Insiders, Hall of Fame Selectors Sound Off on Patrick Mahomes’ Candidacy

Patrick Mahomes Hall of Fame

Getty Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes can claim his Gold Jacket now.

After vanquishing arguably the NFL’s most talented — and deepest — team, the Philadelphia Eagles, in the 2023 Super Bowl to claim his second Super Bowl ring and second Super Bowl MVP award, Mahomes officially cemented his status as a Hall of Famer. At age 27.

“My ashes likely will be in an urn by time Mahomes is eligible for Canton,” Hall of Fame selector and Senior Writer for the 33rd Team, Paul Domowitch, told Heavy. “A second Super Bowl title and a second Super Bowl MVP certainly helps. But assuming he continues to put up the kind of numbers he’s been putting up for a few more years, he’d be a no-brainer with or without the Super Bowl titles.”

Even if Mahomes never plays another down, even if he moves into Walt Disney’s former apartment above the Disneyland Fire Department, he has a strong case not only as the most dominant quarterback of his generation but one of the greatest to play the game.

There are currently only 13 quarterbacks in the history of the game who have won at least two Super Bowls, and only Jim Plunkett, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, and Tom Brady are not currently in the Hall of Fame. Of that group, Roethlisberger, Manning, and Brady are not yet eligible.

Through the first 80 games of his NFL career, Mahomes has completed 66.3% of his passes for 24,241 yards with 192 passing touchdowns to 49 interceptions, while adding 1,547 rushing yards and 12 more touchdowns.

Mahomes has already collected two regular-season MVP awards, is a two-time All-Pro, and has already left an indelible mark on the record book owning the record for career passer rating, career playoff passer rating, single-season passing yards, and passing touchdowns in a single postseason.

Patrick Mahomes’ Hall of Fame Case a ‘No-Brainer’

So, where do those accomplishments leave Mahomes’ Hall of Fame chances, if he never plays again? Heavy spoke to six members of the Hall’s selection committee to get their perspective on how they’d vote on the Kansas City Chiefs‘ quarterback if asked to today.

“If Patrick Mahomes never plays another down in the NFL — and I hope that doesn’t happen for at least another 15 years, because he’s the best thing about this game,” Bob Glauber of Newsday told Heavy. “He’d be in the Hall of Fame.

“He’s the best player in the sport, two regular season MVPs, two Super Bowl MVPs, never NOT been to at least the AFC Championship Game since becoming a starter. Mahomes would be a lock to get into Canton.”

Perhaps what makes Mahomes’ accomplishments all the more impressive is the fact that he’s bested some of the elites of his peers en route to his pair of Lombardi’s and three Super Bowl appearances; Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts. Likewise, both of the Chiefs’ championships came in comeback fashion.

“First, I hope Patrick’s career doesn’t end anytime soon because I get so much joy out of watching him play.” SiriusXM’s Alex Marvez told Heavy. “To win two Super Bowls already, post statistics and break the records he has ensures a spot in Canton, in my mind, solely from a football standpoint — which is what we as voters are told to exclusively judge a player’s candidacy upon.

“The only Hall of Fame eligible quarterback who hasn’t received induction after two Super Bowl wins is Jim Plunkett, who I believe is worthy of discussion as a senior candidate if presented to the overall voting board. But, as good as Plunkett was at times during his career, he never hit the same heights as Mahomes. Mahomes is projecting as a no-brainer, first-ballot inductee.”

Mahomes’ story is yet to be fully written.

It seems that most Hall of Fame quarterbacks play upwards of 15 seasons, while Mahomes has crammed a legacy’s worth of accomplishments into his first five as a starter.

“Five Pro Bowls,” Matt Maiocco of NBC Bay area told Heavy. “Two MVPs. Two Super Bowl wins. Two Super Bowl MVPs. There are a lot of Hall of Famers who come nowhere near matching the accomplishments over their careers that Mahomes has piled up in just five seasons as an NFL starter.

“Obviously, he would not check all the boxes — the one, of course, being longevity — but my guess is that eventually, the voters would agree that he has already done enough.”

One of the voters in the room believes Mahomes has an open-and-shut case.

“Six years is really a short career, obviously, with one of those spent as a backup,” Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk told Heavy. “But, he is a quarterback with two league MVPs and two Super Bowl MVPs. If Mahomes retired today, he would be a modern-day Gale Sayers — a first-ballot, no-brainer Hall of Famer. Sayers has five All-Pro seasons and then played four total games in his final two seasons. In five seasons as a starter, Mahomes has established himself in the conversation for best quarterbacks of all time.
“If he retired today, he would not pass Tom Brady as the greatest of all time, and others like Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, Otto Graham, and Peyton Manning might rank ahead of him in most experts’ rankings. But Mahomes certainly has done enough for presenter Vahe Gregorian of the Kansas City Star to stand up and say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I present Patrick Mahomes,’ and sit down without discussion on Hall of Fame selection day five years after Mahomes’ final game. He is a revolutionary player who has dominated.”

The beauty of this exercise, at this juncture of Mahomes’ career, as one venerable Hall of Fame selector points out, is that we get to see the rest of the Chiefs’ star’s career play out before Gregorian needs to think about rising in front of his peers to build a case.

