When it comes to Patrick Mahomes, superlatives always seem in short supply. In less than three seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs star has established himself as arguably the best quarterback in the NFL and a generational talent capable of rewriting records for years to come.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP, however, was not always thought of so highly, not least of all by some of his own teammates as Tyreek Hill revealed during an appearance on the InsideTheNFL podcast.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of Mahomes’ brilliance, the Chiefs wide receiver candidly admitted he thought the quarterback was “trash” when he first came across him in training camp in 2017.
Mahomes led the FBS—college football’s top tier—in passing yards and touchdowns in his junior year at Texas Tech before the Chiefs selected him in the 2017 NFL Draft with the 10th overall pick, but Hill harbored doubts over his team’s decision.
“I thought he was trash,” the wide receiver, who was drafted a year earlier than Mahomes, said. “I ain’t gonna cap. When he first got there, I was like, ‘This is who y’all drafted, right here?'”
Once he was handed the starting job at the beginning of the 2018 season, it didn’t take long for Mahomes to win Hill and the Chiefs over.
“It’s just that second year, like his quarterback mechanics were different,” Hill explained.
“It was like he was spending more time with his quarterback coach, spending more time with Coach [Andy] Reid, like learning the offense. Dude was like, different.”
Mahomes and Hill have developed into one of the deadliest partnerships in the NFL, combining 213 times over the last three seasons for 3,360 yards and 32 touchdowns. The connection between the two was crystal clear on Sunday, as the Chiefs bludgeoned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take a 17-0 lead in the first quarter.
Mahomes hit Hill for a 75-yard and a 44-yard touchdowns in the first quarter, with the receiver finishing with 203 receiving yards in the first quarter, accounting for 83 percent of the Chiefs’ total passing yards in the period.
The first score was Hill’s 14th touchdown of at least 50 yards over the past four years—the most of any receiver in the NFL.
Hill added a further 80 yards in the remaining three quarters, including a 20-yard touchdown from Mahomes, as he became only the second player in Chiefs’ history to have at least 200 receiving yards in more than one game.
Mahomes, meanwhile, racked up 359 passing yards in the first half, the highest for a first half in any NFL game over the past two decades.
To put the figure into context, the Chiefs quarterback had more passing yards in the first half alone than any other quarterback had in an entire game this week.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP finished 37-of-49 passes for 452 passing yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions, becoming the first player in NFL history to complete at least 30 passes while throwing for 300 yards in four consecutive games.
With the 27-24 win over the Bucs, the Chiefs improved to 10-1 and remain second in the AFC, behind only the still undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers.