KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has made countless off-schedule and eye-catching plays throughout his career, but against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football, the 2018 NFL MVP pulled a rabbit out of a hat.
Early in the second quarter, the Chiefs were in the redzone looking to add to their 14-3 lead. Mahomes took the snap under center and faked a handoff to fullback Michael Burton.
Bucs defensive lineman Patrick O’Connor was unblocked running full head of steam to take down Mahomes, but the QB scrambled and evaded his tackle and ran right toward the goal-line.
He was met by All-Pro linebacker Devin White who also chased him in an attempt to bring him down, but Mahomes spun away, stopped right at the line of scrimmage and flipped an improbable ball into the hands of running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the endzone for the score.
“You’re not allowed to play football at this level and toy with the other team. He looks like the dad playing in the backyard with all kids and they can’t get him on the ground,” NBC Broadcaster Chris Collinsworth said.
“The NFL hasn’t seen anything like Mahomes – I promise you that. You saw it today – he’s the Houdini of our era,” Kelce said. “The guy just finds ways to make plays throughout the game – big-time third down, big-time goal line plays [and] just willing our team to the endzone – willing our team to win. That’s our ultimate leader, man.”
According to Next Gen Stats, Mahomes scrambled nearly 40 yards before throwing the flip-pass to Edwards-Helaire, making it the fourth touchdown in his career when scrambling over 30 yards. Since 2018, the year he became the starter, no other quarterback in the NFL has more than one.
“No, that one wasn’t in the playbook,” head coach Andy Reid said. “You know, I can’t remember what the play was – I was so excited about that one, but it wasn’t going to him – it wasn’t going to the back, not that way at least.”
The touchdown was one of Mahomes’ three he threw on the night to lead the team to a bounce-back victory. Mahomes, the Chiefs, and Chiefs fans will hope to see more Mahomes Houdini impersonations throughout the rest of the season on their quest to another championship.
“I always remind the coaches, ‘Don’t take it for granted, man.’ That’s special. You enjoy every one of those, man, every one of them. You just don’t see that very often.”