Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes is widely regarded as the best quarterback in the NFL, but that’s not an opinion shared by Carson Palmer.
The former longtime signal-caller said on The QB Room the Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow is ahead of Mahomes in the position’s hierarchy.
“I know Patrick is phenomenal, but I just think Joe’s more consistent,” the three-time Pro Bowler said (via NFL.com’s Bobby Kownack).
“He’s more consistent. He’s more accountable to run the system and the play that’s called and not feel like, ‘Well, he didn’t win last time and get open for me, so I’m gonna do it with my feet,’ and then before you know it, you’re sacked for a four-yard loss because you tried to make two or three guys miss.”
almer isn’t alone in his opinion. Many weighed the respective résumés of Burrow and Mahomes before the Bengals and Chiefs played in the AFC title game.
"If Burrow beats Mahomes on Sunday, how can you make the argument Mahomes is better than Burrow?" – @PSchrags 👀
Legacy on the line in the AFC Championship. 🍿 @jasonmccourty @gmfb pic.twitter.com/sjJKF0vE9b
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 24, 2023
But this feels like a case of overthinking things and making an argument for the sake of manufacturing discourse.
There’s no question Burrow is an elite quarterback. Through three seasons, he has thrown for 11,774 yards and 82 touchdowns.
More than his on-field production, the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner has almost reshaped the perception of the Bengals as a franchise. The team is no longer viewed as a joke and one that perpetually falls short in the playoffs when it does have a winning team.
Still, there’s almost no way you could make a case of any QB being better than Mahomes. The 27-year-old is on pace to be the most prolific passer in NFL history, and he has already accumulated enough team and individual accolades to build a Hall of Fame case.
In 2022, Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards (5,250) and touchdowns (41) en route to winning his second MVP. The season ended with Kansas City lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Burrow is 3-1 against Mahomes head-to-head and has arguably had a more difficult road in the NFL. He had to overcome a devastating knee injury as a rookie and hasn’t had a Hall of Fame head coach and offensive genius (Andy Reid) developing his game and tailoring the playbook to his strengths.
When it comes to who’s best, though, it’s a pretty open-and-shut case.