For the first time since Week 8 of the 2020 season, the Kansas City Chiefs won a regular-season game by more than one possession. They defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 42-30, with the last Eagles’ touchdown coming at the very end when the game was out of reach.
Even with the final score and the excellent offensive output — six touchdowns and no punts — it wasn’t a comfortable victory. The Eagles’ played them close for most of the game, keeping it within one score for the entire first half. The Chiefs’ defense struggled all day to cover Eagles’ receivers, and the offense still had a turnover that could have been crucial.
In other words, there’s still a lot of room for improvement; the team’s leader wanted to make sure his team knew that.
“There’s still a lot of things we need to get better at,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes acknowledged to reporters after the game. “We have to cut the turnovers — I threw another interception in a crucial part of the game — we have to find ways to get stops in the red zone, which I think our defense did a good job of that today. At the end of the day, we have to continue to find ways to win.”
To put it another way, the quarterback wanted to emphasize that one win doesn’t suddenly right the ship.
“We haven’t dug ourselves out of the hole yet,” Mahomes asserted. “We’re still not first place in the AFC West, so we have to continue to build and build and win football games.”
The Chiefs have known for multiple weeks that there are areas that dramatically need to improve. It created a sense of urgency in the building, whether at practice or in the film room. This team knows it needs to correct multiple aspects of their play to be where they want to be at the end of the season.
Mahomes is trying to make sure that mindset doesn’t go away after one win.
“I think we understood this last week the urgency that we had that we need to get everything done,” explained Mahomes. “We need to practice with a certain attitude. We need to go in and work on the little details. It’s not complacency, but you do lose those little things whenever you’re winning every single week… the NFL can correct you really quick. We saw that, and now we have to keep building because we’re playing a really good football team next week.”
The Buffalo Bills — the Chiefs’ opponent in Week 5 on Sunday Night Football at Arrowhead Stadium — are on a three-game winning streak that features two shutouts; they’ve outscored those three teams 118-21 combined.
It will be a tough test for the whole team — but the Chiefs are built around their offense, and they need to rely on scoring to win. They did enough of that against the Eagles, but wide receiver Tyreek Hill is aware that they could still play better.
“We’re still missing a step,” Hill pointed out. “A few guys running the wrong routes on plays, not getting depth on plays, we may not be blocking the correct guy sometimes. After this game, we’re going to go back and watch film, and there’s always things we can correct. I don’t care if you put up 50 points, there’s always something small that we can correct.”
If Hill can improve on his performance of 11 receptions, 186 yards and three touchdowns, the rest of the NFL is in trouble.
The matchup with the Bills could have important postseason implications. There’s only one bye week in the postseason now, and Buffalo has put itself in a great position to be in the race for it with a 3-1 start. However, a victory by the Chiefs would even their records and get Kansas City back into the thick of it.
Mahomes acknowledged how good Buffalo is, and Hill is excited for the big game, too.
“It’s going to be a fun one, man,” Hill assured. “Hopefully, I can get in the end zone again.”