Even in a heartbreaking loss in primetime, it’s clear that the Kansas City Chiefs have the quarterback to make everyone else jealous.
Don’t be fooled by the box score.
The saying is that numbers don’t lie, but statistics hide the truth every week in the NFL. Based on last year’s stats, it would mean C.J. Anderson is a top 10 back in the NFL, Jarvis Landry and Marquis Goodwin are top 10 wide receivers, and Darius Slay is the best overall cornerback. If numbers were everything, the Kansas City Chiefs would have never traded Alex Smith and his NFL-leading passer rating in the first place.
Last night, the Chiefs lost a thrilling shootout against the L.A. Rams that proved the supremacy of both teams (and their entertainment value). It was also a showcase of two of the brightest young arms in Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes. Both players are former top 10 draft picks (Goff was even No. 1) and both look like they will be household names for years to come.
But if you think they looked equal on Monday, you’re totally mistaken (and I don’t mean this in a positive way for Goff).
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The boxscore from Monday will tell you that Goff was the better quarterback. He got the win (don’t get me started on that being a category to judge any player in any sport). He didn’t put up the turnovers. He even had five touchdown passes himself and zero interceptions. Don’t be fooled.
Let me make this disclaimer, first. Jared Goff is a very good young quarterback. If he were the face of my favorite franchise, I would feel right and good about it. He’s going to win a lot of games. He’s going to throw a lot of touchdowns. He’s going to earn a lot of endorsement money. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Jared Goff at all—in fact, there’s so much that’s right—and if you read this thinking I’m down on Goff, then I’m not sure what to tell you.
But I’m already bored, now, trying to defend Goff, because really, he’s not exciting—at least not in comparison to the losing quarterback on Sunday, the same one who turned the ball over five times.
If you were watching the game, you know what I’m talking about. Mahomes willed his team within a field goal at the end despite myriad dropped passes and an officiating crew intent on sinking the visiting team early. He’s done it all season, throwing passes in ways that astonish even those who view them for a living. It’s the athleticism, the confidence, the moxie, the vision.
Ask yourself this: if you were starting a team from scratch, who are you taking? There’s not a single honest person saying Jared Goff on that one, including Sean McVay or Jared’s own mother.
Here’s what’s scary: Patrick Mahomes was at his absolute worst on Monday. Some of the decisions were poor. He failed to hold on to the football. The downfield miscues were silly instead of taking, at times, what the defense would give him. He actually resembled the “carefree gunslinger” label given to him during the draft season for a few moments in primetime—and it wasn’t a good look.
Yet even with the fumbles and the interceptions (and more fumbles and more interceptions, because they were all there), there’s still no denying the physical talent that Patrick Mahomes possesses (and that Jared Goff and every other NFL quarterback does not). Mahomes is a generational talent, the one voted “Most Likely To Be Remembered As The Best of His Era.” You have to see it to believe it.
Otherwise you’ll believe the numbers. And despite what they say, they’ll lie to you about Patrick Mahomes.