Patrick Mahomes shows growth in Chiefs debut

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 11: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 11: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes /

Former Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes had lofty expectations in the NFL, but he’s already showing maturity and growth after one game.

When Patrick Mahomes entered NFL Draft conversation last January when he declared, the decision was met with a plethora of scrutiny. Experts drew conclusions almost immediately, that Mahomes’ NFL career would be questionable –at best — and dependent on whether he’d be able to adapt to a Pro Style offense.

Among those experts, was Jon Gruden, who took time on ‘QB Camp’ to call Mahomes out on several things he could easily fix. Gruden noted, that if Mahomes was able to go through his reads, stay patient, and stop trying to play the hero on every play, he’d have a career as an NFL quarterback.

In his NFL debut last night against the San Francisco 49ers, Mahomes demonstrated all three of those traits, shutting down most of the Draft season scrutiny. The No. 10 overall Draft pick went 7 of 9 for 49 yards and touchdown in Saturday’s 27-17 loss against the 49ers, however, Mahomes showed tremendous promise.

On his first pass of the game, Mahomes threw a 41-yard dime to receiver Demarcus Robinson, but it was negated due to a holding call by second-year offensive lineman Isaiah Battle.

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Mahomes was put into a second scoring position on a blocked punt attempt by the 49ers to set the Chiefs up deep into San Francisco territory. Three plays, and :54 (game) seconds later, Patrick Mahomes threw a laser of a pass into the endzone to Marcus Kemp from one yard out.

Given that it’s preseason, let’s be objective here and say that had that pass been against a first-team secondary, it very easily could have been a pick. However, if Mahomes had been playing with the first-team offense, he also would have had better protection, and better receiving options.

What the play demonstrated is that at Texas Tech, Patrick Mahomes would have done what he does best: find a running route, and turn on the jets. In his Pro Style adaptation, he went through his reads, found an open receiver, and threaded the needle. When veteran players like Aaron Rodgers throw into tight coverage, they’re called “surgeons.” I think that as Mahomes becomes more acclimated with the scheme and develops more into a pro passer, he’ll assume that same label. But for Pro Style purists, a few more years in the system will be the only way to measure if the Air Raid transition was successful.

Here’s a look at Patrick Mahomes’ first NFL pass:

The Chiefs play Game 2 of the preseason schedule in Cincinnati against the Bengals on August 19, at 6:00 p.m. EST.