The Kansas City Chiefs' preseason victory over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night may not count in the standings, but don't tell quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The rookie signal caller got the start in the Chiefs' preseason finale and made the most of it, completing nine of 16 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown.
Mahomes didn't waste any time showing off his arm, finding wide receiver Demarcus Robinson for 53 yards on just his second completion of the night.
The two were at it again a couple drives later when Mahomes scrambled to his right before slinging a 46-yard strike to Robinson downfield.
For Mahomes, it was all about giving his receiver a chance to make something happen.
"For me it's all about getting the ball off and letting the receiver make the play," said Mahomes of the 46-yard strike. "I saw Demarcus and the defender was behind him. I knew if I threw it out there he would make a play on the ball and he did. It was a great play and a great catch. It's just something where you have to let those guys make plays."
The ability to improvise after the play breaks down is something that makes Mahomes exciting to watch.
"I went through all my reads and they had everything covered up pretty well," Mahomes said. "The line had protected me for a day and a half, so I scrambled out to the right, saw D-Rob out there and just put it out there."
Mahomes found Robinson for a third time in the closing seconds of the first half for a 28-yard touchdown. In all, the duo combined for 127 yards through the air.
"(Head Coach Andy Reid) had something for me in the game plan if they played a certain coverage, and it worked out perfectly," Mahomes said. "It just goes with the game plan and things that happened throughout the week."
Though Mahomes saw action in Kansas City's first three preseason games, Thursday was his first chance to start. Reid felt that his rookie quarterback handled the experience well.
"I thought that this was a great experience for him. You can learn some things when you have to prep for a game that you don't have to learn as a relief pitcher, at least in the preseason as a relief pitcher," Reid said. "I thought he handled the last few days the right way. He knew he was going to be the starter so we gave him time there to prep. He's also going to have to carry that same thing over as a backup, knowing you're just one play away from being the guy. Again, this was a very important thing for him."
Now with the season just a week away, Mahomes is ready to put down his helmet in favor of a headset as he continues to learn behind starting quarterback Alex Smith.
"I'm super excited just for the next week coming up," Mahomes said. "Just starting the regular season and going out there into a great environment."
Kansas City kicks off the regular season next Thursday as the Chiefs travel to New England to take on the Patriots.