The Kansas City Chiefs hit the jackpot with Patrick Mahomes. After sitting him for basically the entire 2017 season behind Alex Smith, it was his time to shine in 2018. Mahomes didn't take the task lightly – carving up defenses on his way to a historic year.
The quarterback threw for 50 touchdowns and over 5,000 yards – winning the MVP award in his first year as a starter. He also led the Chiefs to a 12-4 record, just one win off the best mark in the NFL.
The Chiefs may not have made it to the Super Bowl, but they proved to everyone last season that they arrived. However, they may only go as far as Mahomes can take them.
With that in mind, here are three questions Patrick Mahomes needs to answer with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019.
1. Was Last Year a Fluke?
This is going to be the biggest question of the season. Was the ridiculous 2018 season of Patrick Mahomes signs of even bigger things to come? Or is he a one-hit wonder?
It's been done before, maybe not on this scale – but quarterbacks have flopped after having a big breakout season. Maybe an injury occurs, or defenses figure out a weakness that they can exploit.
It will be up to Mahomes and the Chiefs to keep any drastic drop-offs from happening. In fact, he could even improve and become an even deadly weapon at quarterback (think about how scary that would be).
It all boils down to this though – was it a fluke? This will definitely be the biggest question Mahomes has to answer in 2019. The most important one too.
2. Does He Have Any New Tricks?
The ridiculous stats weren't the only thing about Patrick Mahomes' game that made fans fall in love with him. There were also the incredible flashy plays.
Mahomes would make the turn-around throws, scrambling off his back foot, etc., he did it all. What was incredible was the extremely high success rate he seemed to have. This wasn't a Brandon Weeden throw with the wrong hand for an interception type of deal. Mahomes was in a class of his own when it came to “trick” plays at quarterback.
In fact, he's so good at them that after just one season as a starter people are already claiming others are trying to “pull a Mahomes” when they go for trick plays.
It took Kobe Bryant years for people to start showing “KOBE!” when taking crazy shots. It took Mahomes one season to achieve that with incredible passes.
Does he have anything new up his sleeve though? It's important to note that these probably aren't plays Mahomes practices. They're improvised and done so well because he's a smart football player with ridiculous athleticism.
However, that doesn't mean he can't do something we haven't seen yet in 2019.
3. Can He Break A Record?
The 5,097 passing yards Patrick Mahomes threw for in 2018 were just 380 yards from tying the single-season record set by Peyton Manning back in 2013. Meanwhile, his 50 passing touchdowns were just five from tying the record (also set by Peyton Manning in 2013).
They were both at least possible for him to achieve with just three games left in the season. At that point he had 43 touchdowns and 4,300 yards. He had already had four games throwing over 350 yards (including one for 478 yards) and seven games with four-plus touchdown passes (including two with six). Therefore, it was definitely not impossible.
Of course, he didn't reach those numbers – but that doesn't take away from the incredible season. What it does do however is set the stage for 2019.
Patrick Mahomes has now proven that he can putting up ridiculous numbers – teasing breaking records. Now in 2019 can he actually break one of them?