Patrick Mahomes and the NFL’s new era at quarterback

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 31: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes /

More and more young talent is emerging at the QB position in the National Football League as Chiefs fans are ready to find out.

The new era at quarterback: Carson Wentz, Marcus Mariota, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes.

These are just a few of the young quarterbacks who have come in and taken the league by storm, forcing an out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new mentality in NFL quarterback rooms. While the likes of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers still dominate the win columns and are the faces of the entire league, the end could be near for the long-time heroes of the NFL.

The desire for a pass-heavy, downfield offense has never been higher in the history of the league. Having a 350+ yard, 3 touchdown game has become an ordinary game for a successful QB, yet somehow we are left wanting more.

Putting up big numbers in today’s NFL is what earns players a large payday—not the win stats, not the team chemistry, not the hometown heroics. These 3 touchdown games eventually turn into a fat stack of cash, and a lot of happy fans.

A change in the status quo

Many fans of the NFL are not in it for the actual love of the game, or for even cheering on the home team. Instead, they stare at a screen waiting in anticipation for one of their fantasy team players to score so they can win their matchup for the week. Fantasy sports has impacted how we look at a player and judge them accordingly.

Organizations are increasingly investing in these kinds of players as the league trends in this direction The trio of Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Marcus Mariota  combined for a total of over 10,000 passing yards, 74 Touchdowns, and a combined passer rating of 93.9. Those are some unbelievable stats for a trio of quarterbacks who have only been in the league for 2 or 3 years.

NFL defenses are getting younger and faster, and your signal caller has to be able to adapt.

Patrick Mahomes: Next in Line

Franchises will do anything to grab the quarterback that they want. During the 2017 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills were on the clock at No. 10 overall. They had their pick of the litter, but elected to trade the pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for two first rounders and a third rounder. The Chiefs paid no small price, and they got their guy.

Patrick Mahomes gave fans an exciting play literally in every one of the games he played, preseason or the season finale. The game against Denver last year was his first career start, and he showed why he was a first round pick. Being able to push the ball down the field is what NFL head coaches are looking for in their signal caller, and Mahomes was able to show the poise and grit to do exactly what was asked of him.

His method of play can be slightly erratic and unorthodox, but my goodness, Mahomes can throw the ball. He scrambled outside the pocket, with his momentum going backwards and a Pro Bowler giving chase. Mahomes threw a dime off his back foot for the clutch first down. This play solidified my confidence in the young QB from Texas Tech.

In terms of filling up the scoreboard, Mahomes is no stranger. He currently owns the NCAA record for most total yards in a single game with 819 yards, and tied the single game record for most passing yards with 734. Having to pick up a lackluster defense, he quietly put up a 5,000 yard season with 41 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. Those are some good looking stats for the fantasy football fanatics out there.

Taking a risk in the new era

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While I completely support the Chiefs’ decision to take a risk and go with Mahomes at pick #10 (huge fan of Pat), this is another case of passing up winning for gaudy numbers. Deshaun Watson was chosen at #12 in the same draft by the Houston Texans and has a much more respectable college resumé than Mahomes, despite Mahomes’ accolades. Taking part in two national championships and  once defeating one of the most dominant programs in recent history in the Crimson Tide, Watson has the mentality of a winner.

Now of course, the argument can be made that Watson’s supporting cast was far superior to Mahomes’. Clemson’s defense in their national title year was a large part of why they made it there. Watson also had a much more formidable offensive line and rushing attack at his disposal. But you have to take into account the national title; Watson is a winner.

Football fans in this day and age love excitement, and seeing the scoreboard go from 0-100 real quick. There is no better achievement for an NFL team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy on Super Bowl Sunday. However, more and more fans are only in it to see their starting lineup win the matchup for the week in fantasy. The demand for players who rack up large numbers in their respective positions is only increasing. Statistics are beginning to control the flow of money and success in the league.

This may or may not be good for the NFL, as the game is changing season by season.

We know one thing though, the league is going to keep getting exciting.