They are two of the best young quarterbacks in football, men with athleticism and rare arm strength, to boot.
As such, there’s no wonder Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen have gone back and forth a bit over the past few months about which player has the stronger arm, with the decision by the “Madden” team to give Allen the slight edge in arm strength, 99 to 97, in the latest version of the popular video game series.
So when I caught up with Allen in August for a story exploring the addition of Stefon Diggs and why I thought it would help the Bills win the AFC East, I couldn’t help but ask him where he stood on some sort of throw-off with Mahomes — for charity, of course — so the matter can be laid to rest.
“I think it's in the future someplace — I don't think it's anytime soon,” Allen told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview. “It's something that we're gonna have to do in the offseason sometime and hopefully we can make it for a good cause, but we'll see.”
One person who won’t stand in the way is Bills general manager Brandon Beane.
“Yeah, I mean, you know, stuff like that is it makes the game fun,” Beane told Yahoo Sports. “Stuff like that is good for the game, fans love that stuff. To me, it's their version of a long drive contest or a home run hitting contest. And two fun young guys. Mahomes is obviously, you know, the man at this point in the league, what he's done in three years. But I'm sure there's things that Josh would love to compete with him like that.”
So Beane is good with it, on one condition.
“As long as both guys warmed up properly and don't do anything that they wouldn't normally do,” he said. “I mean, Josh tried to throw a ball out of the stadium after he scored a touchdown one game. I really think he thought he was going to throw it out. He probably thinks he can.”
Does Allen think he can beat Mahomes?
“We’ll see, I'm looking forward to it,” Allen said. “Pat's a great dude, he does a lot for the community over there, he's just a great guy to be around. So I'm super happy for him and all his success he's had. But yeah, I mean, I want to beat him. Don't get me wrong.”
Not to be outdone, of course, Mahomes told a Kansas City radio station this week that he has confidence in himself, too.
“I’ve never seen Josh throw a football. I know how far I can throw it and I can put it out there,” Mahomes told Sports Radio 610. “If he can beat how far I can throw it, he got me, but I know it’s pretty far.
“I think I can get it anywhere up from 80-83 yards. Anything in that range, 75-83, is where I could throw in a throw-off.”
One place where we could one day see this long-awaited showdown is at the Pro Bowl, with Mahomes already looking like an annual invite and Allen — who is in the midst of a breakthrough third season — appearing to be the same.
“It would be very tempting,” Allen said.
Just one problem: since players on teams that make the conference championship game skip the Pro Bowl, it would require the Bills and the Chiefs to be eliminated during or before the division round.
And with the Bills, who are 4-0 entering their game against the Tennessee Titans on Tuesday, and Chiefs, who are 4-1 following their loss to Las Vegas on Sunday, on track for excellent seasons, the chances of them meeting in the AFC title game seem greater than the chances of both of them missing it.
And make no mistake about it, it’s safe to assume the best possible throw-off would take place in the AFC championship game.
“Hopefully,” Allen said, “we're playing that next week and not during the Pro Bowl.”
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