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The Kansas City Chiefs' new touchdown king

The Kansas City Chiefs' new touchdown king
Posted at 5:06 PM, Nov 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-08 18:06:38-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs single-season touchdown record is about to go down.

Patrick Mahomes will break it with Halloween candy still sitting in your kitchen.

He’ll break it when snow on the ground is still considered an oddity.

He’ll possibly break it before KU has been eliminated from bowl eligibility!

This anomaly is two-fold, of course. On one hand, Mahomes is an NFL quarterbacking prodigy. Needing just one year of seasoning before cooking NFL defenses unlike any first-year starter has ever done and like only the game’s elite who are doing it in their prime.

LISTEN: The 4th and 1 Podcast crew breaks down the Chiefs' win over Cleveland

To Mahomes credit, he’s saying all the right things.

“When you are trying to focus on a NFL team, if you want to make sure you’re prepared you can’t focus on the statistics and everything like that,” said Mahomes. “For me, it’s all about the wins. That’s all I want to do.”

Side note: Mahomes has been pretty special off the field as well. But this record will also go down before Christmas lights go up because of the sheer futility the Chiefs have endured at the quarterback position.

Pick what’s worse about the Chiefs passing touchdown record: the number (30) or the year it was set (1964) or the franchises with lower passing-touchdown records (3).

The number is bad enough. Like, Royals homerun record bad (which is still only 38, by the way, and lowest in baseball). Thirty? All the Chiefs have had to do over the decades is have a guy average two touchdown passes per game and 30 would have gone down. Five big games combined with 11 bad-to-average games does it. 

But no one’s been able to do it. Not Alex Smith. Not Rich Gannon. Not Bill Kenney. Not Steve DeBerg. Not Joe Montana! Heck, Elvis Grbac’s 28 are third most in Chiefs history. And only one guy has surpassed that.

His name is Len Dawson, who, of course, set the record over half-a-century ago. 1964! The Chiefs passing TD record was set pre-moon landing!

And it was set when professional football teams played just 14 games. Dawson also has the second-highest touchdown total: 29 in 1962 … when the Chiefs were called the Dallas Texans, for crying out loud!

“Len has had a ton of success in the NFL and was kind of ahead of his time. Throwing all those touchdowns, I think the record has stood for a very long time,” said Mahomes.

It has.

But now Mahomes is in a tie for Dawson for second-place at 29, through nine games. Again, a testament to Mahomes greatness but also to the Chiefs lack of even better-than-average quarterback play.

Trent Green once threw for over 4,000 with only 17 touchdowns. That’s four good games for Mahomes.

Montana led the Chiefs to the AFC Playoff Game with just 16 touchdown passes. Overall, Montana’s best year was just 31 touchdown passes.

Mahomes is averaging 3.6 TD passes per game. If he continues that pace, only Peyton Manning’s 2013 season will have had more.

Of course, winter months and laws of averages and a possible meaningless game in Week 17 could slow that pace. But if Patrick dropped to just 2.6 TD passes per game these final seven games, he would end up with 47 touchdown passes … good enough for 5th all-time.

Heck, if he dropped to 1.6 TD passes per game, he would still finish with over 40 and near the top 10 seasons of all-time.

In his first season. Oh yeah, upping his pace is still in play, too.

And, of course, Mahomes will not only set the record once, he’ll set it every other time he throws a touchdown pass after that. 

Recording a special season and assuring all the Halloween candy will be gone if the record ever gets broken again.



The 4th and 1 Chiefs podcast is published once a week during the off-season.