PFF vs. the world: Who’s right in the Patrick Mahomes discussion?

Michael Pallas | September 26th, 2019 

The world of Twitter is outraged again by Pro Football Focus because of their grade of Patrick Mahomes this week. The problem is that both sides of the argument are right.

There are very many more tweets that show disgust with the PFF rating system. However, let’s dive into the grade itself.

The grade that got everyone up in arms in the passing grade. That grade is based on his passing only not his ability as a quarterback as a whole. His passing grade of 83.2 is based on multiple factors. How they determined his grade can be found here. Let’s assess Patrick Mahomes on the individual throws rather than the totality of numbers.

There’s an old adage in the NFL that “the eye in the sky doesn’t lie.” So, what does the film say? The film says that Patrick Mahomes gets the ball out quickly, on time, and to the right receiver most of the times. He’s a good decision maker and accurate.

The film also shows the receivers getting open and creating separation for yards after catch. So play design by Andy Reid and execution by his receivers are a big part of his success, not the entirety of his success, but a big part. The degree of difficulty in the throws is lessened by play design and the execution of teammates. That, in turn, lowers his grade because his raw numbers are aided by the ability of others.

While he does have to make the right decision and get the ball out quickly, assuming that no other quarterback in the league would put up the numbers he is in that offense with those players is absurd. Would they? I can’t answer that, but to make a definitive statement that they wouldn’t is ridiculous.

Mahomes is putting up ridiculous numbers through three weeks, but context matters. He is a great quarterback. The outrage over a grade ranking him what has become the seventh-highest grade through Week 3 is also ridiculous.

No one is right or wrong in this case, because the sides are actually for different points. So, before joining the outrage, consider the entirety of the story, not just what you want to believe.

Questions and comments?

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