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There's a video a couple of years old floating around the internet that shows Patrick Mahomes Jack Crawford Jersey , then the quarterback at Texas Tech, dropping to his knees and flinging a football 65 yards on a dare.
That answered any questions about his arm strength.
What wasn't answered during all those years with the Red Raiders was whether that rocket arm could deliver the ball consistently on point.
Yes, Mahomes threw far fewer interceptions than most folks recall, especially given the number of pass plays Texas Tech calls each game, but most cynics figured he would toss about as many picks as touchdown passes once he arrived in the NFL.
He answered that question last week against the Chargers, when he threw for 256 yards and four TDs without an interception in his first game as the Chiefs' full-time starting quarterback.
"He did a nice job, and now you have to back it up," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Wednesday. "He understands that. He's wired that way. Plenty of room to improve and he knows it. He's working at it."
Such as sliding when he's under pressure, rather than taking a big hit. Mahomes absorbed far too many of those against the Chargers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers' ferocious defense no doubt is licking its chops at the thought of delivering another crunching blow on Sunday.
But when it comes to throwing passes into double coverage, or taking a gamble that results in a costly turnover, at least for one week Mahomes was perfect.
And it's hard to get much better than perfect.
"Good and bad, you lean from both of those. But he made some nice decisions," Reid said. "There's some things he can go back and look at and say, 'I should have gone there.' That's in the memory bank and he's building that file. I thought he did a good job of not throwing it to them, but there are some things he could do better against certain looks."
Reid wouldn't go into details Sam Koch Jersey , of course, lest he gives the Steelers any unnecessary advantage. But whether it was a quick-flip pass to Tyreek Hill that resulted in a long touchdown, or a touch throw down the sideline to Anthony Sherman for another score, Mahomes never put the ball in too much danger.
More than all those throws he made, it was the throws he didn't make in the 38-28 victory that helped Mahomes win this season's first AFC offensive player of the week award.
"It helped that I had a lot of guys that played well for us in the offense," Mahomes said. "Tyreek had a great game, the offensive line played really well. I'm glad I got the honor, but it was kind of an offensive unit honor."
It's hard to gauge the growth in Mahomes from last year to this year, given how little he played as a rookie. But offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz said it's evident in all aspects of his game, whether it was the way Mahomes approached offseason workouts or the way he operates in the classroom.
"There's definitely a comfortability with everything," Schwartz said. "There's been a huge progression from him and it's been cool to see."
Just as Reid said, though, now Mahomes needs to back up his Week 1 performance.
The Steelers present a much more complex test for Mahomes with a variety of disguised blitzes that have frustrated Chiefs quarterbacks for years.
Even the cerebral Alex Smith, the consummate game-manager quarterback, struggled to have much success against Pittsburgh during his years in Kansas City.
"I feel like I get better and better with blitz protections every week. It helps that we have good game plans," Mahomes said. "I know Pittsburgh does a ton of that stuff Russell Bodine Jersey , that's kind of their thing, but we've played them a lot the last few years, so we kind of know what to expect."
Notes: Eric Berry remained out of practice Wednesday. The team had described his injury as a heel issue in training camp, but Reid clarified that it is Berry's Achilles tendon causing issues. The star safety tore his Achilles tendon last season. "Just being cautious with it," Reid said. "We have full trust in him. He's always very honest with us. We want him there for the long haul. We're trying to make sure everything is right there." ... LB Ben Niemann (hamstring) also did not practice Wednesday.
When the ball deflected off T.J. Watt's left hand and fluttered to a water-logged landing, well short of the crossbar, there was nothing more the Browns could do.
Their 17-game losing streak was over. Without a win 鈥?or a loss. Nothing to celebrate.
"A sour feeling," quarterback Tyrod Taylor said.
More bitterness.
Cleveland didn't take advantage of forcing six turnovers by Pittsburgh and missed a chance at its first win since 2016 on Sunday, tying the Steelers 21-21 in overtime in a game that turned into another emotional roller-coaster for fans who were so close to seeing their team go 1-0 for the first time in 14 years.
But the Browns, being the Browns, couldn't finish the job.
"Tying in the NFL is really weird," left guard Joel Bitonio said. "I never even thought I would be a part of it."
Bitonio could have never imagined playing on an 0-16 team, either, but that's what happened last season when the Browns went through their entire schedule without posting a win. At least that can't happen again.
Watt capped a brilliant performance by blocking Zane Gonzalez's 43-yard field-goal try with 9 seconds left to preserve the tie for the Steelers, whose drama-filled week around Le'Veon Bell ended with more theatrics.
It was the league's first Week 1 tie since 1971, and the first time in 133 games the Browns and Steelers couldn't settle their rivalry on the field.
The Browns rallied from a 21-7 deficit in the fourth quarter to stun the Steelers Daniel Kilgore Jersey , who blew their own chance to win it in OT when Chris Boswell's 42-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.
Pittsburgh was without Bell, whose contract holdout will carry into the season's second week. But the Steelers, who sacked Taylor seven times, refused to offer any excuses after falling dangerously close to becoming the first team to lose to the Browns in Week 1 since 2004.
"Hell yeah, it feels like a loss," Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward said. "I'm sorry for using that kind of language, but if we settle for those, we're going to be an awfully (steamed) off bunch. We didn't get the job done. I credit T.J. for getting that block, but the outcome was already decided. It just gives you a sick taste in your mouth."
Here are some other takeaways from the league's first tie in two seasons:
BAD BEN
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hardly looked like a future Hall of Famer, throwing three interceptions in the first half and losing two fumbles. He made some uncharacteristic errors, forcing a pass into double-coverage that was picked off by Browns rookie cornerback Denzel Ward, who had two interceptions in his pro debut.
Roethlisberger passed for 335 yards, but he was upset Pittsburgh's offense couldn't put away the Browns.
"It's just frustrating that we can't make the plays down the stretch," he said. "We just didn't make them."
GREAT GARRETT
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett seemed to be everywhere. He forced two fumbles, recorded two sacks and rushed Roethlisberger into making some indecisive throws.
"I think he is going to have a great year," Browns coach Hue Jackson said. "He is showing that he was worthy of being the first player drafted a year ago. A healthy Myles Garrett means a ton to this organization and football team. He just has to do it week in and week out and be this player every week."
The Browns were last in the league with just 17 takeaways last season.
WATT A PLAYER
Watt already had four sacks and 11 tackles when the made the game's defining play.
"When it snapped Garrett Celek Jersey , I'm just trying to do my job and get penetration," Watt said of his game-saving block. "I threw my hand up at the last minute, and it hit my hand 鈥?tie game."
GORDON'S GRAB
Josh Gordon made just one catch 鈥?one mesmerizing, jaw-dropping, game-tying catch.
With the Browns trailing 21-14, Gordon leaped and snagged Taylor's 17-yard pass over Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton for a touchdown with 1:58 left in regulation.
It was another positive for Gordon, who missed most of training camp to address health issues and was playing in his first season opener since 2012 because of drug and alcohol addictions. Gordon has also been battling a hamstring issue.
ROUGH START
Browns undrafted rookie left tackle Desmond Harrison had a long day.
Harrison, who moved into the starting lineup this week, was penalized for two false starts in the first half and had some other assignment issues.
Harrison wasn't the only offending Cleveland player as the Browns were called for 11 penalties for 87 yards.
"Disappointed," Jackson said of the infractions. "Our team has got to get better. It is not good enough. You take the turnovers, and the penalties that we had and our inability to do some things early offensively, those are huge keys to a tie game. We have to do some things better."
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