This is part two of a three-part weekly film analysis on the performance of Patrick Mahomes. Part one here.
This wasn’t the flashiest week we’ve seen from Patrick Mahomes to date. In fact, it might be the least exciting of all the games we’ve seen from him. Regardless of that, this was a fantastic performance for a multitude of new and consistently prevalent reasons. To add to that, there isn’t obvious regression in any area. It’s all moving forward.
This is a savvy play for such a young quarterback.
#SomethingSmart Mahomes recognizes 2-Man coverage and takes advantage with his legs. Also a great job knowing the end of half situation to get out of bounds to stop the clock. Smart play from a young quarterback. pic.twitter.com/a3gzjTm8q0— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) October 24, 2018
There’s less than a minute remaining in the first half and the Chiefs are looking to add to their 14-point lead. The Chiefs run a Four Verticals concept against 2-man coverage, a split-safety look with man coverage underneath.
Against 2-man coverage, the quarterback isn’t accounted for. With defenders blanketing all routes in man coverage, defenders don’t have eyes on the quarterback. It’s a run alert for quarterbacks. On this play, Mahomes identifies the coverage and knows he can beat it with his legs. As the routes get down the field, Mahomes elects to break for yards.
Mahomes is able to outrun the pass rushing Sam Hubbard out of the pocket. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict, in man coverage on running back Damien Williams, falls off to pursue Mahomes as he races by.
Mahomes is able to gain 20 yards on the run, but does something additionally smart to end the play. Knowing the time situation, he runs out of bounds after a big gain to stop the clock. The Chiefs eventually end this drive with a field goal. It was a smart play to run based on coverage and even smarter to quit while he was ahead to conserve time.
There weren’t too many big plays downfield, but being able to finish this one isn’t normal.
#SomethingSpecial Carlos Dunlap gets his hand on Mahomes as he's setting up to deliver a deep ball to Hill and upsets his timing. Mahomes is still able to get the ball off with enough behind it to get to Watkins regardless. pic.twitter.com/eKkRXlhRcg— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) October 24, 2018
Receiving the ball to start the second half, the Chiefs elect to take a shot on the first play. They have a variation of the Mills concept (curl with a post over the top of it) with Kelce running the curl, hoping to pull the safety down to hit the post. With inside leverage on the cornerback running with Watkins, Mahomes elects to take the shot.
As he sets up to throw, defensive end Carlos Dunlap reaches and forces Mahomes to hitch up further into the pocket. Dunlap actually gets a hand on Mahomes and forces another slight step up. Some of the momentum Mahomes was trying to generate was lost in the evasion of Dunlap. The throw won’t have as much behind it as Mahomes intended. He wanted to allow Watkins the chance to run underneath it.
Lesser arm talent would not be able to get the ball 52 yards in the air the way Mahomes was able to on this play. Watkins does a great job adjusting his route to get to the ball and finishes the play for a gain of 50 yards. Everything wasn’t perfect and Mahomes wasn’t able to get all he wanted behind the ball, but it didn’t matter. The arm talent still shines when things don’t go as planned. It’s hard to beat this kid.