Coming away from Week 13, the Kansas City Chiefs are facing far fewer questions than they ddi early in the season. However that doesn’t mean that Chiefs Kingdom is without their worries. Even after a 22-9 home victory over the Denver Broncos, fans were still scratching their heads about the lack of points scored by the offense, especially after watching the team start on such a high note.
From the very beginning of the game, the Chiefs looked like they were going to mop the floor with the Broncos. The defense held Teddy Bridgewater and company to a quick three-and-out, and the Chiefs marched the length of the field for their first touchdown—a short run by Mahomes into the end zone—on a drive that featured nice plays by Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. It felt as if things were normal again.
It turned out to be the team’s only touchdown—at least on offense.
From there, the offense completely deflated for myriad reasons. The conditions were windy at Arrowhead. The Broncos have a solid pass defense and talented secondary. The Chiefs were dropping passes left and right. Some flags were frivolous while others were well-earned. For his part, Mahomes missed on a few passes or at least made the catch more difficult than it needed to be.
For the game, Mahomes completed 15 of 29 passes for 184 yards and that lone rushing score. He was also credited with an interception that went off the hands of Tyreek Hill and into the arms of Patrick Surtain of the Broncos. After the game, ESPN reporter Dianna Russini spoke with Mahomes and asked him about the Chiefs’ offensive struggles. Mahomes knew exactly what to say. It was all about execution.
“We can still get better. I think the defense is playing their tail off and keeping us in games. They’re forcing turnovers, but offensively we can still get better. That starts with me. To win games when we’re not playing our best, we gotta keep that momentum going,” he said.
“It just goes with execution. We talk about it week in and week out, but when we execute, we’re hard to stop and when we don’t, we kind of kill ourselves. There were open throws that I missed. There were holding penalties and stuff like that. As an offense, we have to come together and find ourselves and have those drives that you saw on the first drive of the game.”
If you’ve paid close attention to the Chiefs this season, the rhetoric sounds eerily similar to what Andy Reid and Steve Spagnuolo were saying about the defense’s issues early in the year. Remember that at one point, the Chiefs defense was the worst unit in the league. They couldn’t generate turnovers or pressure of any kind on the quarterback. They missed tackles and committed penalties. Even getting lined up in the right place was a difficult chore. The coaches insisted that they had veterans who knew what to do and they were going to do it. And now they have.
Is that possible for the offense? Well, it wasn’t that long ago that the Chiefs hung 41 points and Mahomes threw 5 touchdowns against the Las Vegas Raiders. And if fans should be confident that any facet of the Chiefs could get “back on track”, it would be an offense with multiple future Hall of Famers on it.
The good news is that even as the offense has slowed down, the team has maintained full throttle in terms of results. They’re sitting at 8-4 in the standings and are in full control in the AFC West. As Mahomes says, if the offense can figure things out, no one will beat the Chiefs.
“We’re right where we want to be at,” said Mahomes. “With the defense playing like this, if our offense can find who we are, we’re going to be a hard team to beat.”