The Chiefs have already piqued the interest of the internet with spectacular athletic plays from quarterback Patrick Mahomes this season. However, in Saturday’s season finale against the Las Vegas Raiders, Kansas City debuted a new type of never-before-seen play, and it went viral.
The Chiefs were on second down at the Raiders’ 9-yard line during the second quarter of their 31-13 victory. Instead of approaching the line of scrimmage as usual, the players huddled and spun in a circle for a few seconds before breaking into formation to snap the ball.
While the announcers were understandably amused by the stunt, Jerick McKinnon took the direct snap and tossed it back to Mahomes, who threw to Kadarius Toney for a touchdown. Unfortunately, the play was called back due to a holding penalty, but it remained one of the game’s most talked-about moments.
When asked about the play after the win, Mahomes said the team has some plays designed to confuse defences with unusual set-ups, and that this particular play, dubbed the “Snow Globe” in the spirit of the holidays, was first conceived last season and set aside before being brought back for this week’s matchup.
“It was something we kind of practised on last year of doing that, of getting confusion going and getting to the line to snap, and we didn’t get the chance to run it last year,” Mahomes said after the game. “As the season progressed, I kept nudging coach (Andy) Reid, saying, ‘Hey, let’s bring it back in a different way.’ The last time we ran it, we didn’t have that throw back. Hopefully, we can do it again and get back to whatever we were running last time and score another touchdown.”
Reid stated in his postgame press conference that he frequently allows Mahomes and the offence to work up these plays meant to confuse opposing defences in practise, adding that once a play has been created in the practise “laboratory,” he will vet it to determine if it is worth putting in the playbook.
“You saw how it turned out. That is the advantage. It’s just to throw the opposing team off guard and then line up in something unfamiliar to them “Reid stated. “The guys did an excellent job. We ended up with a holding call, but they handled it well. And because the players enjoy doing that sort of thing, they come up with these ideas. So we just toss them out there and let them do their thing.”
While competing for a playoff spot and a Super Bowl berth is serious business, and the Chiefs accomplished their main goal Saturday by clinching the No. 1 seed in the AFC with their victory, Mahomes said the team understands that having fun is part of the game, and doing entertaining exercises like this can make the long year more bearable.
“We go out there and try our hardest every day, but the coaches allow us to have fun. That is what motivates us “said Mahomes. “We created a culture that said, ‘Let’s go out there and practise, have a great time doing it, enjoy it, have fun, but also be great.’ That stuff was here before I arrived, and I’m just glad I’m part of this organisation and get to do it every day.”
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