Patrick Mahomes says Chiefs are fortunate, defense is ‘playing great,’ Andy Reid addresses offensive struggles

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The Kansas City Chiefs have won five consecutive games and are setting themselves up for another deep playoff run. However, this 5-1 start is different from other strong starts in Kansas City under Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes — the defense has been the main cog in the team’s success.  Kansas City scored just 19 points in Thursday’s win over the Denver Broncos, the third time this year they’ve scored 20 points or less in a game.

This isn’t the Chiefs team the league is accustomed to seeing, even though Kansas City is seventh in yards per game and ninth in points per game.  “I mean I think we did a lot of good things,” Mahomes said after the game, via the team transcript. “Just obviously red zones, some third downs, we just didn’t execute at a high enough level. I still think there were a lot of good things we can take from it; we just have to continue to get better and better.

“Luckily for us, our defense has been playing great so we can go through these growing pains and try to get better and better. The talent’s there, you can see it in spurts but we have to learn how to sustain drives, get down into the red zone, score touchdowns, and make it easier on our defense to play free.”

The Chiefs defense allowed just eight points and 197 yards in Thursday’s win. Kansas City has a top-five defense in 2023, ranking second in points allowed per game and fifth in yards allowed per game. Kansas City has never had a top-five defense in points or yards allowed under Mahomes and Reid.

“I think there’s always a sense of urgency. I think you ask the offensive guys in the locker room right now, they’re going to say that we didn’t play our best, we can do a lot of things better,” Mahomes said. “We’re looking up that the defense is playing so good, the special teams is playing so good, that we can still win football games.

“I still feel like at times when it’s most needed, guys are making the plays… Guys are making plays when it counts. As we continue in the season, we have to continue to get better and better so that hopefully when we get to the playoffs, we’re hitting our stride and we can really match our defense in regards of intensity.”

What are the reasons Kansas City isn’t scoring points? The Chiefs went 4 of 13 on third down and 1 of 5 in the red zone on Thursday, but are fourth in third-down conversion rate (48.1%) and 17th in red zone conversion rate this year (54.2%).  “You know they were playing soft (zones), honestly,” Reid said. “I could have called some different plays to be honest with you, when teams are playing like that down there.”

“We strive for something better than what we’re doing right now, and we’ve got a good (Los Angeles) Chargers team coming in here next,” Reid said. “We’ll get back to the drawing board on this thing…but we’ll take the win.  “They’re tough to get in this league. We’ll get back and work on a few things and we’ll get better (and) become a better team.”  The Chiefs will certainly take having a top-five defense. They believe the offense will get going, sooner or later.


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