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Patrick Mahomes is saying all the right things about his teammates on offense

Mahomes discusses the performance of the Chiefs’ offensive line as well as the impact of Kansas City’s running back duo.

Kansas City Chiefs v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs clinched the AFC West last week thanks to another great performance from superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Amid his MVP campaign, Mahomes added another 336 passing yards and two touchdowns on an absurdly efficient 36-of-41 completion rate against the Houston Texans.

However, despite the eye-popping stat line, the always humble Kansas City quarterback will be the first to credit his performance to the efforts of his teammates — specifically, those in charge of protecting him on the offensive line.

“Yeah, I think they’re doing a great job,” Mahomes said of his offensive line when speaking to reporters on Tuesday. “I think early in the game last week, they had a few mishaps here and there. And they took it upon themselves. Other than that, they protected great the entire game. And when we’re able to run the ball like we did, especially in that second half, it opens up everything else. I think that’s why we have so much success in the second half moving the ball up and down the field.

“So now it’s just executing and try to get into field-goal range or get into the end zone. I think the offensive line is getting better and better each and every game.”

As Mahomes points out, the offensive line has been inconsistent this season; however, they are still one of the league's better units, allowing only 23 sacks on the year (fourth in the NFL). Although two of those sacks occurred last week, the overall performance was positive, as the unit played a vital role in the team amassing over 500 yards of total offense in the game.

Running back Jerrick McKinnon accounted for 122 of the team’s 502 total yards as he made his presence felt both in the air and on the ground. He ended the game on a walk-off 26-yard touchdown run in overtime and has become one of the Chiefs’ most explosive weapons in recent weeks.

“Yeah, he’s just a true professional,“ Mahomes responded when asked about the emergence of McKinnon. “He does everything the right way when he’s in the building. He’s taking care of his body every single day, and he does everything — like I said, he does everything the right way. So he protects well, he runs routes well, he runs the ball well. And so, we can have him in there and trust that he’s going to know exactly the protection assignment, where to be at, on time, and whenever we give him the runs, he’ll make plays. And so, he’s a great player, but even a better dude. And I think that’s why everybody loves having him on the team.”

As for the other half of the Chiefs’ running back committee, rookie Isiah Pacheco had himself a solid day — leading the team with 86 rushing yards on 15 carries. The offensive line opened up gaping holes against a porous Texans rush defense as Pacheco ran hard to the tune of 5.7 yards per carry.

The negative side of Pacheco’s afternoon was a second-quarter fumble that got him benched for the remained of the first half. Ball security continues to be a point of emphasis for the rookie running back, however, Mahomes points out that he wants to see Pacheco continue to improve as a pass protector.

“It’s kind of a thing where he knew where he was supposed to be on that protection,” Mahomes explaining a mistake Pacheco made during Sunday’s game. “The linebacker did one of those like rush — we call it, ‘rush to cover’ – where he’s really kind of guarding Isiah in man coverage, but he just rushes to try to keep him inside. And it’s a dangerous game because you want him to protect that guy, but if he releases and I’m throwing him the ball, then there’s no one covering him, so we just have to be on the same page in that sense.

Despite the growing pains, Mahomes has faith in the rookie and everyone involved in the Chiefs’ offense as they push for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

“But he’s done a great job of it all year – and all the running backs have,” Mahomes continued. “We have a pretty – I would say pretty – complicated system of protections and they do a great job of being in the right spot when they need to be – and that’s a credit to G. Lew (running backs coach Greg Lewis), it’s a credit to (offensive line) coach (Andy) Heck.”

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