If his career ended today, he’d have an awfully good case,” the voter said, granted anonymity to speak freely. “Certainly he’s on an amazing track. But there is a reason we let careers play out and then wait five years. It’s hard to imagine he doesn’t sustain a great course. But we don’t have to imagine. We get to see.”

Matt Lombardo Column

Quote of the Week

“You either win or you learn” – Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts

The Philadelphia Eagles are going to be in the Super Bowl conversation for as long as Jalen Hurts is the quarterback.

Hurts understands the requisite perspective to succeed and has illustrated both the drive and ability to continually improve. His attitude in the aftermath of losing the biggest game of his life, so far, reflects that.

Not for nothing, but Hurts finishing 27-of-38 passing for 304 yards with 1 touchdown, and 1 fumble lost while rushing for 70 yards and three touchdowns. It was the kind of effort that nearly made him the first player since Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley to win the MVP despite a losing effort. Hurts also very nearly did enough to lead the Eagles to victory.

However, with Hurts’ attitude, work ethic, and the supporting cast around the 24-year-old dynamic quarterback, the Eagles’ — and Hurts’ story is far from finished.

The Best Things I Ate & Drank During Super Bowl Week

PHOENIX, Arizona — This past week marked my fifth Super Bowl.

Even though I was safely back on the ground at Philadelphia International Airport by Friday morning, covering the run-up to the big game for Heavy, for the first time, was an incredible experience.

If you have followed my career through the years on social media, you’ll know I’m a glutton for disgustingly delicious food. Especially on the road.

Whether it’s a french toasted donut in Boston or Mac and Cheese for dessert (yes, this happened days before Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta), it really is a minor miracle that the scale stares back up at me each morning saying 177 pounds.

But, Phoenix was no different when it comes to delicious — and unique food offerings.

Here are some of my favorites from this trip:

Best Beer: Koffee Kolsch, Huss Brewing, downtown Phoenix

I really am a sucker for a good coffee beer, and Huss Brewing’s offering didn’t disappoint. A blonde style with notes of vanilla and fresh ground coffee, I could have sat down and sipped three or four of these … If I hadn’t been up since before 5 a.m. Eastern to board my flight.

Best Coffee: Nitro Cold Brew, Press Coffee, Downtown Phoenix

One of my favorite things to do on a travel day is to walk a block or two around my hotel. It didn’t take long — all of about 500 feet to discover the coffee that would be coursing through my veins by week’s end. The nitro cold brew coffee from Press Coffee was phenomenal. Not to sweet, like, at all, but also not too bitter, and loaded with caffeine. A sportswriter’s dream brew, really.

Best Burger: Hand Cut Chophouse, Scottsdale

This burger was special. There’s no other way to put it. Every bite more delicious than the last. It was a real tone-setter for an evening of cigars and too much laughter with friends old and new. Highly recommend. Oh, and you’ll be shocked to hear this, get the baked smoked gouda and white cheddar mac and cheese as a side. You won’t be disappointed.

Most Unique Food: Meatball Pasty, Cornish Pasty Company, Downtown Phoenix

Each morning on my walk to the convention center I passed by the Cornish Pasty company, mistakenly reading “Pasty” as “Pastry,” thinking it would be a great spot to grab a cinnamon roll or croissant one morning. Boy, was I wrong. Joined by my esteemed colleagues and long-time road buddies, Mike Tanier and Aaron Schatz from Football Outsiders, I sat down to lunch to a meatball pasty. Essentially, this was a flaky, pillowy, stromboli-type creation stuffed with meatballs, fresh mozzarella, and marinara. It was massive, I didn’t think I’d finish it. However, before Tanier could even get through his Scotch Egg, the thing was gone. Delicious. Recommended.

Best Pizza: Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix

It was a 2.5-hour wait.

Pizzeria Bianco does not take reservations unless of course, you are one of the highest-ranking officials on one of the teams in town to play in the Super Bowl. But, the wait was worth every second. My agent, Whitney Holtzman, and I sat down to what was the most flavorful Caprese salad I’ve ever tasted, followed by a simply incredible margherita pie and the signature Biancoverde. They were some of the most delicious pizzas I’ve enjoyed, and Chef Chris Bianco exceeded the hype. Bianco is going to be a staple of any future Phoenix vacations, even if it means spending nearly a Bruce Springsteen concert’s worth of time at the next-door Bar Bianco with a cocktail in hand waiting to be seated.

Final Thought

The Indianapolis Colts nailed the Shane Steichen hire.

Steichen arrives in Indy on the heels of helping guide the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl, not only as Nick Sirianni’s play-caller, but as the offensive mind working closely in developing Jalen Hurts into an MVP candidate.

Over the past two seasons, the Eagles finished as the No. 2 rated total offense in the NFL (2022), and the league’s leading rushing offense (2021) with Steichen manning the controls.

So, what kind of coach is Indianapolis getting?

“Shane is as smart as they come,” an NFL executive who previously worked with Steichen told Heavy. “He’s a great offensive mind, and he’s going to get the most out of his players.”

The Colts are now positioned, with Steichen in tow, to be big players in the quarterback sweepstakes at the top of the 2023 NFL draft. If Indianapolis has sights on Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud or Alabama’s Bryce Young, the Colts boast an offensive mind who has shown the ability to mold a young quarterback into one of the game’s best.

In a very winnable AFC South, and some talent on both sides of the ball, pairing a young quarterback with Steichen may be enough to fast-track the Colts to contention.

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