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Patrick Mahomes preseason game three: something smart, something special

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More takeaways from Mahomes’ final preseason game.

Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

This is part two of a three-part weekly film analysis on the performance of Patrick Mahomes.

Part one here.


Saturday was far from perfect for Mahomes, and we’ll get to the less-than-perfect moments Wednesday. But in this post, we’ll discuss the reasons for optimism and hope. There are some pieces to Mahomes’ game that continue to keep me optimistic. He seems to be processing a lot of things well, and the arm talent continues to amaze.

Here’s something smart and something special from Chicago:

Something smart

Knowing where to throw can’t be taken for granted. Some plays are easy and some plays just look easy. Even though the dump off to Kareem Hunt for a touchdown was an easy throw, the process to identify it was smart.

The Chiefs run a five-man protection. Mahomes has the responsibility of identifying the Mike linebacker to set the protection based on what he is seeing. The offensive line will take the four down linemen plus whoever Mahomes declares in this instance.

Based on the alignment, he chooses to make the offensive line responsible for the linebacker to his left, No. 44, Nick Kwiatkowski. There are rules for every protection in the Chiefs playbook about how they can be beaten and what the responsibility of both quarterback and skill players are to do to fix it.

In this five-man protection, the running back is free releasing on a swing route. If the linebacker and defensive end to Mahomes’ right both come, he is hot off those two.

The linebacker blitzes and the edge rushes and does not peel off with Hunt. The Bears have no one to cover him. Schwartz takes the blitzing linebacker, leaving a free rusher. Mahomes does a nice job of getting the ball over the defender with touch and accuracy, allowing Hunt to score.

Mahomes has shown the ability to understand where protections can beat him and what to do when he isn’t protected. That’s one of his most promising attributes to this point.

Something special

The first half of this clip will make an appearance tomorrow, as there was a noticeable trend in Mahomes’ performance last week. But the end of this play is...wow.

We’re going to be in awe of his arm talent for the duration of the season and possibly his career. I am still amazed at some of the things that Aaron Rodgers is capable of. It’s rare. Mahomes and Rodgers are two of the few players who can throw from that angle, falling away.

The most impressive piece of this to me is how quickly he’s able to get the ball out without setting up at all. Some guys might try to at least get their plant leg underneath them, but Mahomes doesn’t even break stride to throw this. The whole process was so fluid and the fact that he was momentum was away from the play and was still able to put that much velocity on it is unheard of.

The athleticism Mahomes is able to utilize with a wide variety of throws is a skill in and of itself, but pairing that with the strength of his arm is unique. He’s still trying to figure out what he’s capable of at this level, but if he finds the right balance he’ll come close to his ceiling.