Patrick Mahomes had a season for the ages in his first year as the Kansas City Chiefs‘ starting quarterback. He wound up as the second player in NFL history to throw for 50 touchdowns and 5,000 yards, and he led the Chiefs to a 12-4 record, the AFC West championship and AFC’s No. 1 overall playoff seed.
But it wasn’t just what he did — it was how he did it: with a big arm, an ability to improvise and a cool demeanor.
Mahomes magic became a familiar refrain this fall.
He and the Chiefs are off this week, but here’s a look back at his best play from each game of the regular season.
Game 1: at Chargers
Mahomes’ first NFL TD pass foreshadowed his season. His “sling” to Tyreek Hill went for 58 yards and a score, one of three touchdowns for Hill during the Chiefs’ 38-28 win over the Chargers. The TD pass was one of seven of at least 50 yards for Mahomes this season.
Game 2: at Steelers
There was nothing extraordinary about Mahomes’ 29-yard TD pass to Hill except, well, that it was his sixth of the game in a 42-37 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Game 3: vs. 49ers
Game 4: at Broncos
Mahomes’ left-handed pass to Hill went for only 6 yards but was one of the key plays during a 27-23 win over the Denver Broncos. The fourth-quarter pass allowed the Chiefs to convert on third-and-5 and keep alive what would be the go-ahead touchdown drive.
Game 5: vs. Jaguars
Mahomes shows great touch while under pressure in getting the ball deep down the left sideline and over cornerback Jalen Ramsey to Hill for 36 yards in a 30-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. This was the only game in which Mahomes did not have a touchdown pass.
Game 6: at Patriots
Trailing 24-9 in the third quarter and facing a third-and-2, this play got the Chiefs back in business. Mahomes throws off his back foot to Kareem Hunt, who finishes off the 67-yard touchdown. After trailing big early, the Chiefs would eventually take the lead in the fourth quarter before falling 43-40 to the New England Patriots.
Game 7: vs. Bengals
Dropped snap? No problem. Mahomes throws a 3-yard touchdown pass to Hill after the early miscue as the Chiefs roll to a 45-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Game 8: vs. Broncos
Mahomes sees Sammy Watkins covered one-on-one by a linebacker and immediately goes to this mismatch for a 13-yard touchdown in a 30-23 win over the Broncos.
Game 9: at Browns
Game 10: vs. Cardinals
Mahomes made the defense pay for a coverage error in the first minute of the game, when a cornerback appeared to pass Hill off to a safety, who was late in getting over. The TD pass went for 37 yards in the 26-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Game 11: at Rams
After weeks of hype leading up to this Monday night matchup with the Los Angeles Rams, Mahomes showed off his big arm to keep things close in the fourth quarter on this 73-yard pass to Hill. It was one of his six touchdown passes in a 54-51 loss. Mahomes took a deep drop and the ball traveled about 59 yards in the air.
Game 12: at Raiders
With time winding down in the first half, Mahomes throws a perfectly placed low ball to Kelce for a 6-yard touchdown during a game the Chiefs would win 40-33 over the Oakland Raiders.
Game 13: vs. Ravens
The 27-24 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens not only clinched a playoff spot for the Chiefs but contained several Mahomes plays worthy of a highlight reel. So we’re including two here. The first, a stupefying no-look pass to Demarcus Robinson that later had coach Andy Reid comparing Mahomes to Ted Williams. The next, a fourth-and-9 fling across his body to Hill for 48 yards with less than two minutes to play, setting up the game-tying score.
Game 14: vs. Chargers
Mahomes looks like he has given up on this play, but he’s only extending it to buy time for Robinson to get open in the end zone. Mahomes then flicks a nonchalant pass to his receiver for a 5-yard touchdown in a game they would eventually lose 29-28 against the Chargers.
Game 15: at Seahawks
Game 16: vs. Raiders
Mahomes’ 50th and last touchdown pass of the season was also his longest. He threw off his back foot for Robinson, who caught it and completed the 89-yard play.
Does Mahomes have any magic left for the playoffs? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out.