Heck, Chiefs fans should love this comparison.
Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale was speaking to the reporters Thursday and likened the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid to one of the best quarterback-coach combinations in NFL history.
That’d be Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Bill Walsh, who were at San Francisco when the 49ers won Super Bowl XVI, XIX and XXIII. Montana later won a fourth Super Bow and, at age 37, helped the Chiefs to their last AFC Championship Game appearance in 1993.
“I think Mahomes is Montana,” Martindale said. “I’m talking about the San Francisco Montana and not the Kansas City Montana. I think how everything is cyclical and, you know, history repeats itself. I think you’re seeing that combination between Andy and Mahomes of Montana and Bill Walsh. I really do. That’s where I see them at.”
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Martindale had the Chiefs on his mind because the Ravens will visit Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday for a game between the top-ranked offense and defense.
Martindale said the Chiefs have a “lethal offense” with Mahomes, receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. That means the Ravens will have to change their coverages throughout the game.
“You have to give them different looks all the time, because if they know what you’re in, they will slaughter you,” Martindale said. “I wish I could come up with a better analogy of it, but they will slaughter you. Tyreek Hill is the fastest human being I’ve ever seen wear a helmet.”
While Martindale didn’t mention the play in particular, one of the most famous passes in Montana’s career was “The Catch” that helped the 49ers beat the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game in 1982. Montana rolled to his right, drifted back a few steps under pressure and threw a game-winning touchdown to Dwight Clark.
But Martindale did talk about the importance of keeping Mahomes in the pocket.
“We can’t let Mahomes turn this into a backyard football game,” Martindale said. “He’s really good on rhythm, statistically as the quarterback rating. But he’s even better when he turns it into a backyard football game, gets out of the pocket and scrambles around. So that’s going to be our mission.”