A day later, Chiefs coach Andy Reid is still impressed with a throw from quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
No, not that one.
After Mahomes’ 69-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill out-shined practically everything else from the Chiefs’ 28-14 win against the Falcons on Friday, Reid focused instead on a different pass — one that he says better demonstrates the improvement from his second-year quarterback.
With the Chiefs facing a third-and-11 from their own side of the field in the first quarter, Mahomes took a quick drop, looked to his right and found tight end Travis Kelce for a 14-yard gain and a first down.
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“That was the thing I was impressed with Patrick the most,” Reid said in a teleconference with reporters Saturday. “I mean I know he can sling the heck out of it down the field, but he had a couple of nice throws there that are probably gonna get overlooked (that) I thought he really did a nice job with. It shows his accuracy and ability to make the ones that people might consider a little tougher sideline throws. Pretty good with it.”
The touchdown to Hill — a ball that traveled 68.6 yards in the air, per NFL’s NextGen stats — offered little surprise to the coach who watches Mahomes daily in practice.
The sideline throw provided more consequence. It’s a sign of growth. One week earlier, Reid called a similar play, with Kelce running a nearly identical route toward the sideline. Mahomes earmarked his tight end on that one, too, but he got too much air under the pass.
On Friday, the ball was on time and on target.
“It was similar to the one he had last week, right?” Reid said. “So you want to see where the improvement (is) made? Well, you can take that play. You can say, hey, last week he overshot it; this week it was right on the money.”