There are so many stats that help solidify the greatness of Patrick Mahomes, but this one might be the most ridiculous you’ll see.
After he suffered his ankle sprain, Mahomes averaged 0.28 EPA/play. So now we can definitively say that Mahomes on one leg is still better than any other quarterback. pic.twitter.com/kyibl0Bovw
— Sam Hoppen (@SamHoppen) January 23, 2023
Just so we’re clear how dumb this is, we need to understand EPA/Play as a statistic. In its simplest term we’re talking about “Expected Points Added,” essentially it tracks how much a single offensive player is adding to their team’s ability to score points.
If a player had an EPA of 0.3, for example, then every 10 plays they’re involved in is expected to result in a field goal. That might not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that Tom Brady’s highest ever single-season EPA was 0.386 in 2007 when he and Randy Moss went HAM on the NFL.
So, this season Mahomes had an EPA per play of 0.302, which is good. On Saturday, after he was hit and hobbling around on a high ankle sprain he still averaged 0.28, which was better than any quarterback in the NFL this season. It’s not quite “Michael Jordan flu game” territory, but it shows that maybe we overstate the impact of just how damaging the ankle injury will be for Mahomes in the AFC Championship game.
Yes, this is just one metric, but it shows how fundamentally misunderstood Mahomes tends to be as a passer. There’s this idea that he operates outside the hashmarks for the majority of his success, but this season he’s been the best passer inside the pocket when he hasn’t had to improvise a lot. Will it take away some of his effectiveness, particularly when asked to extend plays? Perhaps — but we’re still talking about the most dangerous quarterback in the NFL, who can generate offense out of nowhere.
We’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out, but for now rest assured, Chiefs fans, y’all have the best QB left in the playoffs — even on one leg.