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Patrick Mahomes preseason game two: something good, something bad

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A film review evaluating Patrick Mahomes’ second preseason game

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, there were 11 other pass attempts by Kansas City Chiefs second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes before The Throw. Had that not been completed, the attitude of the entire city is likely a lot different. I’m thankful that we won’t be having to talk people off ledges because of the blemishes covered up by the high note that ended Mahomes’ night in Atlanta.

Regardless of The Throw, it wasn’t all bad for Mahomes. There were still some moments of promise to take away from his second preseason game performance. There was also plenty of places to improve as well.

Tuesday, we’ll reveal the third and final format for Mahomes film analysis you’ll be getting every week during the regular season. In this post, we’ll talk about something good and something bad.

Something good

We’re saving The Throw for Tuesday. But don’t go anywhere: it wasn’t the only good thing to take away from Friday night.

The chemistry is real between Travis Kelce and Mahomes. We continue to see who the safety blanket is for the young signal-caller. The trust that has been built up is evident every time the two are on the field together.

Mahomes takes a three-step-with-a-hitch drop out of shotgun and is on time with his feet to set up to throw. Kelce gives a nod inside and gets cornerback Desmond Trufant to open his hips toward the middle of the field. Mahomes is ready early and knows based on the positioning of the corner he can deliver the ball on the out route and trust Kelce will be where he needs to.

Kelce does a nice job on his speed cut, not allowing Trufant to recover. It was a great route by Kelce, but that shouldn’t take anything away from Mahomes. You see how early Mahomes was ready to deliver the ball. If he put his usual velocity behind the ball, it would’ve been way too early on the tight end.

Mahomes does a great job of throwing the ball with touch and anticipation so that it’s on Kelce as soon as he turns. The ball placement was excellent. It’s rare you see this kind of connection so early. Definitely something to keep an eye on moving forward.

Something bad

This was a very young and teachable moment for the quarterback. This league is too good to determine you’re throwing deep when the opportunity doesn’t present itself. The mindset he admitted to is something he’ll have to contain in order to have success in his first year as a starter. The urge is always going to be there to be aggressive and take a shot, but it has to come within in the design of the play.

Mahomes didn’t do much in the way of holding the safety. He telegraphed his intent immediately. His eyes came out of the play action fake locked on Watkins. He almost looked like he had a little lack of conviction on the throw at the end, like he saw the safety coming late. Regardless, these are the types of decisions he’s going to have to work at avoiding. It was a good time to learn this mistake. Hopefully it isn’t repeated.

Tomorrow, we’ll break down a couple more plays, including one you might have seen a few times since the game...


Quarterback anecdotes

Every week I’m going to add a quick note about something I’ve picked up about the quarterback position through my time learning and playing the game.

Being an extension of the coach on the field manifests itself in a variety of different ways. One of those is managing the skill players in the huddle. When there are new wrinkles added to the call sheet, quarterbacks will often make sure to remind a player who may have struggled with something thrown in that week.

“Hey, remember you need to reduce your split here.”

If it’s something the team has only had a few reps to work on, the quarterback is the last line of defense in ensuring the play is executed correctly.