Welcome to the Mahomes Report, a weekly breakdown of what Kansas Metropolis Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes did, both good or dangerous, throughout the newest Chiefs recreation. For previous editions, click on right here.
For the primary time since earlier than yours really was born, the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs have gained a house playoff recreation, knocking off the Indianapolis Colts 31-13 within the AFC divisional playoffs. The sport was successfully over early; Kansas Metropolis received out to a 14-Zero lead within the first quarter and 17-Zero early within the second, and by no means appeared again.
Unsurprisingly, Patrick Mahomes was spectacular within the victory.
Within the first playoff recreation of his profession, Mahomes didn’t throw a passing landing but nonetheless led a number of scoring drives and picked aside the Indianapolis protection with the off-the-wall throws we’ve grown accustomed to.
There’s loads of room to enhance for subsequent week’s AFC Championship Recreation towards the New England Patriots, however it’s onerous to be upset concerning the present Mahomes and the Chiefs placed on this weekend.
The Colts had a top-10 protection within the NFL this season, they usually allowed the fifth fewest 20+ yard move performs within the league. Whereas their protection often does an excellent job limiting the large play, the flips aspect is that much more opens up within the brief and intermediate passing video games. When that begins working for an opposing offense? Deeper throws open up. For the Chiefs, they set the tone and took the higher hand within the on-area chess match with the primary drive of the sport.
First issues first, Mahomes used his mastery of the RPO recreation to attach together with his No. 1 receiver, Tyreek Hill.
Hill is dealing with off protection, so he will get a free launch on his slant. Mahomes is studying linebacker Anthony Walker (50), who bites on the run choice, Mahomes makes the suitable learn, pulling again and throwing into the window absolutely vacated by Walker. Straightforward first-down completion.
This was adopted by one other RPO, which was a brief run by Damien Williams. Subsequent, Mahomes has straightforward pickings when the Colts drop right into a zone.
This can be a good of instance of the Colts giving up yardage beneath. Correctly, Mahomes and the Chiefs seemed to take benefit early. This time you’ll be able to see the linebackers drop again and the left nook fade to the boundary. Travis Kelce runs a fast comeback route and has loads of cushion. Mahomes is aware of he’ll be open as soon as he acknowledges the protection.
Now with the brief passes conquered on this drive, the offense can open up. Enter Sammy Watkins, making his first look since Week 11.
Zone defenses don’t work notably properly when defending Mahomes’ arm. Watkins, from the far left, breaks on a deep crosser and Mahomes hits him in stride within the tender spot within the zone alongside the left hash. Watch the quarterback’s eyes on this play. He seems the protection off towards the left boundary, creating a much bigger throwing window. Look off, look again, throw a dart, huge completion. The Chiefs scored on a Williams landing run one play later, however the rating was arrange by a wonderfully scripted opening drive and a few exact passing from Mahomes.
The second-yr starter didn’t need to get overly artistic together with his personal actions on the primary drive, however that doesn’t imply that was the case all recreation. The primary of his extra acrobatic passes got here later within the first quarter.
It’s onerous to know how he completes these passes. Margus Hunt (92) applies somewhat strain up the center this time, with Al-Quadin Muhammad sealing off the left. Mahomes has to run to his proper and fade backwards due to Hunt’s pursuit. He’s watching the play unfold the complete time although, which permits him to see Hill open again within the middle of the sector. Whereas his momentum is carrying him in two totally different instructions away from the play, Mahomes nonetheless will get sufficient behind the throw and goals it nicely sufficient to attach together with his receiver for a primary down. That is subsequent-degree athleticism for a passer.
Arguably probably the most bodily spectacular cross from Mahomes, nevertheless, got here within the second half when he went full shortstop on a throw to Kelce.
Sure, the baseball factor is overplayed, everyone knows he performed baseball, his dad performed, in fact. However that talent set legitimately advantages Mahomes now and it’s why it’s so exhausting to get in entrance of his passes. He’s acquired a wider vary of arm slots than any passer within the NFL by a mile. Kelce runs a dig from the left and comes all the best way throughout the sector as Mahomes tries to flee strain. He navigates the pocket masterfully after which drops his arm all the best way to the aspect and fires a strike to his tight finish. He’s obtained the speed and accuracy to place the ball the place solely his man can fairly catch it, and he did it from an angle no one else can or would replicate. And once more, all of that got here after he needed to escape strain that was closing in on him within the pocket. This throw is nuts.
