It’s a great time to be Patrick Mahomes. He has an MVP in his trophy case. He’s won a Super Bowl. He was also recently the recipient of the largest contract in sports history. In short, Mahomes is at the top of his game right now.
So what will Mahomes need to do to become the greatest of all time, aka the GOAT? Does he think he’ll get there? Let’s take a closer look at the QB’s career so far, what he’ll need to do to unlock GOAT status, and whether he believes he can do it.
Patrick Mahomes’ career so far
After drafting Mahomes with a first-round pick, the Chiefs tucked him away for a season on the bench as the backup to Alex Smith. After one year, they felt the young QB was ready, and boy were they correct.
Mahomes had one of the best first-year performances by a quarterback in NFL history. According to Pro Football Reference, in 2018-2019 he threw for 50+ touchdown passes, won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award, and led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game. Unfortunately, that was as far as they got, as they were upended by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Last season, Mahomes put together another great year. It culminated with the Texas Tech-product leading a fourth-quarter comeback against the San Francisco 49ers that netted the Chiefs’ their first Super Bowl title in 50 years.
Mahomes’ career is off to an incredible start. So what will have to happen, and what will he have to do, to be the GOAT?
What Patrick Mahomes will have to do to become the GOAT
The first area Mahomes should be concerned with is championships. So far, he has one Super Bowl victory in two years as a starter — a great start. The quarterback with the most all-time is Tom Brady, with six titles.
Mahomes might not have to win that many to be considered the best — after all, football is a team sport and Kansas City isn’t guaranteed to have a stacked roster for the entirety of his career.
But he’ll have to win more if he wants to be considered for that top spot. It’s fair to say Mahomes would need at least 3-4 Super Bowl wins overall to even be discussed in the conversation.
Mahomes also needs to continue putting up the ridiculous stats he’s been putting up. This doesn’t look like it will be a problem for the immediate future. He has plenty of weapons on offense, with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce providing him with the receivers he needs to move the ball downfield.
Andy Reid is a gifted offensive coach who’s particularly adept at handling quarterbacks. He’s worked wonders in the past with Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and Alex Smith. Mahomes is off to a better start to his career than any of those great players, so he’s in good shape.
Finally, Mahomes will have to stay healthy. There are four factors that will impact this:
- Kansas City’s offensive line and its ability to keep Mahomes protected
- Mahomes’ ability to scramble and improvise, which he’s shown to be quite good at thus far
- The NFL’s penchant for protecting quarterbacks from excessive hits, which continues to be a priority for officials
- Sheer luck
Becoming the GOAT won’t be easy, but Mahomes could be able to do it. The question is, does he think he’s going to do it?
Does he think he’ll become the GOAT?
Patrick Mahomes recently went “undercover on the internet” to respond to fan questions for GQ Magazine. One question asked point-blank if Mahomes will go on to become the GOAT.
Mahomes responded that it was still early to say. Mahomes did acknowledge he was off to a good start but pointed out that being the GOAT requires years of consistently high performance and that he has a long way to go.
Of course, Mahomes is staying humble, but from both his play and his demeanor, there’s nothing to indicate he doesn’t believe he’ll be able to become the greatest. Just because he’s not ready to proclaim himself the GOAT doesn’t make him insecure — it just means he has good common sense.