KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs wide receivers coach Greg Lewis owns a one-of-a-kind perspective on Patrick Mahomes and the gunslinger he's often compared to in Hall of Fame passer Brett Favre.
Lewis caught 23 passes for 280 yards playing with Favre in Minnesota during the 2009-10 seasons, and now he prepares the Chiefs receiving corps to catch passes from Mahomes. He sees many similarities between the two generational players.
“I think they're pretty close to being the same type of guy,” Lewis said. “They both can extend plays, they make great passes, they make plays out of nothing. I think that's how they're alike.”
There is one area, however, where Lewis sees Mahomes perhaps owning a slight edge over Favre: guiding laser-like throws into tight windows.
“I think Brett maybe throws just as hard as Pat, is able to put things in windows like Pat is,” Lewis explained. “I think Pat is a little bit higher up on the Richter scale with that type of stuff.”
Lewis knows all about Favre's arm and his ability to fit tight windows. He was on the receiving end of a play that the NFL recently ranked as the No. 67 best play in the league's 100-year history.
In Week 3 of the 2019, the Vikings trailed San Francisco 24-20 with just 12 seconds remaining in the game. Facing a third-and-3 from the 49ers' 32-yard line with one timeout remaining, Favre took the snap, gave a quick pump fake to his left and rolled out to his right. He dodged would tackler, then stepped into a throw while under pressure from the 39-yard line toward the end zone.
That's where Lewis, filling in for Percy Harvin, went airborne to haul in the pass and somehow got his left foot down and dragged his right toe along the back of the end zone, lifting Minnesota to a 27-24 victory.
That play, Lewis says, deeply influenced how he coaches his receivers today. He recalls only playing two snaps before getting pressed into service on the game-winning play.
“That's sort of how I treat our guys,” Lewis explained. “The next man up. You have to be ready and prepared and you have to prepare yourself as a starter each and every day because you don't know when your number is going to be called, and then just make the play when you get opportunity. It's simple as that for me.”
Lewis remains proud of playing his part in an historic moment, but the memory brings back bittersweet feelings. That Vikings season ended in the NFC Championship game with a 31-28 overtime loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.
“We lost and we didn't win when we wanted to,” Lewis said. “But OK.”
Today, however, Lewis counts himself as lucky to have witnessed history on the field with Favre and now on the sidelines with Mahomes.
“I think they're both remarkable players, and I was blessed top have an opportunity to play with Brett and now here being part of what Pat is being able to accomplish thus far in career,” Lewis said.