This may be the longest sack in NFL history
The Chiefs are AFC West champs for the fifth consecutive year after holding off the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday. Patrick Mahomes threw for 393 yards and two touchdowns, but he also made a few errors. He threw three picks and was sacked three times, including one sack that, unless you were a Cardinals fan in 1997, was the longest you’ve ever seen.
In the first quarter, Mahomes took a shotgun snap on third-and-12 and the pocket quickly collapsed as both Miami edge rushers beat their men. Mahomes retreated toward his own end zone and was finally tripped up by Jerome Baker at the three-yard line. It was a 30-yard loss that left Kansas City punting on fourth-and-42. The punt went out of bounds short of the first-down marker.
A 30-yard sack certainly sounds unusual, although it might not be immediately clear how unusual. After all, the Dolphins dropped Joe Flacco for a 28-yard loss in Week 6.
The Mahomes sack, as ESPN’s Bill Barnwell points out, was actually the longest in the NFL in at least 23 years. On Oct. 12, 1997, Cardinals quarterback Stoney Case was sacked for a loss of 30 yards in a game against the Giants. That play and the Mahomes play are the longest sacks included in Pro Football Reference’s database (which includes play-by-play data dating back to 1994).
Strangely, since 1994, there have been eight plays where a team lost at least 28 yards on a sack and three of them have been this year: Mahomes, Flacco and Mitchell Trubisky in the Bears’ opener against the Lions.
The Trubisky play, like half of the 28-yard-plus sacks on record, featured a fumble. He was about 18 yards behind the line of scrimmage when he coughed up the ball and it rolled another 10 yards before a Bears lineman was able to pounce on it.
Case also fumbled on his 30-yard sack, which means Mahomes stands alone as the only guy to actually retreat 30 yards behind the line of scrimmage and get dropped.
Mahomes is one of the quickest quarterbacks in the NFL right now, so he probably could have outrun one Dolphins pass rusher. If he had, even if it was only to escape and throw the ball away, everyone would have been fawning over his athleticism. He may be the best quarterback in the NFL, but it’s nice to be reminded occasionally that he’s human.
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