The Kansas City Chiefs began their AFC bye week knowing that they would be hosting one of four teams at Arrowhead Stadium in the Divisional round: the No. 4 seed Tennessee Titans, the No. 5 seed Baltimore Ravens, the No. 6 seed Cleveland Browns and the No. 7 seed Indianapolis Colts.
The fact that there was only a 25% chance that any of these teams would be his opponent did not stop quarterback Patrick Mahomes from beginning his preparation — something that was evident to tight end Travis Kelce.
“You can tell that he’s been doing his homework for the past week and a half,” Kelce told reporters via Zoom on Wednesday. “Just talking to him, him understanding what every team that we could possibly face is doing defensively. Sure enough, as soon as we found out on Sunday who we were playing, he was right there and had a whole notebook ready for the Cleveland Browns.”
The Browns will face the Chiefs after taking care of their divisional rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, on Wild Card weekend. Mahomes — who followed Kelce’s appearance on the Zoom call — explained his process.
“Right when the bye week started and we knew who the seeds were... I took a day where I watched each team, about four or five games of each team and just trying to get a general feel of what the defense is presenting, what the offenses are doing to try to attack them from different teams, different offenses.
“So I had a day’s worth of film on the Browns, so whenever we found that out, I was able to look back at that and look at my notes and see how it presents to us.”
After two weeks off due to wrapping up the AFC in Week 16, the Chiefs’ starters were back to their regular-season routine on Wednesday — the first of three practice days leading into the matchup with the Browns.
Winning the Super Bowl last year has not seemed to change the Chiefs’ work ethic, and Mahomes expressed that as he described just how difficult it is to play well enough to win a championship.
“You just understand what it takes, I think that’s the biggest thing,” he said. “You know it’s not easy, you know you have to put in a lot of work, but you understand that you can do it and so just trying to keep it in perspective. Going out there, having fun, enjoying it, playing to the best of our ability and let things handle itself.”