Look! It is Patrick Mahomes wanting on the legal guidelines of physics! pic.twitter.com/wdfDcbLXpP
— Dusty (@DustyEvely) January 14, 2019
We’ve already checked out one RPO cross from the sport, so let’s peak at a pair different crisp throws out of these choices from later within the recreation. The primary one is the laser of the week.
You possibly can primarily see the smoke emanating from the ball because it exits his hand. This can be a robust throw to make as a result of he’s obtained to launch it publish haste with a free runner (Zaire Franklin, 44) bearing down on him. He will get it out and rifles it to Hill, who will get inside leverage on his submit route. It’s completely positioned, too. A throw that quick is tough to deal with, however it’s thrown the place even an incompletion can be a protected play. There’s no danger of a tip popping the ball within the air. Hill is the one one who can catch this, and it’s absurd how typically that’s the case with these robust throws.
Hill was the highest goal on these RPOs towards Indianapolis, and it’s straightforward to see why.
With an correct throw and a crisp route, Mahomes and Hill can’t be stopped on these performs. It’s youngster’s play at this level. Williams sweeps left to proper, Anthony Walker bites on the run, the window opens and Mahomes uncorks a throw to Hill. A pair occasions this season we noticed a defensive again truly get inside Hill or Mahomes make a nasty learn and it will end in an incomplete move. Not on Saturday, although. The Colts protection didn’t have a prayer on these choices.
Kelce was the sport’s main receiver, and the subsequent few performs will highlight his huge recreation. First off, a artistic play design helped the safety and allowed Mahomes to seek out his tight finish open down the sector.
You possibly can see Jabaal Sheard (93) not commit all the best way to attacking Mahomes due to the play fakes. That alleviates just a little strain on the offensive line (particularly Mitchell Schwartz and tight finish Demetrius Harris) and provides Mahomes extra time. He finds Kelce instantly cross the sector and fires a dart proper to him. This can be a speedy response by the quarterback and a very nice throw. He knew the large man can be open.
Typically there didn’t must be many distractions or deceiving parts to seek out Kelce open, although.
Kelce is bunched on the correct finish of the road, merely runs up the seam and is left alone like McCauley Culkin. There isn’t a lot window dressing right here, it’s simply a simple move to Mahomes as his receiver breaks inside and it turns into an enormous achieve. The Chiefs had every week to organize for a protection that leaves a whole lot of room open inside 20 yards; it might have been ridiculous to anticipate Mahomes to not tear that protection up.
Another throw to Kelce, and that’s a phenomenal instance of play extension and trusting your arm to make a play.
The pocket collapses, so Mahomes has to enter evasion mode. He skips out to the proper and runs towards the road of scrimmage. He’s acquired Walker ready for him just some yards away. He might have stored heading towards the suitable and gained a couple of yards together with his legs earlier than he needed to slide or exit of bounds. As an alternative, he confirmed off his consciousness and recognized Kelce leaking open in the midst of the sector. Walker is in no-man’s land, as a result of he has no probability to drop again to Kelce with out giving the quarterback an enormous operating lane. Mahomes sees him, flicks the wrist and the Chiefs get the primary down. It’s the notice and extension capability that permit this to be a primary-down gainer.
There’s another throw to get to on this week’s “good,” and that’s this completion to Gehrig Dieter.
To start with, good for Gehrig Dieter getting concerned in a playoff recreation. This one is one other tight-window throw, with an added troublesome component of getting past the within defender simply so it could attain the receiver. Should you try this throw in Madden it is going to be intercepted each single time and also you’ll curse at your self since you knew it might occur. Patrick Mahomes is best than Madden, although. Defenders can’t simply break up a move with this a lot velocity.
Lastly, whereas he didn’t throw for a landing within the win over the Colts, he did run for one.
