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Rocky’s World: A reminder of what the Chiefs have in Patrick Mahomes

Let’s see how Mahomes ranks when compared to the greatest quarterbacks of all time at this stage in their careers.

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Four years — that’s how long Patrick Mahomes has been the starting quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Four years is a good sample size.

It’s the number of years it takes to earn your undergraduate degree. It’s not long enough to get a doctorate, but long enough that if you give your institution of higher learning $80,000, they’ll give you a piece of paper certifying you know some things. If you want proof that you know everything, it takes another four years and an additional $120,000.

That’s about where I’d say Patrick Mahomes is right now in his development as a quarterback. He’s no longer the starry-eyed freshman rocking a Che Guevara t-shirt who just discovered Rastafarianism.

He’s not a tenured professor of quarterbackology who publishes 200,000-word peer-reviewed papers on the metaphysics of pocket presence yet though, either. He’s a grad assistant who just completed his field research for his thesis on taking what the defense gives you.

Mahomes has been amazing up until this point in his career. If there was a Mount Rushmore of quarterbacks through the first four years of their career, Mahomes would be George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — and maybe Abraham Lincoln, too.

But if last Sunday’s AFC Championship loss to the Cincinnati Bengals showed us anything, it’s that there are still areas of Mahomes game that he can improve upon — namely, being more patient and dumping the ball underneath instead of trying to be a hero on every play.

Even with these areas for growth, and even with Mahomes having a “down season,” he is still the most dynamic talent we have ever seen at the quarterback position. Speaking of down seasons and quarterbacks being broken, most people forget that Peyton Manning threw 81 interceptions in the first four years of his career, and he turned out pretty good.

So let’s put all doubt to bed once and for all by taking a look at the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Let’s see how Mahomes stacks up against them through their first four years as a starter.


AFC Divisional Playoffs - Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Passing yards: first place

Patrick Mahomes has thrown for 18,707 passing yards. That’s more than anyone else in the history of the NFL and 2,000 more passing yards than the next closest competitor in Peyton Manning and nearly 3,000 more than third-place quarterback Dak Prescott.

Average yards per game: first place

Since 2018, Mahomes has averaged 301.7 yards per game. The next closest quarterback is Matt Stafford with 284.6 yards per game and Dan Marino earning the bronze with 274.2 yards per game.

Completion percentage: third place

Mahomes is in third place behind Deshaun Watson, who completed 68.1% of his passes through his first four years in the NFL and Kurt Warner, who just barely edged out Mahomes (66.1%) for second place with a completion percentage of 66.7%. The impressive thing is that each of these quarterbacks is known for pushing the ball downfield and taking deep shots. The fact that they were able to complete such a high number of passes is remarkable.

Average yards per attempt: third place

This time, it’s Kurt Warner who wears the crown, leading the way with 8.7 yards per attempt. After that, we have a two-way tie between Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson — both averaging 8.4 yards per attempt.

Touchdowns: first place

When it comes to tossing dimes for six, there is nobody in the history of football who has done it more times through the first four years of their career than Patrick Mahomes. In 62 regular-season games, Mahomes has thrown for an astounding 151 touchdown passes, this doesn’t include the additional 28 he’s thrown in the postseason as well. Dan Marino is No. 2 in this category with 142 touchdown passes. In third place is Peyton Manning with 111 touchdowns.

Regular-season victories: first place

There has not been a quarterback who has won more regular-season football games than Patrick Mahomes. With 50 regular-season wins to his name, Mahomes is three games ahead of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White, who won 47 games in his first four seasons.

Postseason victories: tied for first

The playoffs are where legends are made. If you win enough games in the postseason, they put your bust in Canton someday. In 11 postseason games, Mahomes has eight postseason victories — he’s tied for first place with Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Jim Plunkett and Ben Rothlisberger.

Super Bowl victories: tied for second

Only Tom Brady has won more Super Bowls within the first four years of becoming a starter than Patrick Mahomes. Sure, Brady has him in rings, but let’s face it, for the first half of his career, the New England Patriots weren’t winning on the arm of Tom Brady — he was the world’s greatest game manager, who turned himself into a guy who could carry a team.


A nice reminder

Yes, the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals was as heartbreaking as they come. Patrick Mahomes has room to grow, which is the whole point of what this whole piece is driving at. He is already on pace to smash career records previously held by the titans of the gridiron, and we get to sit back and watch it happen.

There are 26 Hall of Fame quarterbacks in the history of the NFL (plus Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers)...

Troy Aikman 1989-2000

George Blanda (Also PK) 1949-1958, 1960-1975

Terry Bradshaw 1970-1983

Len Dawson 1957-1975

John Elway 1983-1998

Brett Favre 1991-2010

Dan Fouts 1973-1987

Otto Graham 1946-1955

Bob Griese 1967-1980

Sonny Jurgensen 1957-1974

Jim Kelly 1986-1996

Bobby Layne 1948-1962

Peyton Manning 1998-2015

Dan Marino 1983-1999

Joe Montana 1979-1994

Warren Moon 1984-2000

Joe Namath 1965-1977

Ken Stabler 1970-1984

Bart Starr 1956-1971

Roger Staubach 1969-1979

Fran Tarkenton 1961-1978

Y.A. Tittle 1948-1964

Johnny Unitas 1956-1973

Norm Van Brocklin 1949-1960

Kurt Warner 1998-2009

Bob Waterfield 1945-1952

Steve Young 1985-1999

...and none of them had a four-year start to their career like Mahomes has had.

Mahomes is a stallion who busted out of the gates saying better grab my mane and hang on because things might get a little wild. Through the tough losses and the thrilling victories, I’m here for the ride.

And who knows?

Maybe Mahomes will pull a reverse Brady and learn how to be a game manager who can still sling the ball out of the park.

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