Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes' arm angles causing defenses fits

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws under pressure against the Denver Broncos in the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Patrick Mahomes grew up in baseball parks, tagging along with his big leaguer father and spending plenty of time on the diamond himself, often goofing around by slinging the ball sidearm and sinker-style along with traditional pitching.

Who knew those summer afternoons would serve him so well in an entirely different sport?

One of the things that has made the Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback so dynamic is his ability to unload a pass to his deep and talented group of wide receivers from seemingly impossible spots.

He's thrown touchdown passes sidearm, like a third baseman quickly unloading across the diamond, and underhand, like a second baseman starting a double play, along with those deep downfield throws on which his mechanics are as finely tuned as those of his new Ferrari.

“Every week you guys ask me about a record here or there, so I think he's cooking pretty good,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said with a grin. “I'd like to eat some of the stuff he's cooking if we're going analogies here, because it looks pretty good.”

The numbers don't lie: He's already thrown for at least 300 yards in a game eight times, and his 25th such game in last week's win over Denver broke a tie with Trent Green for the most in franchise history. He's thrown 36 touchdown passes, trailing only Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson for the league lead, and his two interceptions — in 463 attempts, mind you — are the fewest of any quarterback in the league that has attempted at least 100 throws.

So many of those yards and touchdowns have been thanks to his seemingly supernatural throwing ability.

The Chiefs have been forced to use makeshift offensive lines all season because of injuries and COVID-19 fallout, which hit before the season even began when Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and rookie Lucas Niang opted out. The result is that Mahomes has been hurried 50 times, third-most in the NFL, yet has only had nine pass attempts batted at the line.