The Kansas City Chiefs were coming off of back-to-back victories over the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers entering Sunday Night Football against the Las Vegas Raiders.
And though the cliché is well known — a win is a win in the National Football League — the Chiefs clawed and scratched to beat New York and Green Bay (featuring Jordan Love) when the expectation of recent years called for them to handle those challenges with ease.
A Chiefs quarterback knew the offense needed to regain its swagger, and that quarterback’s name is... Shane Buechele? Yes, the Chiefs’ preseason and practice squad hero approached Patrick Mahomes in the quarterback room earlier in the week.
“Shane Buechele came up to me and showed me this video with this kid who was saying I got my swagger back,” said Mahomes after the Chiefs’ 41-14 win. “So that was something that was kind of like my motto this week. I think the whole team got that swag back, and we’re going to try to keep that thing rolling... That was mojo — the video of the week.”
Patrick Mahomes referenced this video in his post-game presser tonight. Practice squad QB Shane Buechele showed it to him on Monday or Tuesday and it became his 'video of the week,' he said.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) November 15, 2021
Five touchdowns later, the inspiration worked. pic.twitter.com/7SUOSRrTpx
The original video dates back to 2014, when De La Salle Collegiate High School was vying for the Division 2 State Championship.
“I think the question was — they were trying to say, ‘What was wrong with the team?’” explained Mahomes. “They had a big win, and he said, ‘I think I got my swagger back,’ and I was like, ‘Man, that’s what we’re going to do on Sunday.’ So we got the win — how can we keep that swag going?”
Mahomes indeed recovered his swagger — and it had nothing to do with the clean white-on-white uniforms dug up for the first time since 2018. The quarterback finished 35 of 50 for more than 400 yards and five touchdowns, seemingly ending the first lengthy slump of his four-year career.
“[Statistical analysis coordinator] (Mike) Frazier does a million different studies for us, and Pat’s lasted longer than any quarterback in the history of the game without a slump,” said head coach Andy Reid. “So, it’s going to happen. There’s going to be a little something that doesn’t go your way, and it’s important that you power through it, stay confident, and keep firing. And so that’s how he’s wired, and you knew he was going to get through the ups and downs just by the way he handles himself, and we’re all watching.”
Reid noted that Mahomes’ calmness stood out in the win. It was easy to see the quarterback had greater trust in the offensive line, as he stayed within the pocket and took what the defense gave him.
“I thought he just was so disciplined in how he handled everything with the football and then in the run game, making that work, too,” added Reid. “The offensive line — that’s a good defensive front — they did a nice job of protecting him.”
Mahomes stated that he could sense the team’s growing confidence before the game at Allegiant Stadium.
“You could just feel the energy from the guys,” said Mahomes. “Everybody was ready to go this game. We obviously haven’t offensively played the way we wanted to, but we’ve been finding ways to get wins and so I think guys have just been steady with the process of getting better and better. I thought pregame, you could feel that energy, and I think guys wanted to be on Sunday Night Football, playing in a stadium like this against a team like that.”
Running back Darrel Williams accumulated more than 140 scrimmage yards, wide receiver Tyreek Hill scored two touchdowns and tight end Travis Kelce led the team in receiving with 119 yards.
It was quite apparent after the game that Kelce had also seen the video.
I love this from @tkelce! pic.twitter.com/FwBhKI8X7C— Cody Tapp (@codybtapp) November 15, 2021
The Chiefs think they got their swagger back — Ohhhhhhhh.