KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes turned just 24 on Tuesday, and his career-highlight reel already includes enough mind-boggling throws that fans can argue for hours over the best one, but the quarterback has his own personal favorite.
That honor goes to the fourth-and-9 dart Tyreek Hill for 48 yards in the final two minutes of last seasons' Week 14 overtime victory against the Baltimore Ravens.
“That's probably my favorite one just for the situation, giving the guys a chance and Tyreek making a great play on it, then ended up winning the game at home,” Mahomes said as the Chiefs prepare for a rematch with the Ravens in the team's home opener at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. “It was one of my favorite throws if not my favorite so far.”
The Chiefs faced a dire situation with 1:29 on the clock and facing a long fourth down on their own 40-yard line trailing 24-17. Mahomes took the shotgun snap and scanned the field, seemingly composed.
“I don't if you call it composure,” Mahomes said Wednesday. “I looked the wrong way first. I just kind of made something happen after that.”
He dropped back to his own 28-yard line before linebacker Za'Darius Smith and nose tackle Brandon Williams flushed him out of the pocket to his right. He scrambled toward the line of scrimmage, and just before he he reached his own 35-yard line, he heaved the ball in the direction of Hill.
“It's a fourth-down play where we had to make something happen,” Mahomes said. “I know I'm not running for it, so I just tried to throw it out there and (let) guys make plays. Tyreek came back to the ball and cut off the linebacker and made a great catch.”
Hill cutback toward the middle of the field and hauled in the ball at the Ravens 27-yard line. He eventually went out of bounds at the 12. Hill at the time said he was looking back at Mahomes the entire play trying to find the sweet spot on the field.
“He kind of went this way, then turned around, and he had seen me screeching down the middle,” Hill said. “He just lobbed it up for me and I was able to make a play.”
The Chiefs scored four plays later on fourth-and-3 with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Damien Williams. That tied the game at 27-27, and the Chiefs went on to win 30-27 in overtime.
“Just trying to find a way to win,” Mahomes said. “When you're a competitor and you play with guys that are really good, you get to find a way to get ball out of your hand and let them make plays for you.”
After the game, head coach Andy Reid said he thought that was Mahomes' best game up to that point in his career. The Ravens blitz Mahomes all day long, which helped keep the Chiefs offense in check much of the game.
“You get a little defeated there if you get sacked or hit as many times as he got hi, but he stayed right in there and kept firing,” Reid said after the game. “I am proud of him for that.”
It's the situation as much as anything that makes the throw stand out to Mahomes. The win moved the Chiefs to 11-2 on the season and clinched a playoff berth. Without that victory, the Chiefs don't win a third-straight AFC West championship.
“That pretty much gave us home-field advantage last year in the playoffs and everything like that,” Mahomes said.
It's also a throw he may never make again. Mahomes isn't afraid to take shots down the field, but he knows that toss carried more risk than most other plays he's made.
“Probably only fourth down is the only time I would ever make that throw across the field like that,” he said. “I throw it some across the field, but not kind of just chunking it down the field like that.”