This is part one of a three-part weekly film analysis on the performance of Patrick Mahomes.
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect this to occur so early. I have high expectations for the career of Patrick Mahomes. A signature win like the comeback in Denver isn’t supposed to happen in the fifth game. There was no margin for error in the fourth quarter. The kid was dragging his team through penalties, drops, busted coverage, poor tackling and an opponent treating it like their Super Bowl.
Doubt about Mahomes eventually reaching his full potential died on Monday Night Football. All of it. That performance transcends any idea that this was a fluke stretch. Some quarterbacks can get hot. Flukes don’t get hot for three games and then save their best for the biggest moments when everything is going wrong.
I called this the best throw of Patrick Mahomes' young career when it happened. It wound up not being the best of the game. We're spoiled. You will not see a ball thrown this far across the field very often. pic.twitter.com/YXMnsFBtiA— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) October 2, 2018
I thought this had a case for the best throw of Mahomes’ season when it happened. Then the fourth quarter happened. This would make an appearance later in the week in the something special article most weeks.
We're going to gush about some of the rapid improvements Mahomes made in negotiating the pocket this week. This was one of many examples of a perfectly-timed step up and escape from the pocket.
Not only did he negotiate the pocket perfectly, but he also worked with his eyes upfield and pumped a throw to Tyreek Hill before seeing a void and Kelce coming late on the scramble drill. That was a smart, quick decision that may have somehow been the least risky throw.
And we have yet to say something about the throw. No one attempts this throw. Tom Brady and Drew Brees are two of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game and they're incapable of doing this. Mahomes can do things differently.
Throwing across your body, diagonally into the middle of the field is typically not advised. He delivered from an awkward platform, in an often densely populated middle of the field with more airtime than you want the ball to be in under those circumstances. But, arm talent.
Mahomes was calculated enough to execute this play while protecting the ball. He has done special things and still hasn’t thrown an interception. The kid was made to do this.
I may be a prisoner of the moment, but I would feel guilty being too picky today. Today's something bad doesn't fall on the quarterback.
#SomethingBad It doesn't feel right to critique the young QB with a negative play. This week's something bad falls on a drop on a fantastic play by Mahomes. How quick he worked to find Robinson is so impressive. pic.twitter.com/DGqd9vyuqE— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) October 2, 2018
This second half throw resulted in the Chiefs attempting a field goal from the 3-yard line in a close game on the road. I was fully prepared to rip Andy Reid for a decision to surrender the chance for six. I still disagree with the call, even though it ultimately didn't matter.
I like the idea of moving the pocket on this third-and-goal. Mahomes doesn't have anyone open and with a defender closing, puts his foot in the ground and makes the defender miss. Since he was in a sprint out design, stopping his movement to the sideline means that more defenders are closing. He had to get rid of the ball quickly.
The ability to process in chaos and have the presence of mind to see Demarcus Robinson working toward him so quick, the ability to deliver the ball on a rope and accurately, all with a guy on the verge of hitting him, is absurd. Mahomes hit Robinson in the chest. It's a shame Reid even had to make a fourth-down decision.
Every week, I add a quick note about something I’ve picked up about the quarterback position through my time learning and playing the game.
Pass-play progressions are not one-size-fits all. The defensive coverage dictates the order in which the quarterback will process the play. Part of what makes preparation so important is getting as many coverage clues as possible to help speed up the process of confirming coverage so you can focus on working through the structure of the play.