One of the best things about the Kansas City Chiefs is that they have the perfect marriage of quarterback and head coach/offensive designer. In Patrick Mahomes, they have one of the most talented QBs to ever play the game. In Andy Reid, they have a long-time coach from a legendary West Coast tree who is not afraid to take modern concepts and weave them into his scheme.
There’s also a trust between quarterback and head coach, and that’s obvious on the field. They’re willing to try seemingly anything.
Like this play:
They put the quarterback in motion, because of course they did. Let’s take a quick look at how they did it and why it worked.
At its core, it’s essentially a sprint-out to the right, but with an ungodly amount of window dressing to open up a route in the middle.
Mahomes starts in shotgun, then starts walking up and over to the right, as if he is making a check at the line. That movement gets the linebackers in the middle to loosen up from their stance and begin talking about a potential check of their own.
But instead of moseying back to his spot in shotgun – or shouting checks elsewhere – Mahomes sprints back behind the center, as if he’s running a condensed jet motion.
The linebackers aren’t prepared for that, so they react to the first motion: Mahomes running a jet sweep. So even though Mahomes only takes one step in that direction after the snap, those linebackers are selling out to stop the run off the left side.
It also influences the boundary defender to the jet sweep side. He’s watching Mahomes and suddenly believes the receiver is going to be blocking for Mahomes on the edge. Instead of looking to cover the receiver, he’s suddenly thinking about beating the block.
The receiver slips back the boundary defender and crosses to the middle. With the linebackers selling out to stop the jet sweep, the middle of the field is open, so Mahomes fires a bullet to the crossing receiver.
The defensive end stays home, but Mahomes is able to outrun him enough to open a nice throwing lane.
It’s beautiful, man. It’s all beautiful.