By Andrew Banks
Forget what you thought you knew about the Kansas City Chiefs. These are not the Marty Schottenheimer Chiefs from the 1990s. Herm Edwards is not on that sideline. Todd Haley is not calling plays in Arrowhead anymore. Romeo Crenel (thank goodness) is no longer involved. Even with current coach Andy Reid’s play clock blunders and conservative nature, it does not matter anymore. Patrick Mahomes is the antidote the Chiefs have been searching for since Len Dawson.
On Sunday Mahomes showed why he’s not just the best young quarterback in the league but in a category all to himself. Anytime you start throwing out the word “magic” to describe an athlete the world needs to stop and take notice. You would think that magic is being used hyperbolically but if you believe that, then you haven’t been watching the Chiefs in 2018.
Mahomes added to his MVP resume yesterday with touchdown pass number 43, tops in the league. He struggled and looked frustrated for most of the second half against the best defense in the league statistically. The Ravens looked like they had the recipe to beating the Chiefs. They ran for 198 yards. They were suffocating Mahomes with constant pressure. He was getting hit almost every play but he continued to stand in the pocket and deliver dime after dime. Then Mahomes decided to channel his inner Michael Jordan and rip the hearts right out of the Ravens’ chest.
There were a handful of ridiculous throws that came from the arm of Mahomes on Sunday. Every game it seems like he does something that you have never seen before and all you can do is try to keep yourself from drooling. If you can wrap your mind around this, the no-look pass he pulled out from his bag was only the second best throw of the game. I never thought I would be saying that an NFL quarterback threw a no-look pass; in a regular season game with a playoff spot on the line. Maybe at the Pro Bowl in Hawii when defenders are thinking about their next vacation. But he contimues to bend conventional football thinking and forces you to believe in things you didn’t think were possible.
This quote from Andy Reid was too good not to share:
It’s something to do in a practice, but then you start throwing it in a game, and a game against the No. 1 defense in the National Football League, that’s a little different,” Reid said. “You gotta have tremendous confidence in what you’re doing there. … I haven’t seen a lotta guys do that. I was around (Brett) Favre, he did some amazing things that way, Donovan (McNabb) and those guys, but no… that umm… No, not quite like that.”
– Andy Reid
For his next trick, Mahomes danced between a couple of defenders and turned a double play to Spencer Ware out of the backfield. To all you parents out there that want little Johnny to focus on one sport, let Mahomes open your mind for a minute. If he doesn’t play baseball as a kid, he probably wouldn’t make this throw look… for lack of a better word..routine.
Here’s another throw that no other human being on this planet could make except for Mahomes.
Those throws pale in comparison to the play he made that, to me, cemented his case for MVP. Fourth quarter. Down 24-17. 1:30 left in the game. 4th and 9. Let the magic show begin.
The finishing touch was a beautiful play design and execution by Reid and Mahomes. The rub route forced the lineback into traffic which allowed Damien Williams to run free out of the back field long enough for Mahomes to toss the game tying touchdown.
His arm strength is not what makes him special. Yes he has a rocket launcher for a right shoulder but so did Jamarcus Russell. It’s the touch and accuracy he displays and the fact that he apparently doesn’t need to be looking at his target to be accurate. It’s his subtle movements in the pocket where you think you got him for a sack and then he dances out of danger. The poise and craftiness to his game is uncanny for a 23-year old first-year starter. Human beings shouldn’t be able to do the things he does.
I’m going to try and describe his greatness so that you can get an idea of how freakish and scary this kid is. Have you ever had a mental block? Whether it was sports or at your job or during a test? A situation that no matter what it seemed like your brain would lock up and you couldn’t do anything to shake it. For me it was a statistics class in college. For the life of me I just could not seem to break through in that class. I would do well on the homework and in-class assignments, but when it came to take the test my brain would cramp up and I would lose all the memory from the previous night of studying. Eventually as I grew older I learned to get passed some of those mental hurdles that I struggled with as a kid, but math still haunts me to this day tons certain degree. Well imagine taking that statistics exam and in the middle of the test your professor throws out a new question that wasn’t in the book. An equation that you’ve never seen in your life and without hesitation you solve the equation and ace the exam. There’s almost no way that you would be able to solve an equation that you’ve never learned. That’s essentially Patrick Mahomes. The Ravens were confusing him with looks and coverages he had never seen before. It didn’t matter. Eventually, god-given talent overruled everything else. He has no mental blocks.
He had the one interception but other than that, I thought this was his best game,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid per Jeffri Chadiha of NFL.com. “This defense was a huge challenge. These son of a guns were really good and have a really good package. They unloaded it at him and he kept bringing it. I’m proud of him for doing that. You can get a little defeated when you get hit as many times as he got hit but he stayed in there and kept firing.”
– Andy Reid
Sometimes you can watch someone one time and you know it when you see it.
“That person is special.”
Your eyes won’t lie to you. Being thrust into the 13-game Patrick Mahomes experience has shown me that he is the truth. In a LeBron James Kevin Durant kind of way. He drips the swagger and confidence that tells you he is going to be great. And not just great but all-time great. He has that IT factor. It’s not a matter of if he will ever win a Super Bowl, but how many rings will he collect. A player that gifted is going to get countless chances at a championship. The crazy thing is, he’s a Kansas City Chief. So excuse me if I sound like I’m in love. I’ve never had the best player in the league on my team. And damn it feels good.