Kansas City Chiefs’ star quarterback Patrick Mahomes has landed the AFC Offensive Player of the Month award for November, which is rich reward for Mahomes’ star qualifies and consistency in recent weeks. Mahomes threw for an average of 320+ yards and averaged a touchdown in all four of the Chiefs’ November games, helping them to a 100% November record.
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Across the Chiefs’ November games, Mahomes ranked top of the pile for throwing yards (1,426) and also led the way with completions (116) and touchdowns (9) in that spell. There is another impressive statistic that backs up Mahomes’ fine start to his NFL career. He’s now posted 38 games with a minimum of 300 yards passed during his first six years as an NFL pro. That’s one game better than Hall of Famer quarterback Dan Marino during the same period of his elite career.
This latest award for Mahomes means he’s now landed five Offensive Player of the Month gongs in his Chiefs career, landing one for every year in which he’s been a consistent starter. Mahomes landed the NFL’s MVP award in 2018 and 2023 could well be his second if he can maintain his current form. 29 passing touchdowns and a staggering 3,585 completed yards thrown is a weapon that the rest of the AFC could only dream of for their teams.
Why doesn’t ESPN rank Mahomes as their #1 quarterback so far this season?
Patrick Mahomes finds himself playing second fiddle to one other NFL quarterback based on ESPN’s “Adjusted Total Quarterback Rating”, which factors in the strength of opposition defences faced so far this season. Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins currently ranks as the number-one in these rankings, with the 24-year-old having impressed despite facing tougher backlines than Mahomes and the Chiefs to date. This rating compares the return of Tagovailoa on all types of play based on the skill level of opposing defences and he currently sits top with a rating of 82.6 compared with Mahomes’ 77.4.
Many NFL analysts are still scratching their heads as to how Tagovailoa has managed to put up such great numbers when few anticipated him having such a stellar campaign. In fact, he’s also missed two-and-a-half games for the Dolphins due to concussion protocols, so he’s achieved all his current stats in much less time than the rest of his quarterback peers.
In fact, Tagovailoa has been talked about in the same breath as Tom Brady in his late 2000s peak and Peyton Manning in the mid-2000s, as well as Dan Marino of 1984. He’s on course for the fifth-highest passing season in the last four decades, behind Brady, Manning and Marino, that’s how efficient he has been on a per-throw basis in 2022.
Cynics of Tagovailoa’s statistics believe that the former University of Alabama graduate is being helped hugely by the efficiency of wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and the experienced Tyreek Hill. This might even be the case, especially when you consider that his arm strength is on the lower end of the quarterback scale. In fact, Tagovailoa struggled in his first two seasons as a regular starter for the Dolphins, but the left-handed quarterback has been supremely accurate in 2022 with no need for the team to shield his shortcomings.
From the outside looking in, it appears the Dolphins’ decision to sign ageing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as a back-up in waiting has given Tagovailoa the kick needed. The speed and dynamism of Waddle and Hill is not just hiding Tagovailoa’s weaknesses, it’s also embellishing his strongest attributes too. He could yet be an outside challenger for Mahomes as this year’s MVP.