For the first half of the season, Patrick Mahomes kind of got left out of the MVP conversation, but that’s likely going to change this week after the Chiefs quarterback almost single-handedly staved off an upset attempt by the Carolina Panthers during Kansas City’s wild 33-31 win on Sunday.
In a game where the Chiefs only rushed for 30 yards, they needed everything Mahomes had to offer and he came through with 372 passing yards and four touchdowns, including two to Tyreek Hill, who finished with nine catches for 113 yards.
The Chiefs spotted the Panthers an early 14-3 lead, but after that Mahomes took over. The quarterback’s first scoring pass in the game came on a one-yard throw, and although a one-yard pass isn’t generally something that’s worth showing you a highlight of, this one was. On the play, not only did the Chiefs send Mahomes into motion, but he caught the shotgun snap while still in motion and then he did this …
It’s almost not fair. That one-yard pass to Demarcus Robinson cut Carolina’s lead to 14-13 just before halftime, and after the score it felt like there was no way Mahomes was going to let the Chiefs lose.
Although Carolina’s offense went toe-to-toe with Kansas City, Mahomes just made too many big plays. With the Chiefs trailing 17-13 in the second half, Mahomes led Kansas City to a touchdown on three consecutive possessions, and all of a sudden the four-point deficit had turned into a 33-24 lead.
The Chiefs quarterback threw three touchdown passes in the second half, and one of those was a 28-yard score to Hill in that gave Mahomes 100 touchdown passes for his career, which is notable because it made him.
The pass to Hill helped Mahomes reach 100 touchdowns in just 40 games, which topped Dan Marino’s record of 44 games that had stood for 34 years.
The quarterback who won the MVP award in 2018 should now be considered the frontrunner to win it in 2020. For the first eight weeks of the season, Russell Wilson became the frontrunner thanks to Seattle’s decision to “Let Russ Cook,” but Wilson has burnt himself in the kitchen in two of the past three weeks.
There have been other quarterbacks — like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Josh Allen — who have been good, but Mahomes has been great. He went into Sunday’s game with 20 touchdown passes and one interception on the season, which is notable because no other quarterback in NFL history had ever thrown 20 or more touchdowns with one or fewer interceptions through eight games, and now he’s added to that. Through nine games, Mahomes has been nearly perfect, throwing for 2,687 yards and 24 touchdown passes along with that one pick.
Mahomes just hasn’t been making any mistakes, and the Chiefs are nearly impossible to beat when he’s not making mistakes, as the Panthers found out on Sunday.
Alright, let’s get to the grades for every game from Week 9. If you’re looking for a deeper dive on the Packers-49ers game that was played Thursday, be sure to click here.
Kansas City 33-31 over Carolina
Atlanta 34-27 over Denver
Minnesota 34-20 over Detroit
Houston 27-25 over Jacksonville
N.Y. Giants 23-20 over Washington
Giants-Washington grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Buffalo 44-34 over Seattle
Seahawks-Bills grades by Tyler Sullivan (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Tennessee 24-17 over Chicago
Bears-Titans grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Baltimore 24-10 over Indianapolis
Ravens-Colts grades by Josh Edwards (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Las Vegas 31-26 over L.A. Chargers
Pittsburgh 24-19 over Dallas
Steelers-Cowboys grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Miami 34-31 over Arizona
Dolphins-Cardinals grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
New Orleans 38-3 over Tampa Bay
Saints-Buccaneers grades by Cody Benjamin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)