Patrick Mahomes explains the Chiefs offensive approach vs. Raiders
By Matt Conner
Patrick Mahomes took questions from reporters about the team’s offensive performance in their win over the Oakland Raiders in Week 13.
Over the past couple of outings, Patrick Mahomes has looked rather human. After an MVP-caliber performance in his first year starting, expectations were understandably high for the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback in his follow-up campaign. The year started off on the right note, with Mahomes leading the NFL in most positional categories through the first quarter-plus of the season.
Then came the injuries.
Mahomes was already dealing with a sore ankle since Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but a dislocated kneecap would sideline him officially. Matt Moore rose to the occasion, but Chiefs Kingdom was glad to see Mahomes back in the fold after only a couple weeks.
Since then, the numbers have not returned to the levels that Chiefs fans have come to expect. Over the past two games, Mahomes has completed only 56 percent of his passes for a total of 357 yards for 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. (Yes, that’s a two-game total.) Most fans are used to those totals in a single game and even then it’s not that exemplary (consider that Mahomes had 446 passing yards and 3 touchdowns in his first game back from injury versus the Titans.
For anyone concerned about Mahomes’ recent performances, however, you can rest assured that his goals are the same as ever. Reporters asked Mahomes about the stat line after the team’s most recent win over the Oakland Raiders and he explained his thought process.
“Our standard for ourselves is to score on every single drive, so any time we don’t do that, we feel like we fell short,” said Mahomes. “But the biggest thing is going out there and finding a way to win football games.”
“We’ve been known these last few years for scoring all these points and putting up all these numbers, but when your defense is playing like that and they’re giving the ball back to you, it’s about not trying to turn the ball over and scoring the points when you get the opportunity to.”
Therein lies the rub. It’s fun to watch Mahomes light it up—and there were certainly missed opportunities lost in the wind or dropped passes or ref calls that would improve his numbers overall—but even the quarterback admits that airing it out to such a degree isn’t necessary when the defense is turning the corner that it has been these last few weeks.
In short, when Bob Sutton is leading the defense, MVP-esque numbers have to be a weekly occurrence in order for the Chiefs to not only be competitive but to regularly come out on top. These days, it’s possible for the Chiefs to win in more ways than one and a shootout sometimes isn’t in the cards.
Overall that’s good news for a fan base who might miss the sexier numbers put up each week by Mahomes. The Chiefs also lost a few heartbreaking games in which Mahomes did everything he could and still couldn’t make the magic work (e.g. L.A. Rams, New England Patriots). If the defense and special teams can supplement and even supplant the offense at times, this team will be much more prepared to actually win a Super Bowl even if the fireworks from Mahomes aren’t as bright.