We’re not exactly sure what it means to say Patrick Mahomes “hasn’t even gotten started yet,” but we certainly like the sound of it.
Kansas City Chiefs fans know that as long as Patrick Mahomes remains healthy (and interested in playing football rather than trying other sports just because he can), the team is in great hands. That seems like an understatement, and it certainly is compared to what NFL.com columnist Adam Schein has to say about him, but it’s the new, exciting baseline in Kansas City.
Mahomes set numerous NFL and franchise records last year on his way to winning the league’s Most Valuable Player Award. The most exciting numbers on his glowing stat sheet were the 50 touchdowns that went with his 5,000 passing yards, the second ever quarterback to put up such impressive numbers.
Given that it was his first year as a starting quarterback, the spotlight on Mahomes has grown considerably and he’s become the subject of columns everywhere around the league. Many NFL analysts have spent this offseason saying that Mahomes is a likely regression candidate—that quarterbacks simply cannot come into the NFL and put up consecutive campaigns like the one that Mahomes just did.
On the other hand, there are columnists like Schein who can’t stop fawning over the NFL’s most dynamic young talent at any position. In a recent essay about the best players from each draft class, Schein wrote the following about Mahomes:
"Mahomes is amazing, and he hasn’t even gotten started. His talent and smarts are off the charts. And with his flair and improvisational skills (no-look passes, anyone?), Mahomes has become the greatest show in all of sports."
We wouldn’t disagree with anything stated here, especially that he’s the greatest show in all of sports. Not only is he a wunderkind on the field but he’s such an affable personality off of it. He seems to love the city, love his teammates, love the sport and love the fans. He’s genuine and personable and somehow humble in the face of such grandiose expectations.
But what does Schein mean when he says he hasn’t even gotten started? What is 50 touchdowns in a single season, if not the start of a potential Hall of Fame career? What is an MVP in your first season if not a terrific start? We all understand what Schein means. He’s just saying it all in a hyperbolic way.
And here’s the ultimate point: we’ve reached peak Pat at this point. We’re here in late June commenting on a season that’s six months old. There’s nothing left to be said about Mahomes before we arrive at training camp. It’s fun to watch those highlights, but it’s clear in terms of ink spilled, there are only so many ways to say “Patrick Mahomes is the best young quarterback in the National Football League.”