The Stirring Charger Victory

Patrick Mahomes and Philip Rivers have very little in common other than being NFL quarterbacks. Patrick is in his early twenties and Philip is in his late thirties. Patrick is not a classic, pocket passer. Phil is.

Philip’s wheelhouse is the pocket. Patrick’s wheelhouse is all the territory behind the line of scrimmage.

Patrick Mahomes reminds me of current tennis players in that they now, as this has evolved, hit both from the side and face forward. Likewise Patrick can throw in the classic manner sideways but also in this new technique, face forward. This means with his blinding speed for a strong, 230 “pounder,” he’s an escape artist behind the line of scrimmage. He has numerous options. In his case Yogi Berra’s words are repetitively true that, “It isn’t over till it’s over.”

Philip has a somewhat awkward motion he’s had since he tried to throw the ball as a child. But his accuracy is unbelievable, particularly on the deep pass. I believe that relates to the enormous strength he has given his size. He also has tremendous touch for a man that big.

The thing they share, but only Philip got a chance to demonstrate it last night in KC, is their unbelievable ability under pressure. That’s because Patrick was kept off the field as much as possible and Phil was there in the crucial, pressure-filled, last, several minutes gunning for the winning touchdown. He hit the mark with a TD pass but the score left the Chargers two points short of victory. Phil then delivered (as a “riverboat gambler” along with his coach, NOT  going for the one point kick to tie) the completed pass in the end zone for two points and the win.  With four seconds left on the clock, even Patrick Mahomes couldn’t deliver the winning score.

H. Robert Rubin,  Amazon, best selling memoirist and author of two books available on Amazon, Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This?

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