The kid has been raising eyebrows all season long in what’s been a record-shattering first campaign as the Kansas City Chiefs’ starting quarterback.
He makes seemingly impossible throws seem routine, and now 13 games into 2018, it’s easy to get used to what Patrick Mahomes can do with a football in his right hand (and, occasionally, his left).
But this throw was something else.
On a day when Mahomes completed 35 passes for 377 yards - including a 48-yard connection with wide receiver Tyreek Hill with the game on the line – it was the 23-year-old Mahomes’ 17-yard throw to wide receiver Demarcus Robinson that still deserves some further thought.
There was just over a minute left in the first half and, fresh off taking the lead a drive earlier, the Chiefs were looking for more before the break.
Mahomes dropped back before scrambling to his left and then back up in the pocket – evading a pair of Baltimore defenders in the process – and then fired downfield into the waiting arms of Robinson.
And here’s the thing: it appeared as if Mahomes wasn’t even looking.
It was remarkable – the kind of play that demands the viewer to watch over and over again – but for this group of players, it’s just another day at the office.
“It was just playing football, man,” Robinson said. “He scrambled out, saw me working down the field and he made a good throw…it’s just fun to be out there on the field with him. I can’t even explain it – I’m just glad to be a part of this team.”
The play was special enough, but only a few seconds later, Mahomes was at it again.
Now near midfield, Mahomes dropped back before moving forward in the pocket, running to his left and zipping the ball sidearm to tailback Spencer Ware, who was streaking down the boundary.
Mahomes unconventionally hummed the ball by Ravens’ linebacker Terrell Suggs and Ware picked up 31 yards.
The two plays were entirely different, but each demonstrated what makes Kansas City’s young quarterback so special.
“You just keep working, because there’s a chance that he may find you,” Ware said. “Just keep working for him, and he’ll keep working for you. We’re all here for each other.”
“Patrick makes unbelievable throws every game – that’s just the kind of player he is,” added tight end Travis Kelce. You’re never dead on any play as a wide receiver, a tight end or a running back in your routes, and at the end of the day, you always have a chance. That’s what [Mahomes] gives you.”
That backyard style was on full display yet again when Mahomes found Hill downfield with the game hanging in the balance, though the former first-round pick still insists he prefers taking the traditional approach when he can.
“I’m definitely comfortable with it, but I’m more comfortable when it’s on time, you can set your feet and throw. That’s when you can really show off the accuracy and what you have to do to be a great quarterback in this league,” Mahomes explained. “But I’ve built that comfort with [extending the play], whether it’s moving left or right and these guys are getting themselves open, so I’ll do that whenever the opportunity presents itself, but if I can throw it on time, I’d rather do that.”
Mahomes made both styles look routine on Sunday – catching the eye of his coach in the process.
“He had the one interception, but other than that, I think this was his best game for a lot of reasons,” said Head Coach Andy Reid. “He really did a nice job. This defense was a huge challenge. These son of a guns were really good and had a really good package that they unloaded at him, and he kept bringing it. I’m proud of him for doing that.”
Mahomes and the Chiefs will look to deliver some more magic in just four days against the Los Angeles Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday Night Football.