Coming into the playoffs, if we were going to talk about any quarterback leading his team in rushing, it would have been Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, and while Jackson did rush for 143 yards against the Titans in the Divisional Round, it was in a losing effort.
With Jackson out of the playoffs, another running QB has stepped up, and that’s Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. The two-time Pro Bowl QB has led Kansas City in rushing in these playoffs with 106 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown run against Tennessee in the AFC title game, as the Chiefs advanced to Super Bowl 54 after defeating the Titans 35-24 on Sunday.
We all know Mahomes can’t run like Jackson, but he is a mobile quarterback that has made a lot of plays with his legs in these playoffs.
“I mean, I watch everybody in the league and see what guys are doing,” Mahomes said on Wednesday. “I think you do that as a quarterback as you watch all these great players. For me, I know I can’t juke like Lamar, but I feel like I can extend plays. When I watch similar opponents, like when I watched Lamar playing the 49ers and seeing him extend plays, I know that’s some stuff I can take away. I can’t run at the same agility or speed he does.”
Mahomes likes to get the ball downfield, and against the Titans, he used his scrambling ability when he connected with Sammy Watkins on a 60-yard touchdown pass, and on Wednesday, Mahomes explained what happened on that play.
“I think it’s something I’ve always done whenever I’m scrambling, I always keep my eyes downfield,” Mahomes explained. “I’ve never been the fastest guy, so I’ve always wanted to get to guys like Tyreek (Hill), Mecole (Hardman), Travis (Kelce), guys like them, Sammy Watkins. For me, actually, in that play, I left the pocket a little too early because they did kind of a stunt with the D-line, and I thought I could run for it, but as I saw it develop, I knew I had to reset in the pocket. As I did that, I got back through my reads, and Sammy was my guy to go to anyways, and he did a good job fighting through a holding penalty and getting down the field. I was able to get the ball to him in enough time that he could score a touchdown.”
The third-year quarterback will probably have to use his scrambling ability against the 49ers, who have nine sacks in these playoffs, so don’t be surprised if Mahomes continues to use his arm and legs in Super Bowl 54.