The Chiefs came up short against the Patriots, but no one should throw stones at Patrick Mahomes. He outplayed Tom Brady on the big stage.
Patrick Mahomes wasn’t able to lead the Chiefs to a massive AFC Championship victory over the Patriots on Sunday, but nothing he did against New England diminished his brilliance as a quarterback. Kansas City fans should be just as excited about his future as their quarterback as they were before the weekend began.
If you take a good look at the numbers from the back and forth affair, it’s obvious that Mahomes outdueled Brady by a pretty fair margin. The veteran Patriots signal caller deserves credit for leading New England to the touchdown drive they needed to emerge with a big victory, but Mahomes had much better numbers during regulation.
The second-year pro out of Texas Tech finished the game 16 of 31 for 295 yards and three touchdowns. Most importantly, Mahomes didn’t turn the football over a single time. His propensity to throw the ball into coverage was a serious concern about him during the regular season. The fact that he didn’t put the ball at risk in such a big game is a great sign of his ability to mature as a signal caller.
Taking care of the ball isn’t something Brady was able to do against a very mediocre Chiefs defense. The 41-year-old quarterback finished his night 30 of 46 for 348 yards and on touchdown. The dirty little secret of Brady’s game is that he also threw two interceptions. In fairness one was a result of a ball that caromed off Julian Edelman’s hands, but those turnovers could easily turned the game in Kansas City’s favor.
Mahomes finished the game with a QB rating of 117 versus Brady’s mark of 77.1. By any reasonable measure, the youngster significantly outplayed the legend on one of the biggest stages of them all.
No one should really be surprised at how Mahomes played on Sunday night. We are, after all, talking about a player who threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns during the regular season. He is very likely going to end up as the league’s MVP this season. It may be the first of several occasions when Mahomes takes home serious hardware at the end of the season.
A narrative may emerge in the aftermath of this game that claims Mahomes wasn’t ready to take his team all the way to the Super Bowl. Feel free to dismiss any talk resembling that as utter nonsense. He’s a phenomenal quarterback who didn’t have the right defense to lift the Lombardi Trophy this year. He and the Chiefs offense was plenty good enough to win it all.