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Patrick Mahomes Divisional Round Film Review: something improved and something needing improvement

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The Chiefs quarterback is still improving in the midst of the biggest games of his young career.

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Divisional Round - Indianapolis Colts v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

This is part three of a three-part weekly film analysis on the performance of Patrick Mahomes. Part one: something good and something bad here, part two: something special here.


Kansas City has done a fantastic job of making up for lost time when it comes to finally having a franchise quarterback. Whether it’s parody accounts, songs, milk (thank you Shatto) or ketchup, we’ve really tried to cram as much fun as we can in one season.

Lost in all of this is the fact that Mahomes hasn’t really allowed us to catch our breath. He’s been nothing short of amazing on a week-to-week basis. There hasn’t been a bad performance to date. Even his less than stellar statistical outputs have come from wins, and there’s usually context to some of those games.

We’ve gone from 0 to 60 at the quarterback position. We blinked, and in what feels like the snap of a finger an elite quarterback arrived. Hold on, because it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down any time soon.

Something improved

Mahomes has a habit of missing out on rushing touchdowns. He didn’t on Saturday.

After the game, Mahomes discussed his past failures and actually finishing this play:

“Even going back to college and then last year and the preseason, I always step out of bounds any time I try to make that dive and they always mark me short. So I just went two hands and made sure to get my feet up and I touched the pylon knowing that once it hit the pylon, it’s a touchdown.” - Patrick Mahomes on his touchdown run

I think back specifically on Mahomes’ first regular-season start in Week 17 against the Broncos last season. His chance to record any kind of score in his first career game was taken off the board because of the mistake he avoided in his first playoff game.

Mahomes was able to create just enough space at the goal line to dive for the score with a very subtle pump fake as defenders close. Both cornerback Pierre Desir and linebacker Darius Leonard react to contents what the think is about to be a throw. That split second allowed for Mahomes to get to the pylon.

Needs improvement

If the Chiefs get into another fourth-and-5 situation, especially if it’s critical, you hope Mahomes will test the Patriots outside of the pocket.

In a situation where you surrender the ball if you don’t gain five yards, I would have preferred Mahomes try to escape the pocket to his left. He might have feared he was in arms reach of No. 92 Margus Hunt and elected to find another solution. Whether he stepped up or spun out to his left, I think there were more options available to him to the field side. I think he had the opportunity to get out to where the receivers were flowing and be a threat to get the line to gain with his legs or draw defenders to him and find an open receiver coming free because of it.

My guess is he’s know all the receivers had cleared out from the right and there would be ample space to use his legs to run. Unfortunately, there was more congestion before the line to gain with offensive and defensive lineman in his way. The space closed quickly and he took a sack.

45 Seconds

I break down one play a week or the roughly 45 seconds from the start of the play clock to the play being blown dead. This week, we discussed a well-designed screen play the Chiefs dialed up in Colts territory on a third-and-8.

The Chiefs utilized a unique motion and got a great effort from Charcandrick West to make the play happen. Check out our breakdown.


Arrowhead Pride Laboratory

Miss this week’s episode of the AP Laboratory? We get you ready for the AFC Championship Game with a preview of the Patriots and a recap of what we saw in the Colts game. If you can’t see the player below, click here.

Links: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Art 19