Does Mahomes Really Get All the Roughing Calls? Here's What the Numbers Say.
A look at the penalty numbers.
Do Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs really get all the calls? That’s been a perception for some time, aided by the fact that the Chiefs always win and that they’ve got the media favorites at quarterback, tight end, and fan girl. Individual examples of favorable calls abound.
But do the Chiefs really get more calls for things like roughing the passer and pass interference than other teams do? Let’s look at the numbers.
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Roughing the Passer
It might be surprising to some, but Sir Patrick Mahomes II does not in fact get more roughing the passer calls going against the defense in the regular season. According to NFLPenalties.com, referees have called roughing on defensive players tackling Mahomes 23 times in his career, which works out to 0.205 roughing calls per game. That ranks No. 18 among all active quarterbacks.
The active QB’s list includes over 40 quarterbacks, and some who are ahead of Mahomes are no longer starters—including Trevor Siemian (No. 3) and Carson Wentz (No. 2). Mahomes gets fewer roughing calls in the regular season than Josh Allen (No. 1), Jared Goff, Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield, and Russell Wilson, among other QBs. He gets the call more often than Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Matt Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, and Justin Fields.
Nor did Mahomes benefit excessively from roughing calls in the 2023 season. Josh Allen led with seven roughing calls, while Mahomes and ten other quarterbacks, including Burrow and Geno Smith, were all tied at No. 6 with three roughing calls each.
But the Chiefs have good offensive line play, so does Mahomes get more calls relative to how often he is hit? Kind of, but not in the extreme. Mahomes has been rewarded 0.129 roughing calls per sack in his career, the sixth-highest rate. Josh Allen, again, leads all QBs with 0.167 roughing calls per sack.
But when we look at the playoffs,