On verge of QB immortality, Mahomes considers Prescott among inspirations

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Todd Brock
·3 min read
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The no-look pass. The effortless flips and off-angle darts. That video where he launched one completely out of Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has turned the science of throwing a football into rather abstract art over the course his meteoric rise to the top of the league.

But while Mahomes’s improvisational skills make for must-see video clips and jaw-dropping highlight reels, the MVP of Super Bowl LIV does a fair bit of practicing to hone those insane mechanics. And while he steeps himself in studying several true masters of off-kilter quarterbacking, he also regards Cowboys signal-caller Dak Prescott as one of his modern-day inspirations.

At a Chiefs practice before the regular season began, Mahomes was seen working on “throws in a kind of a forward pitch style motion,” according to NFL Network’s James Palmer back in August. The Texas Tech product was asked about it.

That’s a noteworthy roll call of quarterbacks cited. With all the talented passers throughout over a century of NFL history to pick from, Mahomes- when asked to list off true quarterbacks’ quarterbacks- singled out just six by name.

Marino had thrown for over 45,000 yards before Mahomes was even born. Young Patrick didn’t even have a driver’s license when Favre retired. A Rodgers-Mahomes showdown for the Lombardi Trophy nearly happened this year. Lamar Jackson was drafted a year after Mahomes came into the league; the careers of the two will always be intertwined. And then come Watson and Prescott, two supremely talented passers currently stuck on underachieving rosters, with question marks surrounding their status with their respective clubs.

Those are the elite quarterbacks Mahomes is channeling every time he ad libs another are-you-kidding-me throw.

The 24-year-old did it again on Sunday, granny-shotting an underhand touchdown toss to tight end Travis Kelce to extend the Chiefs’ lead in the AFC Championship game. Get ready to be bombarded by replays of that and all of Mahomes’s passing pyrotechnics in the two weeks leading up to Kansas City’s Super Bowl LV date with Tampa Bay.

During the same stretch, though, as Mahomes is held up- rightfully so- as the current gold standard for quarterback play in the NFL, Prescott will once again be mired in discussions about whether he’s really the long-term answer in Dallas. One has been in three consecutive conference title games and has led his team to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances; the other is staring down the barrel of a second franchise tag. One broke the bank with a record contract extension before the season; the other could conceivably end up hitting the open market after next season because his employer keeps trying to save a few bucks.

It’s perhaps worth bearing in mind, then, during all the chatter to come, that the former consciously views the latter as someone whose game is worth emulating.

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