LUBBOCK, Texas – After one of the most-impressive debuts in NFL history, Patrick Mahomes II was named the league's Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year on Saturday night in a vote of Associated Press members.
Mahomes, at only 23 years of age, becomes the youngest player to be named NFL MVP since Dan Marino took home the award in 1984. He is the first member of the Kansas City Chiefs to earn the honor as well as the first Red Raider all-time to garner the league's top on-field honor.
"As I look back on this season, there wa a lot of stuff I expected and a lot I didn't expect," Mahomes said on stage during the NFL Honors telecast on CBS. "I was blessed enough to be put in a great situation with a lot of great teammates, a lot of great coaches and a great organization, the Kansas City Chiefs. Chiefs Kingdom is strong and I love everything about it."
In his first season as Kansas City's starting quarterback, Mahomes took the nation by storm with his ability, frustrating opposing defenses en route to becoming only the second signal caller in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns during the regular season. He joined only Peyton Manning, who did so as a member of the Denver Broncos.
Mahomes transformed the NFL in only one year with his knack for finding the open receiver on the run, in the pocket or even with his left hand. The play was rarely over with Mahomes behind center as he consistently found an open receiver, often through narrow windows.
Mahomes led the Chiefs to a 12-4 record during the regular season as Kansas City earned homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. The Chiefs topped the Indianapolis Colts, 31-13, in the divisional round but fell in overtime the following to the New England Patriots, falling just short of Mahomes' goal of reaching the Super Bowl.
The 5,000-yard passing mark was already a familiar one for Mahomes after he threw for 5,052 yards and 41 touchdowns as a junior at Texas Tech in 2016. Mahomes needed only 12 games to reach 5,000 yards that season as he led the country in passing yards, total offense, points responsible for and total touchdowns. He is the only quarterback in history to record 5,000 passing yards at both the collegiate and professional levels.
Tech will continue to be represented at the highest stage Sunday when Red Raider alum LaAdrian Waddle suits up with the Patriots for Super Bowl LIII. Waddle will be looking for his second Super Bowl ring when kickoff against the Los Angeles Rams begins at 5:30 p.m. CT from Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.