Fans Add Another Title
To Mahomes’ 2020 Season

patrick mahomes chiefs super bowl win celebration x

Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes got the nod from fans that he is The 2020 Premier Player of Pro Football.

There aren’t too many superlatives that we can give to Mahomes that haven’t already been said. He was the NFL MVP in 2018. He was the MVP of Super Bowl LIV as he led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title in 50 years. He is a one-time first-team All-Pro, a one- time- second-team All-Pro, and a three-time Pro Bowler. Oh – and least we forget – Mahomes will still be just 25-years-old at the beginning of the 2021 NFL Season. To say there is more to come is almost moot at this point.

Mahomes’ numbers in 2020 were once again outstanding. They were below his 2018 numbers – but that was an all-timer of a season that saw over 5,000 passing yards and 50 touchdowns passed which is the sort of stat line that a player can even dream to reach once in a career. This fall, Mahomes passed for 4,740 yards, 38 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Those numbers are outstanding despite Mahomes sitting in the final contest with the Chiefs already having wrapped up the top seed in the AFC. He also rushed for a career high 308 yards and another two touchdowns. Interestingly, his completion percentage of 66.3% – completing 390 of 588 passes – was the best of his career so far.

Mahomes has the advantage of having Travis Kelce at tight end – the best pass catching player at that position that the NFL has ever seen – and Tyreek Hill at wide receiver who is almost impossible to cover when he puts on the afterburners. These two outlets are ones any quarterback would want, but it is the genius of Mahomes – and his relationship with the ultra-inventive pair of head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy – that makes the Chiefs the most feared offensive team in the NFL.

Mahomes plays without the benefit of a consistent running game the likes of which most other high volume passers – see Aaron Rodgers this year with Aaron jones in his backfield – rely on. Yes, he Chiefs use more motion, options, and plays that are schemed into easy completions than anyone else in the league, but it is the skill of the premier player that they have under center that allows this type of offense to be successful. Mahomes led the Chiefs to a 14-1 season – we aren’t counting the last game where he didn’t play – and the Texas Tech product continues to outperform the incredibly lofty ceiling that he has created for himself in his three years leading the Chiefs’ offensive machine.

What sets Mahomes apart are the head-scratching, miracle plays that no other quarterback in the league can pull off. The most famous of these was his no-look pass to Demarcus Robinson against the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, but Chiefs fans will know that there is at least one such play – be it a no-looker, a mad scramble followed by an impossible completion, or (as is often the case) something brand new and indescribable – each and every week. This is the stuff that energizes a fan base and – in better times – sells out stadiums. Mahomes has an aura about him, but he also has a humility that belies his skill and status to the point that he just fits as a quarterback in a hardworking, football and barbeque loving place like Kansas City.

It is not just that Mahomes wins games – which he does with a seemingly easy regularity – it is how he goes about doing it. He is a gunslinger, yet he is one who seems to have little regard for traditional mechanics as he completes almost as many passes with funky motions as expected ones. Mahomes is a transformative player, a generational talent, and now he was the Premier Player of NFL Football in 2020.

Article by Premier Players

Past Winners

Lamar Jackson Large Image v

2019 Premier Player of Pro Football
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

Sports fans voted Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson the recipient of the 2019 Premier Player of Professional Football award.

Lamar Jackson took the NFL by storm in his second year as a professional football player. The 6-foot-2, 212 pound player out of Pompano Beach, Florida, was selected with the final pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Ravens.  He was seen as a low-risk pick by a team with Joe Flacco working as the starting quarterback, but an intriguing prospect out of Louisville who had passed for over 9,000 yards and rushed for over 4,100 yards in three years with the Cardinals.

Jackson found time in 16 games in his rookie NFL season, starting seven of them as he took over from the injured Flacco.  Jackson rolled the Ravens into the playoffs and became the youngest quarterback to ever start a playoff game when they took on the Chargers in the Wild Card Round. While the Ravens would ultimately lose that game, the team had found a quarterback perfect for the changing dynamics of a modern NFL offense.

The Ravens made the decision to move on from Flacco and a new offensive system was built that would allow the athletic and improvisational Jackson to flourish.  Playing just 15 games this season – Jackson and other key starters sat for the Week 17 contest because a playoff spot was secure – the second-year pro passed for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns. Jackson added 1,206 yards on the ground and another seven scores. This made Jackson the first player to throw 30+ touchdowns and rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season.

Jackson’s most impressive stat on the season though might be his six interceptions thrown. While the NFL is more about passing the ball than ever, it is still almost impossible to win when the ball is turned over. Jackson was a 66.1% passer in 2019, but his misses rarely result in the ball being picked off. When he missed a pass he always seems to miss it well, with his ability to tuck the ball and run giving him an option against the pass rush that few quarterbacks can match.

That Jackson is achieving such a high level of play at his age and experience level is remarkable. He is actually younger than the 2019 Premier Player of College Football award winner Joe Burrow, yet Jackson is making these plays against the best of the best in the world.  The sky is the limit for Jackson as he marches into the new decade as the best professional football player on the planet per fans.

“Fans are such a big part of the games, so we wanted to come up with an award that they can be a big part of too,” says Carnell Moore, founder of Premier Players.  All the athletes on the ballot are Premier Players, but we let the fans decide who gets the trophy.”