A quarterback who can throw? A quarterback who can run? Get you a quarterback who can do each. He breaks out proper shortly sufficient that Hunt gained’t have the ability to attain him as he penetrates. The late pump pretend freezes Darius Leonard (53) for perhaps 1 / 4 of a second, nevertheless it’s sufficient to provide Mahomes a barely longer window to succeed in the pylon. He does it and the Chiefs prolonged their lead. He’s fearless together with his legs but in addition does a superb job of choosing his spots. Picked a very good one right here.
Choosing out the dangerous this week is kind of splitting hairs. The one clip we’ve received for No. 15 is one thing that frankly occurs to a variety of quarterbacks on a regular basis, however on this sack he didn’t really feel the strain by any means coming from his blind aspect.
Kenny Moore (23) had a superb recreation for Indianapolis and laid the wooden on this nook blitz sack. Mahomes has developed a sixth sense for feeling that blindside strain in the course of the yr, however it was AWOL on this snap. In equity to him, the strain was immediate and he didn’t have time to react. Nonetheless, if you wish to level out a flaw, right here you go.
The one different “bad” shall be explored afterward within the Report, however because it pertains to QB1 his recreation wasn’t dangerous after the early offensive explosion, it simply type of stagnated, and that was the case for the whole offense. Within the first half Mahomes went 16/23 for 185 yards (eight.04 yards per try). Within the second half, nevertheless, he was simply 11/18 for 93 yards (5.17 YPA). The Chiefs didn’t want an entire lot of offense within the second half, however that doesn’t imply it wouldn’t have been good to see slightly extra of that explosion within the third and fourth quarters.
4 totally different Chiefs scored a dashing landing in Saturday’s win. We already noticed Mahomes’ rating, however the first landing of the sport got here courtesy of Damien Williams.
Oh look, one other RPO. This run is one other instance of why Kansas Metropolis is so excessive on Williams and why he acquired a two-yr contract earlier this season. He’s received a terrific mixture of energy and elusiveness, which is seen on this play (particularly the latter half). Merely sufficient, from a fan’s perspective, he’s simply enjoyable to observe when he’s acquired the ball in his arms. His talent set matches the Kansas Metropolis offense so nicely, and he’s given them one thing that seemed misplaced when Kareem Hunt was minimize. This run clowned a often strong Indianapolis run protection.
He wasn’t the one Williams who ran for a rating within the victory, as Darrel Williams cashed within the last landing of the sport for the Chiefs.
Speak about a strong run. He took loads of contact, then stored his legs churning whereas being stood up with a view to maintain the play alive so long as he might. Props to the offensive line for shoving him throughout the aircraft; that’s a real staff effort. Darrel Williams is only a position participant on this group, however it’s clearly a invaluable position, contemplating he was trusted to hold the ball late within the recreation on the objective line.
We’ve already seen Tyreek Hill shred the Indianapolis protection together with his routes, however he did the identical on the bottom within the first quarter.
Ask a Royals fan about Terrance Gore and Jarrod Dyson, they usually’ll in all probability utter the phrase “That’s what speed do” sooner or later throughout your dialog. The identical applies to Hill, as a result of his velocity is so troublesome to defend. He doesn’t want a lot of a crease to ramp as much as full velocity, which he did on this rating. There’s no probability a defensive lineman goes to catch him, so that you don’t have to fret about him bending a couple of yards behind the road of scrimmage. He hits prime velocity and when he does that, you’re already behind him should you’re not in entrance of him with loads of area. Nice name by Andy Reid to dial this up early, as a result of it was one other tone-setting play.
The protection wants numerous love this week. The Chiefs didn’t permit the Colts to transform a single third-down try. Indianapolis went Zero-for-9 on third down; that’s loopy. The Chiefs protection performs higher at house, however no one might have anticipated them to not permit a single third-down conversion and maintain an opponent to 6 offensive factors.
Like all the time, Kansas Metropolis’s defensive success began up entrance with the cross rush. The Colts had top-of-the-line offensive strains within the league this yr, however the Chiefs’ entrance seven beat them loads of occasions. The primary sack of the sport for Kansas Metropolis got here courtesy of Justin Houston.
