The 2018 NFL regular season is now complete, which means the MVP debate is on. We’ve bee tracking the progress of top MVP candidates all year, and now we’re ready to officially endorse Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. Here’s why Mahomes gets the nod over future Hall of Fame New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

What separates Mahomes from Brees

1. Mahomes became just the third player in NFL history to throw 50 touchdown passes. Brees threw just 32.

2. Mahomes averaged an AFC-high 8.8 yards per pass attempt, ranking second in football behind only Ryan Fitzpatrick. Brees averaged just 8.2

3. Mahomes was surrounded by fewer offensive Pro Bowlers (two) than Brees (three).

4. Mahomes had a bottom-10 defense which surrendered 26.3 points per game, but he still helped Kansas City earn the AFC’s top seed. Brees helped New Orleans earn the NFC’s top seed, but it also helped that the Saints had an above-average defense.

5. Mahomes finished the season strong, posting a 105.5 passer rating in December as the Chiefs offense refused to slow down despite the absence of Kareem Hunt. Brees posted a mere 84.7 rating in his final four games as the New Orleans offense went cold.

6. Mahomes had better numbers than Brees in the fourth quarter of one-score games. Six touchdowns and a 115.4 rating compared to five touchdowns and 110.0 for Brees.

7. Mahomes had a better passer rating (113.2) on third downs than Brees (108.8).

8. Mahomes made more awe-inspiring plays, which certainly has to count for something.

Add it all up and it more than outweighs the fact Brees set a new completion percentage record at 74.4, or the fact Mahomes had 14 turnovers to Brees’ six. Brees had a slightly higher passer rating, but none of that makes up the advantages Mahomes has above.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at CBSSports.com, Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.