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Former NFL quarterback on Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes: ‘He’s mastered winning’

When he set out to rank the NFL’s top 40 quarterbacks for NBC Sports, Chris Simms didn’t spend much time thinking about who would be No. 1.

Simms knew it was the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.

“It’s the first thing I wrote in my notes here. No. 1 quarterback Chris Simms Top 40, second year in a row ... it’s Patrick Mahomes once again. That’s right. Patty Mahomes, No. 15. He is the man, the myth, the legend,” Simms said in an NBC video.

“That’s the first thing I wrote in my notes when I turned on the film: We’ve officially hit legendary status. Forget right now, what we’re talking about, it doesn’t matter. This is one of the greatest we’ve ever seen to play the position.”

After being selected by the Chiefs with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Mahomes started one game his rookie season. He became the Chiefs starter the following year and the NFL hasn’t been the same.

In six full seasons, Mahomes has won two NFL MVP awards, thrown for 28,424 yards and 219 touchdowns. The Chiefs have appeared in four Super Bowls in that time, winning the Lombardi Trophy three times, and they’ve played in six straight AFC Championship Games.

Including the playoffs, the Chiefs have an 89-25 record (.781 winning percentage).

“His team believes in him, and if the game’s close, the other team believes in him, too. That’s where we’ve gotten,” said Simms, the former Buccaneers and Broncos quarterback. “They’re literally like if the game’s close, he’s gonna win it. I don’t think anybody believes right now that they can beat him in a one-and-done scenario. I’m just waxing poetically here right now, forget notes and football and all that. That’s the first thing. He’s gotten to a status where it’s like, oh, it’s the playoffs, home, road, don’t matter. He’s coming. And I don’t know if we can beat him. And I think when you add on top of that, you know, he plays his best football in the biggest moments, period.

“I mean, we got one throw in Cincinnati, he lost the AFC Championship game. OK, I know. They were up 21-3. Their defense was allowed to stop people. I checked the rulebook, right? I mean, the Super Bowl, he was with one foot and throwing balls off the ground, flying through the air. Tyreek Hill dropped two touchdown passes, someone else dropped a touchdown pass. They didn’t lose that game because of Mahomes, we know that.”

Since the start of the 2019 season, the only time the Chiefs didn’t advance to the Super Bowl was when they lost to the Bengals in overtime in the 2021 AFC Championship Game.

”He’s mastered winning. That’s what he’s mastered,” Simms said. “I feel like he got to a point of his career where he’s like, (forget) stats, it doesn’t really matter. Everybody knows I can put up stats. I’ve already been there and done that. I’m just gonna figure out a way to lead my team and win this game today. And if the game’s got to be ugly or whatever, right? Super Bowl was ugly for really three quarters, right? Just hang in there. Hang in there. I’ll crack the code. I’ll crack the code. Boom. I’ve cracked it. Oh, no, we’re unstoppable now, and we’re just going up and down the field on you, right? That’s where he’s incredible that way. The ultimate field general.

“When you watch him on film right now and if you went back three years ago, what he’s doing at the line checking things, doing all that, yelling at people, get them in the huddle, yelling at the coaches telling them to hurry up. He’s gone to another level. There’s nobody in football like him right now.”