The Chiefs could not secure the AFC West on Christmas Day, losing 20-14 to Las Vegas after the Raiders converted two fumbles in the first half into touchdowns. This was sufficient, at least, to postpone Kansas City’s eighth consecutive division title.
The game, in which the Chiefs gained more yards than Vegas (308 to 205) and the defense limited Aiden O’Connell to 62 yards on 9-of-21 passing, was not up to Andy Reid’s usual standards. Throughout the entire season, Kansas City has struggled to maintain a consistent offense. Whether it’s been drops, penalties, or, this week, turnovers, something appears to afflict the club every week.
With a fortnight remaining in the regular season, Patrick Mahomes is confident there is still an opportunity to address the issues.
“You catch glimpses of it,” Mahomes remarked, according to ESPN. “You get flashes of us advancing the football; you catch glimpses of us scoring in the red zone. We haven’t consistently done it enough game after game towards the season’s conclusion. We had a decent game, followed by a poor one, then another decent one, and another poor one. However, we need to maintain a consistent performance because it is necessary to have a series of successful games in the playoffs.
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The loss caused K.C. to have a record of 9-6, which is the highest number of defeats the Chiefs have had in a season since 2017 (Alex Smith had a history of 9-6 as the starting Q.B.; Mahomes had a record of 1-0 that season). It’s not only the fact that the Chiefs are losing games. This is how they have achieved it: scoring their lowest number of points per game (22.2) and accumulating their lowest number of yards per game (355.4) since Mahomes assumed control at the quarterback position.
“I continue to believe we can pursue our desired goals,” Mahomes stated. We need to find a way to fix it as soon as possible. We have two remaining games that are certain, and after that, we can discuss the playoffs. At that point, all we can do is focus on the following day, improve ourselves, and strive to perform better the next time we play.
After the loss on Monday, Chris Jones, the defensive tackle, did not blame the offense for the loss. He mentioned that the defense could not make a crucial stop toward the end of the game, even though Mahomes led a touchdown drive to get the team within six points.
“We need to improve as a team, together,” Jones added. It’s not only a single group. Our special teams and defense had a chance to prevent the opposing team from scoring and allow our offense to regain possession of the ball and score. However, we were unable to do so. We failed.
The Chiefs conclude the season with a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals led by Jake Browning in Week 17 and then travel to L.A. to play against the Chargers in Week 18.
“If we tidy it up, we’ll be able to earn points,” Mahomes added. We need to tidy things up. We have two games remaining. You must do it, and if we fail to do so, we will be returning home.
If we tidy it up, we can defeat anyone. I genuinely believe it, but we must demonstrate that we can.