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Photo: David Eulitt/Getty Images

Patrick Mahomes plays the QB position unlike anyone else. Between the sidearm slings, the no-look passes and the weaving scrambles, he's made so many ridiculous throws that there is an entire glossary of them.

The intrigue: Mahomes is the poster child for the multi-sport athlete, and his rapid rise supports several studies that have shown athletes who play multiple sports in their youth require less time to become elite in the game they ultimately choose.

What they're saying: "From just the way he looks at the field, it's similar to what a basketball player would see. … Sometimes it looks like he's going to backhand a ball and he's throwing across the diamond," said his high school football coach, Adam Cook.

Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Jimmy Garoppolo has not been asked to do much this postseason (17-27, 208 yds, TD, INT), but don't be fooled into thinking he's merely a "game manager."

By the numbers: When called upon to win games through the air, Garoppolo came through time and time again this year, tying for the league lead in fourth-quarter comebacks and notching an NFL-best QBR of 84.0 in the fourth quarter of games within one score.

What to watch: Garoppolo's receivers rave about the catchability of his passes, a QB trait that often goes underappreciated. "Man, it's great," WR Deebo Samuel told The Athletic (subscription). "You really get the ball the same way every time."

Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Tyrann Mathieu has done it all for the Chiefs this season and is one of the few truly position-less defenders in the NFL (look at this activity map! He's everywhere!).

What to watch: The 49ers motion opponents to death on offense, making communication within the defense paramount, and "The Honey Badger" is Kansas City's undeniable leader and top communicator.

Nick Bosa, who grew up in nearby Fort Lauderdale and will likely be named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year tomorrow, is already the face of the 49ers' defense.

  • By the numbers: Bosa was credited with 8o quarterback pressures (sacks, hits and hurries) in 2019, the sixth-most among all edge rushers and the most ever recorded by a rookie in the history of the stat.
  • Fun fact: Bosa's great-grandfather was Tony Accardo, aka Joe Batters, a notorious Chicago mobster who worked closely with Al Capone.

More key players:

  • Tight end battle: Travis Kelce is the sleek "Mercedes" in Kansas City's wide-open offense, while George Kittle is the off-road "truck" in San Francisco's more run-heavy scheme.
  • Hill vs. Sherman: Richard Sherman will have his hands full trying to contain Tyreek Hill. How the 49ers use him (zone vs. man) will be indicative of their overall game plan.
  • The fullback wrinkle: Kyle Juszczyk will force the Chiefs to use certain defensive personnel that they might not want to put out there.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged that Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.