The NFL’s official statistic for determining passing efficiency is passer rating, which considers completion percentage, yards per carry, touchdowns and interceptions. The passer rating is far from an ideal stat, but at a glance it provides a good look at how efficient the quarterback is.
And Patrick Mahomes is the NFL’s all-time leader, both in the regular season and in the postseason.
To qualify for the regular season record, a quarterback must have 1,500 career passes. Mahomes topped that mark in the 2020 season and has now given 1,687 passes in his career. He has a career rating of 108.7, with Deson Watson topping 104.5, Aaron Rodgers to 103.9, Russell Wilson to 101.7 and Drew Breeze topping 98.7.
It is notable that everyone in the Top 5 was active during the 2020 NFL season. Quarterbacks are now a lot more efficient than before, and this is one of the drawbacks of the passer rating: it doesn’t adjust for the era, so it’s always in favor of modern passersby.
But that is why Mahomes is so notable for breaking the Postman record. Mahomes has a career posters passer rating of 106.6, and when Mahome arrived to qualify for a minimum of 150 postseason passes, he broke a record that Bart Starr had held since the 1960s.
This is a testament to how great the stars were in big games that they had a postseason passer rating of 104.8, yet it ranks second after Mahomes in NFL history. The NFL passing offenses were so different during the era of the star that most of the numbers passing through those days seem woefully bad. (In 1969 Starr led the league with an 89.9 passer rating, while the league had an average passer of 93.6 in 2020.) In the playoffs, in 1960 Starr put up numbers, which look great in 2020 as well.
Mahomes is now putting numbers that the NFL had never seen before.