Nothing sums up the start of Patrick Mahomes II’s young NFL career better than this stat: Through his first three games of action, Mahomes has 10 passing touchdowns, shattering the NFL’s previous record of eight. That’s despite the fact that in his first game, a meaningless Week 17 contest last year against the Broncos, he threw zero passing touchdowns.
Mahomes is having the best start to a career for a quarterback ever—and it isn’t even close.
The Chiefs’ second-year quarterback torched the Steelers on Sunday, racking up six touchdowns as Kansas City won its second game of the season, 42-37. After Week 1, we knew Mahomes was saving the deep ball and destroying the NFL. With Sunday’s performance, he earned a new crown: the NFL’s must-watch player.
You’ll recall that two of Mahomes’s four passing touchdowns last week came on what are essentially disguised run plays. That wasn’t the case this week. Each of his half-dozen TDs against the Steelers showed some combination of arm strength, accuracy, mobility, and instincts. It was awesome.
Yes, I’m about to embed all six of Mahomes’s touchdowns from Sunday’s game, and none of them are going to play in your browser window because the NFL is incredibly dumb about embeds and forces them to open in new tabs—you should still click on them and deal with the tab-pocalypse. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill football highlights; this is a 22-year-old lighting last year’s no. 6 defense by DVOA on fire.
Here’s his first TD of the day, a dart to tight end Travis Kelce:
And here’s a laser touchdown throw to Chris Conley:
Rollin’ with Mahomes ➡️ Conley into the end zone. pic.twitter.com/Kd0mhYHUQv— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 16, 2018
Here he is tossing the ball to running back Kareem Hunt, the only touchdown that we can definitively rule out from appearing on SportsCenter’s Top 10:
BACK TO BACK TO BACK TOUCHDOWNS, KANSAS CITY!— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 16, 2018
Mahomes threw another rocket up the seam to Kelce:
Here, Mahomes rolls to his right, looking in the end zone before completing a textbook toss to receiver Demarcus Robinson:
Patrick Mahomes' FIFTH touchdown of the day. pic.twitter.com/Smsnz2YUQu— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 16, 2018
And here’s Mahomes with an excellent sideline throw to Tyreek Hill, a little low but otherwise perfectly placed for the receiver to walk into the end zone:
Patrick Mahomes for six...— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 16, 2018
for the SIXTH time today. pic.twitter.com/h6InG2GQx8
Mahomes had more touchdowns (six) than incompletions (five). Counting only games with at least six passing TDs, only three other quarterbacks have pulled that off: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Nick Foles. This goes without saying, but no QB had begun a season with 10 passing touchdowns in two games until Mahomes. There’s a non-zero chance that later this year the bloggers of the world will be writing about the new single-season touchdown leader.
Through the first three games of a career, Mahomes is second in passing yards (only Cam Newton had more), and his team is 3-0 in the games he’s played. And it’s not just his youth that’s impressive—he’s also a fantasy god:
Patrick Mahomes already has 66.6 fantasy points through two games — and these are career starts two and three for him! That's already the 2nd-most fantasy points that any quarterback since 1950 has had through Week 2 of a season — only Ryan Fitzpatrick this year has more.— Tristan H. Cockcroft (@SultanofStat) September 16, 2018
Mahomes is appointment viewing—especially since the Chiefs’ defense works diligently to undo everything the offense does. Despite Mahomes’s heroics, the Steelers tied the game with a 21-point second quarter and made it a one-possession game late in the fourth. Mahomes has proved to be really good at throwing, and if the defense keeps struggling, he’s going to have to do it a lot in each game.
Of course, there’s always the likelihood that Mahomes will come crashing back to earth sometime soon. But those worries can be saved for a day when Mahomes doesn’t throw six touchdown passes. For now, keep watching the Chiefs, and keep clicking on the Twitter embeds—as long as Mahomes keeps playing like the best young quarterback ever, it’ll all be worth it.