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Patrick Mahomes offers idea to improve goal-line calls, and it uses technology that’s already in the NFL ball

David Eulitt / Contributor

Patrick Mahomes is one of the faces of the NFL, meaning his input on the game has a lot of weight. When the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback suggests something, the NFL should — at the very least — take a second look.

And Mahomes has a suggestion, which would make he game better by using a technology that’s already available as part of the modern NFL football. On goal-line plays where officials are unsure whether the ball crossed the plane for a touchdown, Mahomes says the answer lies within the ball. 

“I’ve always thought the chip in the ball has to happen sometime, where if you cross the line, it just tells you a touchdown,” Mahomes said on the WHOOP podcast, via Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star. “But it also the human error thing, it’s kind of like baseball, balls and strikes, it’s just part of the game.

“The biggest thing to me is when they get in the pile by the end zone, there is literally no way to tell if he’s in the end zone or not. It’s like you said, it’s just whatever they call. … I’m sure it’ll happen soon enough.”

The chip that is already in the football is currently used for the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, but that’s as far as the technology goes. Former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira said it’s more complicated on scoring plays, since the play isn’t dead until a player’s knee or shoulder hits the ground — so simply using the chip won’t necessarily be “accurate.” 

It’s understandable why Mahomes would want to try to use technology to improve the game, since the advancements in that field consistently improve year-to-year. Mahomes is also an investor in WHOOP, which tracks athlete’s training and sleep patterns digitally — so he’s already involved in improving the NFL through technology.

Perhaps the NFL takes his thoughts into consideration. It couldn’t hurt to hear this suggestion.