Patrick Mahomes has been a nearly unstoppable force since entering the NFL, having the most passing yards, passing touchdowns, and highest quarterback rating in NFL history through a player’s first 46 starts. Mahomes has won 25 of his last 26 starts — including Super Bowl LIV — establishing himself as the best quarterback in football along the way.
Prior to Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs winning Super Bowl LIV last year, Robert Saleh was tasked with trying to contain the Pro Bowl quarterback. Saleh, then the defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers and the new head coach of the New York Jets, tells defenses not to let their guard down against Mahomes.
“You’ve got to be relentless,” Saleh said on Pro Football Talk Live Thursday. “You have to be relentless. Just when you think you might have him, he might step two steps back and then throw off his back foot. I mean, he has ridiculous arm talent. He’s got tremendous accuracy. He’s got tremendous mobility.
“But any time you’re a pass rusher just understand that he might do his little old man jog in between plays where it looks like his feet hurt. Don’t kid yourself. He’s got tremendous mobility, his arm strength is ridiculous. You have to be relentless all the way through. And understand that there could be a play and a second play that happens just because of his ability to extend plays and make the throws that other people can’t.”
Mahomes had a funny response to Saleh’s comments on social media, showcasing his genuine nature.
The 49ers defense found out the hard way in Super Bowl LIV, where Mahomes threw two touchdown passes in the final 6:13 to give Kansas City a thrilling 31-20 win over San Francisco. The Chiefs trailed by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter before scoring 21 unanswered points to win their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
Mahomes went 9-for-14 for 121 yards and two touchdowns in the final 8:53 to capture Super Bowl MVP honors. Prior to Mahomes’ heroics, he threw two interceptions as the 49ers defense contained the high-powered Chiefs offense to 10 points.
To beat Mahomes, the foot can’t go off the gas pedal — and according to Saleh — defenses have to watch out for his tricks too.