Houston’s return to prominence has been pleasurable to observe. The Chiefs load their cross rushers on the appropriate aspect of the road, with Houston lined up on Dee Ford’s inside shoulder. Mark Glowinski (64), in his fourth yr within the league, was outright embarrassed with this blocking effort. Houston goes with a stutter step earlier than breaking inside with the push and Glowinski barely will get a hand on him. He seems to be like he did in 2014 once more.
He was concerned on one other second-half sack too, choosing up the unfastened ball after a Ford strip sack.
Rookie Braden Smith (72), the Olathe South product, wasn’t prepared for Ford’s velocity. That is what we’ve seen all yr from Ford, although. He’s already bending and making his break towards the quarterback earlier than his assigned blocker may even get his palms out. Quarterback Andrew Luck isn’t capable of get the ball out shortly sufficient, so Ford is ready to bat it unfastened, one thing else he’s excelled at this yr.
The cross rushers weren’t the one gamers who beat a beforehand extremely regarded Colts offensive line.
It was not a very good recreation for Mark Glowinski. This time it’s rookie Derrick Nnadi who simply steals his lunch cash, bull dashing proper previous him and ending up in operating again Marlon Mack’s lap by the point he takes the change from Luck. Regardless that Nnadi doesn’t wrap up Mack on first contact, he’s nonetheless capable of recuperate his legs, attain round Glowinski once more and make the deal with. The Chiefs gained the battle up entrance on this recreation, which was a pleasing shock given the narrative getting into the weekend.
Probably the most beautiful miscue for the Chiefs within the divisional spherical was the meltdown on punt safety within the second quarter that led to the Colts’ first rating.
You don’t often see Dave Toub’s unit commit a blunder like this. Najee Goode (52) is deserted by the safety staff, permitting him to burst by means of a parted purple sea and assault Dustin Colquitt (Najee Goode additionally follows yours really on Twitter for some cause, which you are able to do right here). This was so sudden and uncharacteristic that you need to assume it gained’t occur once more, however it was nonetheless an enormous-time blunder.
Kansas Metropolis dedicated only one turnover within the recreation, and that was a Sammy Watkins fumble.
This was a lose-lose play for the Chiefs. One result’s the turnover, or it will have been a big loss had he held on to the ball. In all probability not one we’ll see Reid name once more subsequent week. The unwell results of Watkins coughing it up have been negated two performs later when Luck fumbled for Indianapolis (see above), however you continue to by no means need to give the ball away deep in your personal territory. Towards a workforce just like the New England Patriots you possibly can’t afford to make any errors like this.
Lastly, as was alluded to above when speaking about Mahomes’ recreation, the Chiefs took their foot off the fuel within the second half till the late landing drive. It is sensible as a result of the sport was firmly in hand, and this has been an extended-time criticism of Reid’s recreation administration. Plus, it’s not like that is indicative of what is going to occur with a Chiefs lead, in an in depth recreation, and so on. subsequent week towards the Patriots. Greater than something, it simply exhibits that there’s nonetheless a lot for the staff to work on going ahead.
Nonetheless, you don’t love seeing an All-Professional quarterback common simply over 5 yards per try for an entire half of soccer. The play calling was a bit too conservative, the execution wasn’t as much as Kansas Metropolis’s typical lofty requirements and, frankly, it was simply uninspiring motion for a lot of the final 30 minutes. Once more, it’s essential to know the sport state of affairs and acknowledge that the Chiefs didn’t want extra factors. However you completely can’t go to sleep on the wheel towards New England subsequent week.
Brendan Dzwierzynski is a co-host on 580 Sports activities Speak, weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on WIBW 580 AM & FM News 104.9. You possibly can comply with him on Twitter at @BrendanDzw.
(perform(d, s, id)
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s);
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&appId=124890500932652&version=v2.3”;
(doc, ‘script’, ‘fb-jssdk’));(perform(d, s, id)
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s);
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1&appId=”;
(doc, ‘script’, ‘fb-jssdk’));