The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens 27-24 in a thrilling overtime game at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Afterward, head coach Andy Reid and many of the players spoke with the press, and we have some key takeaways from what they said:
Andy Reid led off — as always — with what he knew about injuries to Chiefs players.
“As far as the injuries go, Cam Erving hurt his right knee and had to come out of the game, and then Spencer Ware tweaked his hamstring a little bit,” said Reid in his opening remarks. “We will just have to see how both of those go.”
Ware was believed to have injured his shoulder in the second quarter of the game when the Ravens’ Eric Weddle knocked him hard to the ground after a 31-yard catch-and-run along the sideline. After receiving attention, Ware returned to the game and made some good plays — which could lead us to believe that the hamstring injury was from a second incident that occurred later. (Ware had a touch in the Chiefs’ last series during regulation, but did not have one during overtime). That will surely be something Reid will be asked about when he speaks to the press on Monday.
We already knew about a Chiefs player that was injured twice in the game — wide receiver Tyreek Hill — as Reid confirmed.
“He hurt his hand,” Reid said. “Then he hurt his foot. You know — it was a couple of things. He got stepped on, and then he got his hand in between two helmets. He was okay when it was all said and done.”
Reid said that Hill was the one who said he was OK.
“That’s what he told me,” Reid said. “I believed him, and he [went] in there and did a good job. He loves to play — that little joker.”
Reid and his players spoke at length about the resilience of the Chiefs team in their overtime win.
“The highs and lows — [the] ebb and flow of the game — no one was hanging their head,” said the head coach. “Everyone came out and remained positive and kept themselves in attack mode on both sides of the ball and special teams. Harrison Butker ended up being the hero. Everyone was looking at him like, ‘Ah, he missed two kicks,’ and then he comes back and he’s the man. But there’s a lesson there. I saw our players go up to him and tell him to just hang in there — we are going to need you again. And we did. That’s this football team.”
When asked about the improvised fourth-and-9 pass from Patrick Mahomes to Tyreek Hill, Chiefs center Mitch Morse agreed.
“I think it was just resilience,” Morse said. “That was kind of the key component the whole day. Guys made plays in big possessions and big times in the game. It was such a big play by both those guys. It was fun to be a part of. It changed the momentum of the game.”
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce had a similar view.
“Four minutes left. We’re down at least seven,” Kelce said. “[Then on] fourth down, finding a way to not only put seven on the board but get a strip-sack late. This team just keeps fighting. I think that’s a testament to each other. It’s endless.”
Mahomes said it was the best kind of win.
“These are the best wins,” he said. “When you have to battle and you trade blows with somebody — a great football team, a physical football team [that] has a lot of talent. So when you trade blows with a team like that and come out with a win in the end, those are the wins that you remember. Those are the wins that satisfy you the most.”
For Reid, the resilience of the team begins with his young signal-caller.
Reid said that Sunday was Mahomes’ best game as a Chief.
“He really did a nice job,” said Reid. “This defense was a huge, huge challenge. These son of a guns were really good, and had a really good package. They unloaded it at [the offense] and [Mahomes] kept bringing it. I am proud of him for doing that. You can get a little defeated if you get sacked or hit as many times as he got hit, but he stayed right in there and kept firing. I am proud of him for that.”
Reid said that Mahomes’ interception in the third quarter — ending a drive that started with good field position, and could easily have given the Chiefs a commanding lead — didn’t affect him.
“People would hang their head on an interception like that, or just being hit,” Reid said. “He doesn’t do that. He tries to fix the problem, which is unique, I mean... he just wants to get it fixed. He will tell me to dial it up again. This is after he gets hit on the play. I will take care of it, so it’s different. It’s different that way. I appreciate that. He is a unique kid.”
Of course, Mahomes was asked about the insane fourth-and-9 play that set up the tying touchdown at the end of regulation, where he was chased to the right sideline, and then threw across his body to hit Hill on the left hash mark — a play that gained 48 yards.
“It was supposed to be a pass to the left so Tyreek was kind of clearing out,” Mahomes explained. “When I scrambled to the right, I knew I didn’t have a lot of guys back there. Luckily, he just kind of worked back to me and I saw him. When it’s fourth down, you’ve got to give it a chance, so I just put it out there. He came back to the ball in front of — I think Weddle — and then made a great catch.”
Reid said that Hill is a special player, too.
“This kid never complains about anything, and he practices hard every day,” he said. “He loves to play the game, and that’s what you got today. He was banged up a little bit. He worked his way through it, came back and made some big plays for us. You love his attitude. He is another one that is unique.”
Reid said that against the Ravens — and for the final three games of the season — the Chiefs are getting every team’s best effort.
“When you are a good football team, every week ends up being the playoffs,” Reid said. “Every game, you are going to get the team’s best shot. This is a good football team that John Harbaugh has here — a really good football team. We got their best shot right there, and that’s not going to be any different than next week and as the season finishes up here. We have to be ready. It doesn’t matter if it’s four days of rest or two days. It doesn’t matter where we play or anywhere else. We have to be ready.”
Reid said that the Los Angeles Chargers game on Thursday will be a tough challenge.
“We have to be on our A-game,” he said. “This is a good football team coming in here. When you are in the month of December, you are still in contention and every week becomes important.”
Other notable quotes from Sunday:
Chris Jones on Justin Houston’s strip-sack with less than a minute in regulation: “I told y’all,“ he reminded reporters around him. “Don’t let Justin Houston sneak up on y’all, man. He is still a dynamic pass rusher. This guy can go out and have three or four sacks in a game. Just the spectacle of Justin Houston. Just him being him.”
Houston himself was asked about the play: “I just knew that we had to make a play. Justin Hamilton walked up to me on the sideline, and he called me out. He said, ‘You showed energy all week long, I need it now. You are the leader of this defense. I need it now.’ So he challenged me, and I wanted to be that guy that the team could lean on in a time of need.”
Mitch Morse wanted to be sure to give props to fellow offensive lineman Eric Fisher for recovering Mahomes’ fumble in overtime: “Talk about a huge play in the game. That is just the kind of guy he is. He’s finishing around the ball. He has worked on that in practice. In a big moment like that, that [was] the play we [needed], and he [was] able to pull it out.”