Higher elevations may mean more football yardage in the NFL

By mbrooks on June 2, 2019
File – KANSAS CITY, MO – JANUARY 12: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs points to the sidelines in celebration after throwing a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

By Matthew Brooks

It’s just a football theory. It’s a football theory with some supporting evidence. A quarterback can throw and a kicker can kick farther in higher elevations.

It matters to defending NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.

The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback told the Pardon My Take podcast how far he thinks he can throw a football.

“Probably 100 (yards),” Mahomes says.

Getting back to the issue of football at higher elevations, CBS Sports reports that thinner air makes it easier for the ball to travel farther than at lower elevations.

This is the hypothesis put forth in all of its physics class glory by Wired. Less air resistance means more distance.

Wired says kicking a ball in Denver will grant five extra yards.

What it comes down to: Using the formula put forth by Wired, Mahomes could reasonably (or theoretically) throw the ball for 90 yards. Add a good strong tailwind and a 100-yard throw is on the table. Endzone to endzone for an athlete with a rocket arm at higher elevations.

Azteca Stadium sits at 7,200 feet, which is 2,000 feet higher than the Denver Stadium at Mile High.

It could happen.

And Patrick Mahomes thinks he can do it.

Around the site