On Monday night against the New York Giants, the Kansas City Chiefs scored 20 points, a step forward from the 3 points it scored during last week’s game against the Tennessee Titans. After the game during his post-game press conference, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, while happy to get the 20-17 win, conceded that there is more progress to be made.
“Everything’s not beautiful right now, but we’re fighting through that,” said Reid. “That happens in this game. There’s great competition in this league, which I think you know. You saw those games [Sunday], and teams that were supposed to win by X number of points get beat. There’s so much parity in this league, so you’ve got to fight.”
“That’s the part I’m taking out of this game,” said Reid. “Our guys battled. They didn’t give up on each other. They kept working through what could’ve been a time when you just throw your hands up and go things are working the way they’re supposed to work. Guys didn’t do that, so we’ll build on that. Let’s keep going. I mean, they don’t give these things away and I think that’s important for everybody to understand. That other team, they’re coming after you, and you’re going to get their best shot, and I thought they did a heck of a job with it.”
As has become the norm, the Giants appeared to be doing everything they could to take away the deep ball. Especially during the Chiefs’ opening drive, quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked to be playing within those constraints, and the Chiefs moved the ball down the football field before ultimately throwing a flukey interception that ricocheted off Jerick McKinnon’s helmet.
“It’s just execution,” noted Mahomes. “I know I say it all the time, but we have guys open, and if we’re on the same page, me and the receivers with the routes, and then I throw it and hit the right spot, we can move the ball on pretty much any coverage. We have answers versus everything. But you’ve seen it in every game, pretty much, that there’s been times where we kind of stall out and we don’t execute or I throw a ball and don’t hit the right spot, or the receiver doesn’t see it the same way I do or penalties or turnovers. I know in this league it’s showing and it’s happening week after week these last few weeks, but I think we’re going to snap out of it, and we’ll find a way to start executing and when we do, we’ll be a tough offense to stop.”
Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill led the way for the Chiefs, catching 12 passes for 94 yards. Hill’s score on the Chiefs’ second possession was the team’s only receiving touchdown on the night.
The Giants did what they could to take away tight end Travis Kelce, who was limited to four catches and 27 yards.
“They sat and played man on him and then they doubled him from there with a man over the top, kind of a halo-type technique,” said Reid of the defense on the tight end. “Eventually, we worked it out. We called about every different release we could give him, and he worked through it and had a couple big plays right there down the stretch. They’re making an effort to play him a little different than the other guys.”
The Chiefs still outgained the Giants 368-300 and would have had the game more in control had it not been for two more turnovers — an interception to begin the game and an untimely Kelce fumble in the third quarter.
“I mean, we’re still moving the ball and doing a lot of things great, but whenever you turn the ball over or get a penalty and get pushed back, that kind of ruins drives,” admitted Mahomes. “But I think we’ve done a lot of great things, but it comes down to execution in this league and if you don’t execute, if teams are going to make you drive the entire field, you have to show you can do that and score touchdowns.”
Mahomes thought he once again left some plays on the field.
“Yeah, I got to hit Tyreek,” he acknowledged, speaking of his missed third-quarter connection. “I got to throw it more across the field on that one to Tyreek. I kind of told him before the play, I was like, ‘If they push over there, I’m going to give you a chance,’ and when I was rolling to the left, I just let it – like a lot of right-handed quarterbacks do, I kind of let it tail back towards the DB, but if I put it more across the field, I hit him on that deep shot.
“When you only have a few deep shots a game you got to make sure you execute and hit them. In the past, I’ve been able to, ‘Oh, I missed it,’ and then go back and hit another play, but obviously, defenses have safeties at 25-yards deep, so whenever we do get those opportunities, we got to make sure we execute on them.”
Mahomes, who finished 29 of 48 for 275 yards, a touchdown and the pick, continues to try to marry playing in the structure of the offense while not completely losing the off-script flash that has led to so much early success in his career.
“I thought I did a good job of it today,” he said. “Obviously, I want to score more points. I want to have more touchdowns; I want to put more points on the board. But seeing how the defense was playing and how they were holding strong and doing things – I try to get the ball in my hands in certain situations, get it to the running back in space, get to these guys in the flats and let them get up field and get vertical.
“When you get the ball with a chance to win the game, I have confidence in our offense that we’re going to go down there and get a score, and that’s what we were able to do.”