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While Patrick Mahomes has only been in the NFL for a handful of seasons, the quarterback has already made a name for himself. When he arrived in Kansas City, the Chiefs hadn’t won a Super Bowl in 50 years; now they’re defending champions and looking like legitimate contenders to repeat. Unsurprisingly, the young signal-caller has earned rave reviews from virtually everyone around the league.

Even divisional rivalry can’t overpower Patrick Mahomes’ sheer brilliance. In fact, Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio compared the quarterback to two living legends ahead of his team’s date with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Patrick Mahomes has already become one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks

While they haven’t always been able to close the deal, the Kansas City Chiefs have a rich history filled with some pretty special players. In two seasons as the starting quarterback, though, Patrick Mahomes has established himself as one of the franchise’s biggest heroes.

Mahomes, of course, cut his teeth a Texas Tech before entering into the 2017 NFL draft. While some teams were skeptical about his fundamentals and ability to lead an NFL offense, the Kansas City Chiefs weren’t too concerned. With some help from the Buffalo Bills, the AFC West club traded up and got their man with the 10th-overall pick.

After spending a season on the bench behind Alex Smith, Mahomes took over the starting job. He didn’t miss a beat, throwing for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns en route to NFL MVP honors. While his counting numbers declined in 2019, he led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl title as his encore performance.

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio paid his rival star a massive compliment

It goes without saying that most Kansas City Chiefs fans think that Patrick Mahomes is the best thing since sliced bread. Even divisional rivals, however, are still impressed by the quarterback’s play.

Ahead of Week 13’s date with the Kansas City Chiefs, Broncos head coach Vic Fangio was faced with the task of creating a game plan to counter Mahomes’ strengths. Given his comments about the quarterback, it’s safe to say he found that to be quite the challenge.

According to Andrew Mason of DNVR Sports and Mile High Sports, Fangio said that “The only modern QB that I can compare [Mahomes] to is Aaron Rodgers” and that “John Elway was kind of Patrick Mahomes in the ‘80s and ‘90s.”

Given those two quarterback’s resumes—Elway is a Hall of Famer, and it’s safe to assume that Rodgers will make it to Canton once he retires—that’s quite the compliment for the Patrick Mahomes.

At this point, Patrick Mahomes is deserving of any and all compliments

If you’re a veteran sports fan, it might seem a bit premature to compare Patrick Mahomes to the likes of Aaron Rodgers and John Elway; one injury, after all, could alter the course of the Chiefs quarterback’s career. Without knowing what the future holds, though, it’s safe to say that he’s earned any and all compliments.

Beyond their strong arms—Mahomes certainly can hold his own in that category—both Elway and Rodgers established themselves as big-game players. While stats obviously matter to some extent, memories and iconic moments are what helps elevate a star player to a legend; there’s no better way to do that than leading your team to the promised land and lifting the Lombardi Trophy.

During his two full seasons under center, Patrick Mahomes has already posted impressive numbers and produced quite a few memorable moments. Even if his career ended tomorrow, he’d go down as arguably the biggest name in recent Chiefs history. As much as we want to reduce sports to wins, losses, and counting stats, there’s still an emotional component to fandom. For better or worse, that plays a big role in a player’s legacy.

Is Patrick Mahomes a Hall of Fame quarterback after two full seasons as a starter? No, but he’s more than worthy of being compared to some living legends.

Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference