There have definitely been several times this season Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has made a throw that was absolutely stunning. The likes of which you rarely ever see and yet he does it with regularity. He has a live arm, with pinpoint accuracy, an ability to escape pressure and throw on the move.
Yeah it’s just 12 games, but he has been scary good.
Over 12 games this season Mahomes has thrown 37 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and 3628 yards. That’s an average of 330 yards and 3.4 touchdowns per game, including the six touchdowns he threw against the Rams in his last outing.
That show comes to Oakland Sunday.
Jon Gruden has made his career on studying quarterbacks and his reaction to Mahomes’ play has been similar to mine and really anyone who has seen him play.
“His overall skill set is sickening. It really is,” Gruden said of Mahomes. “He’s double-jointed. He can throw the ball from any platform possible. Running to his left, fading backwards. He can get out of trouble. I compliment everybody, I’ve been accused of that, but this guy has off the chart arm talent. Skill level is unbelievable. He has a playing style that reminds me of [Brett] Favre. He’s a young Favre. I think that’s why Andy Reid went and got him. He won’t quit on any play. He makes a lot of plays when there’s nothing there. I don’t have time to talk about him anymore (laughing).”
We know Gruden’s obsession with the quarterback due in large part to his yearly ‘QB camp’ series he used to host on ESPN. While doing the show, he interviewed Mahomes.
Gruden recalls that episode and one particular throw Mahomes made.
“I remember asking him, he made a throw against Louisiana Tech, the greatest throw I’ve ever seen. He didn’t set his feet. He’s running to his left. I said, ‘Why didn’t you set your feet, because you don’t have to?’ He said, ‘Exactly.’ He just doesn’t have to get himself in a perfect throwing position to throw down the field accurate passes. He’s been blessed with a lot of talent. They’ve surrounded him with the perfect scheme and a great supporting cast and the right coach.”
While Gruden is in awe of Mahomes as a QB guy, his defense has no luxury to sit back and marvel at his skills. They have to figure out how to stop it. That means first and foremost trying to keep him in the pocket, and maintaining good coverage when he gets out.
“The receivers break their routes off when he gets out of the pocket, so we’ve got to do a good job of staying with our guy,” said Defensive Coordinator, Paul Guenther.
Last week the Raiders faced Lamar Jackson, who is as fast and elusive as they come. But he’s not in the same universe as Mahomes in terms of arm talent.
“He does a good job of making throws whether they’re across his body or downfield going to his left or right where he can make throws on the move,” Guenther continued. “He’s got a lot of arm strength, he’s a lot like a shortstop really, who can turn two, he can throw across his body, all those type of things, different arm levels, side arm, over the top, three quarters. It’s a good challenge for us, he’s a good player.”
This will be the first time the Raiders have faced Mahomes. It will be the first of two meetings this season as the Raiders head to Kansas City in the season finale. And with the way Mahomes has looked thus far, it will be the first of a great many meetings.