Andy Reid Praises QB Patrick Mahomes for Improvising in Rally Against Broncos

Oct 1, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid talks with quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) against the Denver Broncos in the second half at Broncos Stadium at Mile High

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — NFL defenses figured to eventually stumble upon schemes making Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes appear human after all, and the Denver Broncos did just that Monday night for three before head coach Andy Reid's quarterback made an adjustment of his own.

“They threw a couple of new things at him, and you might get him once on it but normally he's going to come back and get you the second time, and he did that,” Reid said of Mahomes, who extended his starting win-streak to five games with a 27-23 win at Denver Monday night. “But that's a big thing. A lot of guys can't adjust in a game like that in that position, and he did a nice job with that.”

The Broncos without doubt threw a wrench into the Chiefs' finely tuned offense that leads the league with 36.3 points per game. Linebacker Von Miller and the Denver pass rush forced Mahomes from the pocket early and often. Mahomes countered by using his feet to evade the pressure.

“They had a couple of nice little blitzes for us early, fire-zone type things and blitzes, where he had to move,” Reid said.

Mahomes thrived starting the season leading an offense scoring early and often and never trailing through its first three games. Against the Broncos Reid got to see how his quarterback could handle a tough AFC West foe on the road when his offense didn't fire on all cylinders. Once again, Mahomes checked all the boxes with a dazzling fourth quarter punctuated by his 13-of-16 passing for 153 yards and 14 points.

“That was a Monday night game, you're the only show going,” Reid said. “Being able to perform like that when needed is good. He has a ton of things he's got to clean up. He's got a lot of room here to improve but his improv there got a 10.”

At no time Monday night did Mahomes and his extemporaneous flair put on a more dramatic show than when the right-handed passer eluded the grasp of Miller and completely a left-handed pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

“Tyreek was actually the primary on that, so he was coming wide open on that,” Reid said. “It was just a matter of moving and trying to get him the ball. Obviously not left handed, but that's what he did with it. And there's certain plays where you just have to able to do that.”

Perhaps even more impressive than the 14 touchdown passes belong to Mahomes is the lack of turnovers through four games. When the 23-year-old passer turned the ball over with some frequency during training camp practices, Reid never wavered from his contention that training camp and practice revolve solely around the premise of providing the quarterback with a pure feel for the passing game.

“To do that in the NFL, you're going to have these small windows, and so you better challenge that window and challenge the play and figure it out during practice,” Reid said. “So if you throw a pick you learn from it and know what you can get a way with with that particular play against that particular coverage.”

Armed with knowledge of what he can – and cannot – get away with on the field, Mahomes excelled at protecting the football through four games.

“Is an interception going to happen somewhere?” Reid asked. “Yeah, but right now he's doing a good job with it and he did that during camp, he challenged the offense to see what he could get away with.”

The Chiefs started a short week upon their return to Kansas City with the Jacksonville Jaguars coming to Kansas City Sunday in a showdown of what appears the two teams in the AFC through the first quarter of the season. Reid didn't allow himself much celebration following the emotional win over the Broncos.

“Well you enjoyed the flight back, then you got off the flight at 3 o'clock in the morning and you start on Jacksonville and get that going,” Reid said.