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Patrick Mahomes: ‘It’s as simple as we got to be better in the second half’

Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid discuss the struggles of the Chiefs’ offense following their 21-17 Week 11 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs dropped another one after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football, 21-17. It was Kansas City’s third loss of the season as the concerns for their offensive struggles are becoming more prevalent.

“We’ve just got to do a better job,” said head coach Andy Reid after the game. ”First half, the offense played well, but in the second-half, we didn’t play well. We’ll get that straight.”

Penalties, turnovers, and dropped passes have been the theme in games where the Chiefs’ offense struggles to perform, and Monday night was no different. Kansas City was called for seven penalties totaling 55 yards. They committed two turnovers — one interception and one lost fumble — and dropped a season-high five passes.

“Penalties are drive-stoppers,” Reid said. “Guys that I’ve seen catch before didn’t necessarily make the catch. These are good players. We’re OK. We just got to get that straight playing against a good football team.

“You play a good team; you can’t lose the turnover battle. They’re undefeated when they win the turnover battle. Then you add the penalties to it and a couple of drops to it, we got to take care of that.”

The most damning stat of them all is that the Chiefs have now failed to score in the second half of three consecutive games. On the season, they are averaging 5.9 second-half points per game, which is the fewest in the NFL.

“It’s as simple as we got to be better in the second half,” Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes admitted. “I mean, all season long we haven’t played great football in the second half, so we have to continue to work. Obviously, we had a pretty good first half running the football, but we got to find a way to finish games offensively.”

As Mahomes mentioned, the Chiefs had a solid night running the ball. Second-year running back Isiah Pacheco led the way with 89 yards on 19 carries, followed by Mahomes, who rushed for 38 yards on six carries. As a team, the Chiefs rushed for 168 total yards. However, once the Eagles’ defense began focusing on stopping the run, it was up to the Chiefs passing attack to bring the game home – something Mahomes says he and the rest of the offense failed to do.

“They came up, and they forced us to throw the football,” Mahomes explained. “We didn’t answer the bell. I didn’t make good enough passes in certain situations. We have to prove that we can do both. We can’t be just running; we can’t be just passing. We have to prove that we can do both and that’s something we have to continue to work on as the season continues.”

The struggles in the passing game begin with the lack of production from Kansas City’s wide receiving corp. With tight end Travis Kelce garnering most of the defense’s attention, it was up to the other receivers to make big plays happen. Once those opportunities presented themselves, however, the Chiefs failed to execute.

“They brought a Cover 0 on the one to [Marquez Valdes-Scantling],” Mahomes said as he broke down the two drop passes on the team’s final drive. “He won, but he was kind of running towards the sideline, so I tried to put some air on it to let him turn around and catch it. Obviously, with the slick field, it didn’t work out.

“The one to (Justin) Watson), if I stretch my drop a little bit and put some air on the football, we can get him. He beat a great corner, but those are the little things in the second half that you have to be better at. You can’t miss those shots.”

Despite the missed opportunities, Mahomes says he still has faith in his receivers. He sees the work they put in every day and urges them to shake off the disappointment and come back better for next week’s divisional matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.

“I know how hard the guys work at the end of the day, Mahomes said reassuringly. “You see it. In the first half, you could see the guys moving down the field. You could see we’ve had spurts where we played good football offensively. But all you all you can do is go to work and try to get better and better.”

“Obviously, I’m disappointed we lost today — like everybody in the locker room. So, come back to work and know we’re going to play a tough (Las Vegas) Raiders team this next week on a short week, and we have to find a way to win against a division opponent.”

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