Patrick Mahomes shouldered the blame for a “bad day for the offense” against the Falcons.
It’s easy to tell just how high expectations are these days for the Kansas City Chiefs.
On Sunday, the Chiefs defeated the visiting Atlanta Falcons in a close 17-14 battle for their 14th win of the season. With the win, which happened to be 9th consecutive victory, the team clinched the AFC’s top seed and secured a first-round bye for the postseason. After the game, however, starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes faced a line of questions that were largely focused on the team’s lack of execution.
On Sunday afternoon, Mahomes turned in one of his least-inspiring performances of his NFL career. He finished the day with a passer rating of 79.6, which was his fifth worst mark in 50 career starts—including playoffs. His completion rate of 54.5 percent was also fifth-worst of his career. He finished 24 of 44 for 278 passing yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception. A.J. Terrell also dropped another late interception that might have iced the game for the Falcons, who were up by 4 points at the time.
After the game, Mahomes shouldered the blame for the offensive inconsistency that led to red zone struggles and stalled drives. He also credited a strong defensive showing for delivering the victory.
"“First off, I gotta focus on fixing the things I made mistakes on during the game. There were a lot of reads, a lot of protection calls, a lot of adjustments at the line of scrimmage that I made wrong or didn’t make the right way that put us in bad positions. So I’ve gotta focus on getting myself better to help out the team. Then again, at the end of the day, the defense played their tail off to keep us in that game and to give us a chance and the offense found a way to score a touchdown when we needed to. That’s that championship swagger, as Tyrann would say, of knowing how to win a game even when you’re not playing well.”"
Specifically, Mahomes said it was a combination of things the Falcons did well defensively working alongside uncommon mistakes or missed reads from Mahomes himself.
"“They have a great defense. They have a lot of great players over there. They have a ton of talent. They’ve been in close games every single game this year pretty much. Definitely they did some stuff that was good stuff and then there was stuff I didn’t see that I didn’t usually do. There were times I was hot in the game because I didn’t slide the line the right way. There were some times I checked to certain plays and they weren’t open. You gotta be better if you want to win football games in this league.”"
Despite the errors, Mahomes wasn’t negative about the team’s performance overall and spoke with confidence that he and the rest of the team’s coaches and players would figure out what is working or not working by the time it matters most—in the postseason.
"“I think it was just a bad day for the offense, starting with me not getting going early and then not executing in the second half,” said Mahomes. “But I thought the defense played their tail off against a really good offense. To have that type of defense going into the playoffs, kinda like we did last year getting better every single week, I feel like the offense will figure it out. Having a full team like that will get us to where we want to be at.”"
On the year, Mahomes is 14-1 as a starter with a 66 percent completion rate and 38 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He leads the NFL with 4,740 passing yards.