Patrick Mahomes Says Chiefs Are Fortunate Defense Is ‘Playing Great’

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The Kansas City Chiefs are positioning themselves for another strong playoff run after winning five straight games. In contrast to prior successful beginnings in Kansas City under Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, this 5-1 start stands out because the defense has been the key to the team’s success.

In their victory over the Denver Broncos on Thursday, Kansas City scored just 19 points, their third game this season with fewer than 20 points. Despite Kansas City being seventh in terms of yards per game and ninth in terms of points per game, this isn’t the Chiefs club the league is used to seeing.

“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.”

In their victory on Thursday, the Chiefs’ defense surrendered just eight points and 197 yards. In terms of points and yards allowed per game in 2023, Kansas City’s defense is among the top five. Under Mahomes and Reid, Kansas City has never had a top-five defense in terms of points or yards allowed.

“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 prevents Kansas City from scoring more points? However, the Chiefs are fourth in third-down conversion rate (48.1%) and 17th in red zone conversion rate this year (54.2%) despite going 4 of 13 on third down and going 1 of 5 in the end zone on Thursday.

“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.”

A top-five defense will undoubtedly be appreciated by the Chiefs. They think that sooner or later, the offense will start.