At the end of the first half, an Indianapolis punt had given the Chiefs the ball at their own 46-yard line with 34 seconds remaining. After a penalty pushed them back 10 yards, the team opted to run out the clock and enter halftime with a 14-10 lead — rather than pushing for another score. As the team was heading to the locker room, quarterback Patrick Mahomes appeared to be arguing with offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy over the play-calling that finished the half.
Patrick Mahomes vs Eric Bienemy. Wow.pic.twitter.com/QmTz8swPk7— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 25, 2022
But after the game, both Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid downplayed the moment.
“I’m sure that’s how it looked, but there really wasn’t anything,” Reid explained to reporters in his postgame press conference. “Like I said, [Mahomes] wanted to go for it. Not a Hail Mary — something else — but I thought it was best not to do it. He’s a brave kid. He wants to take advantage of every opportunity, but I thought it was best to let that ride. Really, if you heard the words that were said — I don’t know how it looked to you guys — but there wasn’t a confrontation at all.”
“At the end of the day, I wanted to try to score,” said Mahomes. “That’s just who I am. We were in a tough situation. I believe it was like second (or third) and 20 — or something like that — and probably the smart decision was to just take it; we get the ball out of the half, [so] we’ll just go to halftime.
“But I’m always gonna be wanting to score — and I pretty much just said, ‘Let me have a chance at it.’ Then [Bieniemy] was just like, ‘Let’s get back to the locker room and we’ll get something going for the next half’. I don’t know if that’s an altercation, but that was the end of the conversation.”
Despite a solid showing by the Kansas City defense, the team missed multiple scoring opportunities and made mental errors throughout the game. Reid was quick to accept responsibility for his team’s performance.
“I’ll tell you that I didn’t have our guys ready to go well enough,” he admitted. “It’s my responsibility to put our guys in a lot better position during that game. You take advantage of that. I thought we had some real good downs and all sorts of turnovers — [and] then some mistakes that shouldn’t have taken place. We’ll correct those and get ourselves back and ready to go.”
After scoring two touchdowns in the first half, the Chiefs’ offense stalled — scoring only a single field goal for the rest of the game. Reid said that the offense lacked “rhythm” in the game — and that he needs to find a way to fix that. Mahomes emphasized that his unit needed to take advantage of scoring opportunities in the red zone in order to mitigate the effects of small mistakes throughout the game.
“As an offense, we have to make it where those little mistakes don’t cause a loss,” noted Mahomes. “We had multiple chances to get in the end zone — and if we get in the end zone one time and don’t stall out in the red zone in the second half, the game is over. When the defense plays like this — when they play like they did today and this whole season — we have to win these football games.”
Although Kansas City came up short on Sunday, the good news is that Reid and Mahomes know there is room for offensive improvement — and the loss will impose a sense of urgency on the team, which now has many lessons to learn as they prepare for Week 4’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Whenever you’re playing a tough game like that, you have to execute at a higher level, and we have to learn from it,” said the quarterback. “Our schedule gets no easier. We have a hard game — Sunday Night Football against Tampa next week with a great defense — so we have to get better quickly. We don’t want these [losses] to start piling up. We want to make sure we get back on that winning train.”