The Birth of Kansas City’s first franchise QB since Len Dawson
What we have seen at the start of this 2018 season from Pat Mahomes is real. This isn’t a flash in the pan. It’s not a one hit wonder, a one and done, we aren’t witnessing his “15” minutes of fame. He isn’t on a “streak”. He’s not getting “lucky.” He’s not someone else’s discarded hero. He’s not here to give it one last shot before riding off into the sunset. He’s not in some far away city where football fans are long accustomed to great QB play like Green Bay or Denver…or New England.
Pat Mahomes is here, he’s ours, he’s young, and this isn’t a run of good luck or a fluke. We identified him as being special 2 years before the 2017 draft. We targeted him. We moved up 17 places in the draft to draft HIM.
The Naysayers and Non-believers
Many of you had barely heard of him on draft day in 2017. Among those of us who DID know who he was, there were many doubters about his viability as a pro prospect. Afterall, several QB needy teams weren’t interested in him so why should the fans buy in from day one on this “project?” The Browns, always in need of a franchise QB, took the sure thing at DE and selected Myles Garrett. The Bears traded up from 3 to 2 to take Mitch Trubisky. They clearly had their pick and passed. The 49ers, who had nothing at QB in 2017, passed. The Titans decided to continue rolling with Marcus Mariotta and passed. The Jets, passed and took a safety. And at pick 10, the Bills, with their unsettled front office, where they had already hired their next coach, but would fire their GM the day after the draft was over, were not going to draft a QB until they had a new front office in place and so they gladly traded the 10th pick to us so we could move up and draft Mahomes, right ahead of New Orleans, who have confirmed Mahomes was their man at 11.
Once the pick was made, many were confused. We already had a good QB in Alex Smith. We needed more help in other areas. Why? Many more of us were thrilled that they were taking a swing at a QB in round 1…..after so many fruitless years trying to win with someone else’s QB who were never quite up to the task of winning when it mattered most. Some of us understood the gravity of that day sooner than others. Some realized it during his first preseason action, making passes all over the field from anywhere on the field. We could see that the kid could do things with his arm that only a rare few can. Still, the NFL has had many big armed QB’s not amount to anything and so there remained skeptics, many who could not be convinced that this was different. So, many who could not distinguish the man from the system he came from. All Air Raid QB’s put up big numbers, the excitement many of us had early on wasn’t about those numbers, if you looked beyond the box scores you might have noticed there were other qualities in the young man that his gaudy numbers perhaps hid from the gaze of the average fan.
The skeptics remained unimpressed after his performance in the season finale against Denver….again, looking at his box score of 284 yards passing with one INT doesn’t seem that impressive when you take it without context. Some of us only become more excited after that showing. The throws he made were special. The poise he showed against a real pass rush with real defenders was high level. The performance was advanced for a kid making his first start….and the numbers he put up were done in less than 3 quarters of football, and included being re-inserted into the game after the Broncos has made a late rally, to lead a game winning drive in the two minute drill, punctuated by that crazy 3rd and long conversion to Robinson, when he is being chased down by Von Miller, rolling right, and throws a lazer into a well covered target 15 yards downfield for a first down.
Heading into the 2018 season still there were skeptics. Even after the Patomic Bomb 69 yard ALL AIR TD to Hill, many remained convinced he would be a “turnover machine” and experience “growing pains” and that we’d be lucky to win 6 games this year because this was all about 2019.
This was never about 2019. It was never about taking a step back. Way back in 2017 on draft day, they knew exactly what they were doing. Andy Ried put his career and reputation completely out there….to do this.
….Not to go backwards. Not to spend up his rookie contract on a bench while spinning our wheels. Not to blow a season going 6-10 while the kid took his lumps. It was for THIS.
The future is bright for the first time in a LONG time in Kansas City
Some of you out there are still not quite sure about this. You need to see more. It’s only his first season starting! Lots of QB’s have had short term success and fallen flat. That’s right. There have been many. Box Score supermen who eventually ran into some kryptonite and died. That isn’t what we have here. WATCH with your EYES. IGNORE THE CRAZY STATS. Just pay attention to what you actually are seeing. The kid scans the field like a hawk looking for a mouse. You can SEE him doing it! He looks off safeties and then suddenly swivels his look to the open Kelce down the seam. You can SEE him doing it! He keeps his focus downfield as the pass rushing chaos all around him is closing in and he delivers strikes to targets in stride! You can SEE him doing it! And he makes it look like he’s taking a leisurely walk in the park.
Maybe, some have been staring at the parade of journeyman we’ve had here so long, we don’t know how to process this….like the experience of being blinded by a bright light suddenly after being in pitch darkness for so long. You stammer, you squint, and it takes a minute for the blur to fade to clear, for the rounded edges to become sharp again. for the colors to make sense.
Some of us have had our eyes wide open. Some are just emerging from the darkness, and others are just now getting their first clear view of Patrick Mahomes. Take it all in. This is the dawning of the golden age of Chiefs football…the one I promised you we were about to embark upon. This is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Take it all in. This is what a superstar….a generational talent looks like….and it’s ours.