Who Is the NFL’s Best Quarterback: The Best We’ve Ever Seen

Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson are undoubtedly two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but who is better?

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The superlative adjectives I could use to describe Patrick Mahomes’s ability to play the game of football are endless: the best football player I have ever seen, the best arm talent of all time, and the best winner all come to mind. Patrick Mahomes makes throws that I didn’t think were humanly possible, and his talent in just his third full season is unparalleled by anyone in the NFL. While Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and his ability to come back in the fourth quarter of games and lead his team to victories is outstanding, he cannot even be compared to Patrick Mahomes.

Patrick Mahomes had record-breaking numbers in his first starting season, becoming the second player in NFL history to throw 50 touchdowns, one of eight quarterbacks with 5,000 passing yards as well as winning the prestigious NFL MVP award. Then, after a crushing loss to the Patriots the year prior, he went on to become a Super Bowl MVP the next season and cement his legacy as a Super Bowl champion. While these accolades are phenomenal, they are only a glimpse as to why Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the league.

If Patrick Mahomes is in the game, no matter what the score is or how much time is left, the Chiefs always have a chance of winning. Take last year’s AFC Divisional matchup, for example. Down 24-0 against the Texans in the second quarter with little sign of life, Mahomes ignited a flame within the Chiefs and led them to a 51-31 victory. In that game, Mahomes quarterbacked the Chiefs to seven straight touchdown drives. Seven! Mahomes furthered his quest as the comeback champion when he came back from double digits in both the conference championship against the Titans and against the Niners in the Super Bowl. A 24 point deficit is never enough to be comfortable when playing against the most talented quarterback of all time, and it can even affect the way opposing coaches manage the game. Take Mahomes’s most recent game against the Chiefs: Derek Carr took the Raiders down the field and put them in the lead 31-28 with a touchdown pass to Jason Witten with 1:43 left in the game. Mahomes was given no timeouts to drive the length of the field to either win the game in regulation or force overtime, an unlikely feat given the circumstances. However, Mahomes is a different breed, and there are video clips of Raiders’ defenders having to get back onto the field as they knew it was inevitable that Mahomes would drive the length of the field. Sure enough, he capped the drive with a beautiful 22-yard effortless pass to Travis Kelce as he was on the run. Mahomes is like the Michael Jordan of football: his teammates love having him, and opposing defenses are flat-out scared of him.

Patrick Mahomes is also the most creative quarterback in the league. While the jaw-dropping no-look passes and off-hand throws are picture-perfect, it’s not just the SportsCenter top 10 highlights that portray his creativity—it’s the difficult throws he makes every drive. Mahomes can extend plays with his legs and then proceed to throw a ball 20 yards downfield into a four-foot window with ease. Then, the very next play he may lead the ball into space for one of his receivers to run down. While this may sound like something most NFL QBs can do, it most certainly isn’t. Just ask Carson Wentz! The creativity and consistency with which Mahomes can obliterate a defense are unheard of in the modern game.

With the greatest arm strength of all time, Mahomes can additionally throw the longest distances. While his completion rate is not the highest at 66.4 percent, this number is largely a result of the Chiefs pushing the ball downfield and Mahomes oftentimes throwing the ball away to avoid sacks. Mahomes even led the league in the 2019 season with a 56.7 percent accuracy rate with throws into tight coverage per Pro Football Focus, easily the best mark in a season of all time. This statistic clearly proves that Mahomes is the most accurate quarterback of all time, as he consistently throws accurate passes to his receivers, even in the toughest of situations.

Mahomes is simply out of Wilson’s league. Mahomes has led the Chiefs to back-to-back AFC Championship games with one Super Bowl victory, and Wilson has not been to the NFC Championship game since 2014, where he lost in the Super Bowl. While the argument that Mahomes has a fantastic coach in Andy Reid, a top two tight end in Travis Kelce, and a great deep threat in Tyreek Hill who may all make Mahomes look better, anyone can see with their own two eyes that Mahomes actually makes his receivers look better, not the other way around. In fact, there was once a viral clip in which Mahomes made a fantastic left-handed throw to Travis Kelce after running around in the pocket for what felt like 10 years, and Andy Reid looked just as amazed as everyone in the stands. In an apples-to-apples comparison, when Wilson had one of the best defenses and running backs of all time, Wilson won only one Super Bowl in about four years, and Mahomes has already won one in two years. The two are simply not comparable.

Russell Wilson is without a doubt a great quarterback as he leads his team to the playoffs year in and year out, but Patrick Mahomes’s ability to lead his team to victories in any situation is unmatched by anyone, possibly even of all time. The real comparisons will be between Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady at the end of their careers, and even then, I think Mahomes will cement his legacy as the greatest player to ever play the game of football.