This is part two of a three-part weekly film analysis on the performance of Patrick Mahomes. Part one here.
Josh Rosen has played merely four games less than Patrick Mahomes at this point in their careers.
These are two players both in the infancy stages of their tenure as NFL quarterbacks. The situation surrounding each of these signal-callers is obviously much different. Rosen simply has less talent surrounding him and the play-calling situation remains in flux.
Mahomes is blessed to have the best tight end in football, one of the best running backs in football and one of the best wide receiver duos in the game to be utilized by one of the greatest minds in football. 10 games into the season, it’s hard to see him failing. He is being developed in the finest of incubators.
People worried about the high variance to what Mahomes’ could ultimately be. It’s now comfortably clear any worst-case scenarios can be eliminated. His floor is Matthew Stafford and his ceiling is Patrick Mahomes. We don’t know how high it is. What is clear is that the mental and physical traits are developing nicely in the environment created for him.
Understanding pressure can allow you to create extra time to convert in the biggest moments.
#SomethingSmart Mahomes moves away from potential front side pressure and uses a little eye manipulation to maintain a big window for Demarcus Robinson to convert a third down. pic.twitter.com/ALkjULrfTH— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) November 13, 2018
This a third-and-long situation for the Chiefs. Mahomes anticipates front-side pressure and moves to his left. Demarcus Robinson is running a dig beyond the sticks. It looks as though Mahomes moves Budda Baker with his eyes to maintain the window in the middle of the field. Baker just bites too hard for me to think he didn’t have something to do with it.
We’re starting to consistently see Mahomes utilize eye manipulation. It’s a sign of how well he’s seeing the field and how quickly he’s processing plays. When you have a full understanding of what you’re seeing and processing, you can graduate to more advanced things like this to help give plays their best chance.
It’s fitting that Mahomes would break the single-season touchdown pass record in impressive fashion.
#SomethingSpecial The touchdown that broke Len Dawson's record. Fitting that he breaks it on an excellent play. This throw requires excellent anticipation and accuracy. Not much of a window here and yet he now stands atop the list at 31 TDs in a single season. pic.twitter.com/gH4txTj9QJ— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) November 13, 2018
The Chiefs are working curls in the red zone. Tyreek Hill works his route to the front of the end zone while the other four receivers out on routes are just shy of it. If Mahomes had hit any other receiver on this play, the Chiefs would be facing a fourth-and-goal decision. They wind up not having to.
Mahomes throws a perfectly-placed ball with anticipation and accuracy to Hill who catches it for No. 31 on the season. Look where Mahomes releases this ball.
Tyreek Hill hasn't even crossed the goal line as Mahomes is releasing the record break touchdown. Good anticipation. pic.twitter.com/5QSuXdrASm— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) November 13, 2018
The Cardinals are playing a Tampa-2 coverage here in the red zone. The deep-middle zone carries with Hill. Mahomes has to throw this ball with anticipation to the back of Hill’s head so that it’s on him as he turns back to the ball. Any later and a safety might be able to drive on the ball and intercept or break up this pass. Any direction to the right or left might turn this throw into an interception.
This record-breaking score required quick processing in a tight space, guts to drive a ball into a tight window, anticipation to keep it from being contested and accuracy to complete it.
You have a special, dare I say elite, quarterback leading your franchise for the foreseeable future, Kansas City. And he’s just getting started.
This play was set up by a great throw just a few plays before this one.
The Chiefs are running a play-action 8-man protection with Hunt releasing after not having work. Hill is working a deep over to the field and underneath is Chris Conley is running a curl, working back laterally to the sidelines out of the break.
Mahomes feels pressure out of the play action and steps up into the pocket. He delivers a ball on the move, off-platform and with touch over the top of underneath defenders and into space for Conley to catch the ball and run after the catch for a first-and-goal.
This is such a natural, easy, athletic throw from Mahomes. It’s a perfect representation of those special talents we experience every week. Not everyone can make this kind of throw look so easy, yet Mahomes gives us something like this every time he plays.
This is great feel from the young quarterback.