Having Patrick Mahomes as its quarterback gives an undeniable advantage to the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy pushed back on the idea that Mahomes had changed a particular play during the team’s 24-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Instead, said Bieniemy, his shifty quarterback was being strategic.
“Pat does a great job of utilizing his cadence,” he noted. “Some things are real. Some things are not real — and sometimes those things are to throw the defensive schemes off.”
Still, the play in question — a screen pass to Michael Burton early in the fourth quarter — came up short. Bieniemy said that the offensive execution simply wasn’t good enough.
“We had a play designed and we just didn’t execute it,” Bieniemy explained. “And obviously, you want your players to be at their best in those particular moments — but like I said, I’m not going to make any excuse. Our guys — we — just didn’t play well enough to win the game.”
But reminded that against the Bills, his running backs had put up much lower yards-after-contact numbers than we have typically seen, Bieniemy credited the Buffalo defense — specifically linebacker Matt Milano.
“Let’s give credit where credit is due,” said Bieniemy. “Two of those big tackles that were made last week [were] by a kid who is a hell of a player. That kid Milano? He’s a Pro Bowler. He does a hell of a job. He’s a run-and-hit guy. He made some big-time tackles in the open field.
“They did a better job of executing than what we did. So we’ll give them all the credit. It’s our job as a coaching staff to make sure that our guys can go out there and execute — and do the little things better — by being stronger at the point of contact.”
And despite the fact that many of the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive players that his unit will face on Sunday are reported to be battered and bruised, Bieninemy still expects a big challenge.
“It doesn’t make a difference who shows up on that injury report,” he smiled. “All those guys seem to get healthy for the Chiefs.”
But even if they don’t, Bieniemy expects the 49ers’ defense will put up a fight.
“We’ve got to line up and play against the guys [who are available],” he said. “But I’m expecting those guys that can play to come out there and compete their tails off.”
Despite coming off what the coordinator called a “tough loss,” he expects his players will be ready.
“They understand exactly what’s the mission this week,” said Bieniemy. “And they’re focused and locked in.”