There is only one piece of bad news during a week where the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs are celebrating a blowout victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Today is the first day of October, which means Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has fallen out of his leveled-up, super-powered state.
Don’t worry, he’ll still be great as he leads Kansas City through the 2020 season — but he won’t be September Mahomes. The 25-year-old Super Bowl MVP becomes an even more incredible version of himself in the opening month of the NFL season. Coincidentally or not, it’s also his birthday month!
He has played 10 career September games during his three seasons starting. Not only did the Chiefs win every contest and score 34.4 points per game, Mahomes averaged 330 passing yards per game while throwing 32 touchdowns with a passer rating of 124.4. He has yet to throw an interception in a September game. Compared to other months, September is when he has scored the most touchdowns, earned the highest passer rating and had the biggest adjusted yards per attempt rate.
There’s an obvious factor in the perceived early-season boost: Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.
Reid is famous for his ability to prepare, and that doesn’t just refer to his game planning. This is the fourth consecutive season that he has led the Chiefs to a 3-0 start or better — and the fifth overall since he was hired.
Mahomes credits him for getting the team to start the season hot.
“I truly believe it’s how we run training camp,” Mahomes told reporters on Wednesday. “I mean, Coach Reid puts us in these situations that are very game-like, they’re very similar to the situation that we’re really presented in the game, and we’re prepared for it. I think that’s a big credit to him and our whole coaching staff as they put us in situations in training camp that we’re prepared for everything right out of the gate. Then it’s about building and keep getting better and carrying that momentum throughout the season.”
Some of Mahomes’ most memorable, explosive performances have come in the ninth month of the year:
2018 Week 2 at Pittsburgh Steelers
- Mahomes completed 23 of 28 passing attempts for 326 yards and six touchdowns in a 42-38 victory. His 154.8 passer rating still stands as his career-high.
2018 Week 3 vs. San Francisco 49ers
- Mahomes threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns in his Arrowhead Stadium debut, including one of his all-time best plays:
2019 Week 1 at Jacksonville Jaguars
- Mahomes completed 76% of his passes while throwing three touchdowns and earning a 143.2 passer rating — the second-highest mark of his career. They won 40-26.
2019 Week 2 at Oakland Raiders
- Mahomes completed 12 of 17 attempts for 278 yards and four touchdowns — in the second quarter! It was the second-highest number of passing yards in one quarter in more than 40 years, per Sporting News.
2020 Week 3 at Baltimore Ravens
- We may have just witnessed the most impressive September performance of them all. With 31 completions out of 42 attempts, Mahomes totaled 385 yards and four touchdowns through the air. The 133.5 passer rating is the third-highest of his career. In fact, the five highest single-game passer ratings of his career have all occurred in September.
If there were a way to magically extend the month of September to last the entirety of the regular season, we’d be in for an even more exciting season of football. Extrapolating Mahomes’ career numbers in September over a 16-game period, you get an incredible stat line.
5,286 passing yards, 53 total touchdowns, and obviously, no interceptions.
I can’t help but laugh: we saw Mahomes approach those yardage and touchdown marks in the 2018 season. September Mahomes and normal Mahomes are both superhuman, but the former absolutely refuses to fail.
When the calendar turns to October, Mahomes’ numbers slip a little. He is 5-3 in eight career October games and has thrown 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions in total.
We’ll have to wait another 11 months for a fourth sighting of the super-charged, powered-up Mahomes playing in September. As is well known, he is awesome no matter what time of the year he plays, but he has been particularly great in the league’s opening month.
He’s not bad in February, either.