Derrick Thomas Award (Most Valuable Player)
Winner: Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback
This one may be a surprise to some, and it's understandable given how ineffective the offense has been at times and the turnovers, but Patrick Mahomes is fully deserving of this award. This is not a pro-Mahomes bias or just handing the award to the player at the most important position.
Chiefs fans and NFL fans alike need to keep everything in perspective. While it is true that Mahomes is not having his best season, he's still easily been one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL this year. Two things can be true: Patrick Mahomes has been the team's best player and needs to step up his game.
He's 5th in PFF offensive grade among quarterbacks ($), 1st in raw QBR (3rd in opponent adjusted QBR), and is tied for 3rd in EPA/play. He's also the highest graded non-special teams player on the Chiefs.
Even when factoring out positional value, Patrick Mahomes has been the best player on the Chiefs in terms of quality of play and only Travis Kelce and Trent McDuffie are in the ballpark of him. Other than Travis Kelce and Harrison Butker, he's the only player on the Chiefs who's inside the Top 5 at his position in terms of PFF grade. He's playing very well this season. It's not his best campaign, but 95%+ of quarterbacks who ever step foot in the NFL dream of having a season where they play this well.
Despite many saying the Chiefs have a terrible offense, the unit is 7th in yards/game, 3rd in passing/yards, 12th in points/game, and ranks in the Top 10 in many other metrics. Mahomes is the main reason why. All of this is without a consistent running game and a poor wide receiver group. Yes, Mahomes does have to swallow some of the blame for the underwhelming offensive performance, but it's a fact that this offense would be a lot worse with someone else at quarterback. If an even slightly above-average quarterback were under-center for Kansas City, the offense would be very similar to some of the seasons with Alex Smith.
Despite the less-than-stellar first-half offensive season for K.C., Patrick Mahomes is still the MVP of this team.