With the off-season officially underway, it is now time to start evaluating each position on the roster. The evaluation process here is simple: Did the starter/players at the position do well, stats, and expectations for next season. Mahomes had a rough start to the 2021-22 season but finished strong.
That being said, there is plenty to look into for Mahomes’ performance this year. Let’s check it out:
Mahomes Positives From 2021-22 Season
Despite losing in the AFC title game, Mahomes arguably had his second-best statistical season ever. After finishing with 4,839 passing yards and 37 touchdowns, Mahomes turned a bad start into another great one. Mahomes was more accurate this season, finishing with a 66.26 completion percentage. Defenses forced Mahomes to be more patient and find the smaller play, and he did just that. He reinvented his game to be more accurate and efficient.
As much as people say Mahomes struggled with interceptions in 2021, his 13 interceptions are only one more than the 12 picks he threw in his 2018 MVP season. To say Mahomes was figured out in 2021 is false, and the stats prove just that. Mahomes also ran the ball rather efficiently this year as well. He finished with 381 rushing yards which is a career-high for him.
Finally, Mahomes had the most first down conversions of his career with 260. Again, Mahomes found new ways to convert the offense into a more efficient machine. The stats show that Mahomes was more accurate, efficient, and arguably better in 2021-22.
Mahomes Negatives From 2021-22 Season
Despite plenty of positives, Mahomes also had negatives. The biggest one is the career-high in interceptions. Mahomes and his receivers struggled to connect for the first seven games, and it showed. Dropped passes leading to interceptions made Mahomes look human and not perfect.
While Mahomes did run for a career-high in yards, he also fumbled the ball nine times which is a career-worst. That is part of the risk of running the ball more, though. Next, the Chiefs made it a point that Mahomes needed to be protected more after the fiasco in the Super Bowl last year. However, in 2021, Mahomes was sacked 28 times which is the most in his career. Clearly, he was not protected, but that is not his fault. In the stat book, it counts as a negative. Less time to throw/run the ball leads to no production and a negative outcome on any play.
Overall Performance From 2021-22
Overall, Mahomes played at an elite level yet again. Despite all the negativity, interceptions, lack of production at points, Mahomes prevailed overall. However, a loss in the AFC title game due to bad throws has Mahomes and company sitting at home watching the Super Bowl. Did Mahomes play well overall? Yes, but in the end, he made mental mistakes that cost them a third consecutive Super Bowl trip. In the grand scheme, though, Mahomes played well in 2021-22, and there should be no worry moving forward.
Expectations For 2022-23
The expectations for Mahomes next season will be even bigger. Mahomes and the Chiefs not making the Super Bowl is a failed season. That bar is set so high is what I think pushes Mahomes to be better in a different way each season. That level of expectation will be a constant year in and year out until Mahomes hangs up the cleats.
A 4,000 yard and 30 touchdown season is a regular year for Mahomes, so I see no reason not to expect that next year. An MVP caliber season is a regular thing for Mahomes; expect another MVP run as well. Many big things are expected out of Mahomes, and he is ready.