The no-look pass from Patrick Mahomes that had everyone raving after his first NFL start last year actually had its roots at Texas Tech.
Mahomes made his first start as a rookie for the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17 against the Denver Broncos. He led the Chiefs to a 27-24 win, including a game-winning field goal drive in the final minutes of the game.
However, the highlight that caught most people’s attention was his 14-yard completion to Albert Wilson with 1:35 remaining in the game. He made the throw seemingly without even looking at Wilson.
Ehinger gets help early from Schwartz here, does a good job afterward with hand placement and a wide base. He's got good feet.
Of course, the real reason I'm showing this is to watch the Mahomes no-look pass and superb block by Chesson one more time. But you knew that already. pic.twitter.com/pZOOWKCHod
— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) April 3, 2018
Here's another big gain that really isn't Wilson winning so much as the route combos are good and (this is crucial) the underneath zone defender gets pulled inside by Mahomes's eyes and body (this is the "no look pass" play).
Nice job snagging an extra few yards, though. pic.twitter.com/fFvbzLiIkD
— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) March 6, 2018
The pass certainly surprised plenty of NFL fans. But Mahomes told Sports Illustrated’s Jenny Vrentas that he actually had jokingly practiced completing no-look passes when he was playing for the Red Raiders.
“I started throwing no-look passes as a joke with Nic Shimonek,” Mahomes said. “We did it in the practice drills with Coach [Kliff] Kingsbury and then I did it a couple of times in games. There was one time in the Broncos game where we did a little play-action, and I stepped up in the pocket and was getting ready to roll. A defender was kind of closing on me. I saw receiver Albert Wilson out of the corner of my eye, and I knew if I kept looking downfield, the defender would come off of his zone coverage enough for me to make the throw. So I looked him off and threw the ball to Albert, who grabbed it. It’s not like I mean to throw no-look passes. I think it kind of happens out of instinct. As I do it, I’m like, dang, I didn’t even mean to do that.”
Mahomes is right that the Broncos game wasn’t the first time he broke out that move. There’s video evidence of him doing it in practice at Texas Tech and in a game against Oklahoma State.
— Cody Tapp (@codybtapp) December 31, 2017
Not sure if this is Patrick Mahomes or Magic Johnson. This no-look pass is dirty 😂pic.twitter.com/yVU3KO0so2
— ChiefsJayhawksRoyals (@CJR16255) January 11, 2018
Chiefs coach Andy Reid probably won’t be thrilled if Mahomes throws too many of those passes. But Mahomes’ talent and skill those throws showcase is why Kansas City felt comfortable trading away veteran Alex Smith to clear the way for Mahomes to be the starting quarterback.
If he makes some more jaw-dropping plays like that in 2018, it’ll be tough for his coach to be too upset.