While the Kansas City Chiefs head into this weekend’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders having won consecutive games for the first time this season, the team has done little to alleviate continued concern regarding its offense. Coming off Sunday’s 13-7 win over the Green Bay Packers — in which the team was held scoreless in the second half — Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy spoke to the media on Thursday.
“Feels good coming off of a victory,” Bieniemy said. “Thought our guys did a heck of a job of finding a way to fight to finish to get the win. That’s one thing we haven’t had much success of doing.”
Turning to his unit’s continued struggles, the coach was blunt.
“We just need to keep playing,” he explained. “I know that sounds just like coaching talk. We just need to continue to play. And on top of that, we just need to continue to execute. For whatever reason, we’re having a breakdown here and there – and it’s not just one particular position.
“It can be a penalty. It can be a lack of route depth. It can be a poor decision made by the quarterback as far as reads are concerned. It can be a bad read by the running back. So we’re all in this together. When it’s all said and done — like I tell our guys each and every week — ‘Let’s line up and play against the opponent.’
“Because the Chiefs right now are kicking the Chiefs’ ass. Let’s go out and play against the opponent, give ourselves an opportunity, and then let’s see what happens.”
Bieniemy denied the offensive slump stems from lack of confidence.
“I have not seen any lack of confidence,” he insisted. “And one thing that we know is that these are the highs and lows that you go through throughout the season. One thing we always want our guys to do is remain confident, to remain strong, and always understand that — regardless of what took place — the only thing that matters is how you play the next play.
“Because sometimes you’re going to go out there and be your best, and sometimes that guy is going to get the better half of you. So if we’re playing hard for 60 consecutive minutes — and we’re being accountable — the rest will take of itself. But for whatever reason, we’re sputtering along. We’re just not being accountable by doing the right thing at all times.”
Regarding the narrative that quarterback Patrick Mahomes is pressing — trying to do too much — Bieniemy refused to lay the blame entirely on one player.
“I think that goes around the whole entire offense,” he maintained. “When you feel that you’re not executing, everybody wants to try and do something a little bit extra to try and make something happen. That’s not how it works. Yes, I do want them straining to finish. But I don’t need them trying to be Superman. I don’t need them trying to be any hero.
“Just go out and be who you are. Do your job and execute with great attention to details. And if each and every individual can do that, we’re giving ourselves a chance to have a chance.”
Bieniemy also declined to second-guess one highly scrutinized play from Sunday’s win. During the second quarter, Mahomes attempted a deep throw to wide receiver Mecole Hardman — and in doing so, bypassed tight end Travis Kelce, who was uncovered on an underneath route that would have gained a first down. The pass to Hardman was incomplete. Two plays later, the drive ended with a punt.
“Obviously, you would love to make a better decision,” said Bineinemy of the play. “But he decided to take a shot. You know we’re going to back him up. Obviously, Kelce was open right over the middle. The back was open in the flat.
“We’re going to back him because we’ve got guys that can make things happen. And if it doesn’t happen, we’ll line up and play the next play. When it’s all said and done with, we want our guys to have pure belief in everything — and anything — that we are doing collectively as a team. So we’re not going to sit there and second guess any decision. The thing that we want to do is make sure if we don’t connect, no problem, line up the next play and play. Be at your best.”