Patrick Mahomes 'Most Likely to Improve' Production in 2024

A recent list sets high expectations for Mahomes to bounce back statistically after a down 2023 campaign.
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Despite winning Super Bowl LVIII, the 2023-24 campaign was quite easily the most challenging one of Patrick Mahomes's career with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Posting a 10-6 record in 16 regular-season games, Mahomes won his fewest amount of contests in a full season of starting. Additionally, he threw for just 27 touchdowns, his lowest mark since the 2019 season when he played in only 14 games. The two-time NFL MVP winner was intercepted 14 times, marking a career worst. To top it all off, his 48.2% success rate and 63.1 QBR were both low points for him.

While Mahomes himself was far from perfect, much of his struggles could be chalked up to deficiencies elsewhere. A lackluster wide receiver room and inconsistency from tight end Travis Kelce left the league's best player with a steeper hill to climb than usual. This offseason, general manager Brett Veach shored up the arsenal of weapons to potentially help avoid a repeat.

With that in mind, one outlet is buying into a bounce-back performance from Mahomes in 2024. In a recent article for CBS Sports, Garrett Podell lists Mahomes among the group of signal-callers who are "most likely to improve" from a statistical standpoint. His reasoning is simple: Mahomes has more help now.

"Much of that decline can be blamed on his supporting cast," Podell wrote. "The Chiefs' wide receivers had the most drops (28) and the highest drop rate (12%) in the entire league in 2023, per Sportrader. As a result, Mahomes averaged a career-low 7.7 yards per pass attempt when targeting wide receivers in 2023 and had the worst touchdown to interception ratio in the NFL when throwing to wide receivers that were 10 or more yards downfield, just one touchdown to six interceptions.

"Naturally, Kansas City added depth to its receiver room this offseason by selecting Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy, who ran a record 4.21 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, 28th overall in the 2024 NFL Draft and signing deep threat Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, a 2019 first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens. With those two on board in 2024, Mahomes' deep passing game should return, leading to plenty of improvement."

When removing the 2019 and 2023 seasons from his resume, Mahomes has established a pretty firm baseline for his success. Combining every other full campaign, his worst season marks for yards (4,740 in 2020), touchdowns (37 in 2021) and QBR (67.7 in 2021) all reflect a more efficient quarterback. 2022 was a perfect example of him adjusting his game in the post-Tyreek Hill era, although his supporting cast was certainly better than last year's group.

Considering all of that, Mahomes does seem likely to get back on track and continue his status as the NFL's premier field general. If he does so, could he rise back up the MVP leaderboard after finishing seventh in voting a season ago? Podell and company are expecting it.

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Jordan Foote

JORDAN FOOTE

Jordan Foote is the deputy editor of Arrowhead Report on SI.com, covering the Kansas City Chiefs. He also hosts the One Royal Way podcast on Kansas City Sports Network. Jordan is a Baker University alumnus, earning his degree in Mass Media. Follow him on X @footenoted.