't want to disrespect him with this, but I see a lot of my young self in him. He rolls around, runs around, makes plays. He has a big arm. He's talented. Plays with a great swagger. He's fun to watch."— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) November 22, 2018
I noted that when I saw Tom Brady sprinting toward Mahomes after the game in New England to make sure he said hello, it meant something. And so does this.
It’s one thing for personnel staff, former players and analysts to tell you Mahomes is the real deal. When it comes from someone who’s done it for 10-plus years and is still at the top of his game? That feels like it means more.
“I don’t want to disrespect him with this,” Rodgers said.
Yeah, I think he’s just fine.