Article by Premier Players

Lamar Jackson Large Image v

2020 Premier Player of Pro Football
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes got the nod from fans that he is The 2020 Premier Player of Pro Football.

There aren’t too many superlatives that we can give to Mahomes that haven’t already been said. He was the NFL MVP in 2018. He was the MVP of Super Bowl LIV as he led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title in 50 years. He is a one-time first-team All-Pro, a one- time- second-team All-Pro, and a three-time Pro Bowler. Oh – and least we forget – Mahomes will still be just 25-years-old at the beginning of the 2021 NFL Season. To say there is more to come is almost moot at this point.

Mahomes’ numbers in 2020 were once again outstanding. They were below his 2018 numbers – but that was an all-timer of a season that saw over 5,000 passing yards and 50 touchdowns passed which is the sort of stat line that a player can even dream to reach once in a career. This fall, Mahomes passed for 4,740 yards, 38 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Those numbers are outstanding despite Mahomes sitting in the final contest with the Chiefs already having wrapped up the top seed in the AFC. He also rushed for a career-high 308 yards and another two touchdowns. Interestingly, his completion percentage of 66.3% – completing 390 of 588 passes – was the best of his career so far.

Mahomes has the advantage of having Travis Kelce at tight end – the best pass-catching player at that position that the NFL has ever seen – and Tyreek Hill at wide receiver who is almost impossible to cover when he puts on the afterburners. These two outlets are ones any quarterback would want, but it is the genius of Mahomes – and his relationship with the ultra-inventive pair of head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy – that makes the Chiefs the most feared offensive team in the NFL.

Mahomes plays without the benefit of a consistent running game the likes of which most other high-volume passers – see Aaron Rodgers this year with Aaron jones in his backfield – rely on. Yes, the Chiefs use more motion, options, and plays that are schemed into easy completions than anyone else in the league, but it is the skill of the premier player that they have under center that allows this type of offense to be successful. Mahomes led the Chiefs to a 14-1 season – we aren’t counting the last game where he didn’t play – and the Texas Tech product continues to outperform the incredibly lofty ceiling that he has created for himself in his three years leading the Chiefs’ offensive machine.

What sets Mahomes apart are the head-scratching, miracle plays that no other quarterback in the league can pull off. The most famous of these was his no-look pass to Demarcus Robinson against the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, but Chiefs fans will know that there is at least one such play – be it a no-looker, a mad scramble followed by an impossible completion, or (as is often the case) something brand new and indescribable – each and every week. This is the stuff that energizes a fan base and – in better times – sells out stadiums. Mahomes has an aura about him, but he also has a humility that belies his skill and status to the point that he just fits as a quarterback in a hardworking, football and barbeque-loving place like Kansas City.

It is not just that Mahomes wins games – which he does with a seemingly easy regularity – it is how he goes about doing it. He is a gunslinger, yet he is one who seems to have little regard for traditional mechanics as he completes almost as many passes with funky motions as expected ones. Mahomes is a transformative player, a generational talent, and now he was the Premier Player of NFL Football in 2020.

Article by Premier Players

 

Lamar Jackson Large Image v

2021 Premier Player of Pro Football
Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The 2021 Premier Player of Professional Football Trophy winner is Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.

Part of me just wants to write the word GOAT and leave it at that, but that would be doing a disservice to the astonishing excellence of Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. over the course of a career that – at this point – feels like it began around the same time as the dawn of the Super Bowl era. There is little to be said about Brady that hasn’t been said already – or you could alternatively just point to an NFL quarterback record book and not need to say any words at all – but the fact that Brady has won this award for his 2021 play at the age of 44 is just incredible.

Brady was exceptional in leading the Bucs to a 13-4 record in 2021. He finished the regular season with 485 completions on 719 passing attempts for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns. The Bucs are the No. 2 seed in the NFC because of Brady’s play to big-name playmakers to the unknowns. Brady broke Drew Brees record of most completions ever in a season and became just the third quarterback since 1991 (Peyton Manning in 2018 and Brees in 2013) to lead the league in all four major passing statistical categories. Brady also added a pair of rushing touchdowns.

Brady is basically defying Father Time at this point in his career, and defying doesn’t even feel like a strong enough word for what he is doing. Again, this Premier Player is 44 years old, so for some reason, the Bucs decided to lean on him more than ever before. He led the league with 751 dropbacks – increases to almost 800 with nullified plays taken into account – and he did so while seeing every single one of his top targets missing chunks of time through injury. A player that didn’t miss time through injury?

Tom Brady!

Brady’s skill and longevity also saw him hit several career milestones this season. A five-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski (who else could it have been) in the second quarter of a Week 14 game against the Bills captured his 7,143rd regular-season NFL pass completion. That took this record away from Brees and depending on how long Brady plays on, it will be out of sight by the end of his illustrious career. Brady also became the first quarterback to reach the 700-touchdown plateau. The next highest active quarterback for touchdown passes is Aaron Rodgers. He is over 200 touchdowns behind Brady.

Tom Brady is a marvel. He is the perfect example of what hard work and a commitment to success can bring. Soak in his talent for as long as he continues to play because we may never see another Premier Player like him again.

Article by Premier Players Steve Wright

 

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