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Ahead of Patriots’ game, Chiefs’ wideouts are arriving earlier and ‘watching film more’

According to wide receiver Justin Watson, Kansas City’s most heavily scrutinized unit is putting in the work.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs’ much-maligned wide receiver group is changing how it does business.

After another late-game letdown during Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the AFC rival Buffalo Bills, veteran wideout Justin Watson says the group is now deviating from the status quo.

“We’ve switched some things up as far as meeting structures — and just what we’re doing as a receiver room,” Watson revealed to reporters on Thursday. “Staying after a little bit longer.”

Social media has not been kind to Watson’s teammate Kadarius Toney. During the team’s final offensive possession on Sunday, his alignment issue drew a flag that wiped out his go-ahead touchdown.

But according to Toney, he and his teammates can't spend time thinking about that. They’re “moving forward.”

“We’re coming down [to] the final stretch here,” Watson reminded his listeners. “[There’s] four weeks — and the mentality has been just [to do] whatever we can do to get better.”

That includes a little extra work.

“I think everyone in the receiver room has been in a little bit earlier this week,” said Watson. “We’re watching film more with quarterbacks. So [it’s] just small things that you do anyway — just a little bit more of it.”

In 2023, Kansas City wideouts are averaging 139 receiving yards per game — ranking 21st in the league — but during the latest episode of the ‘New Heights’ podcast that he hosts with his brother Jason Kelce of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Chiefs’ star tight end Travis Kelce adamantly defended his fellow pass-catchers.

“There’s a lot of media pointing fingers at some of the skill players we have,” said Kelce. “I say, ‘F—k that!’… Everybody hating on [Toney] right now? I’m not trying to hear that. You can [expletive] miss me with it. I’m trusting in 19 every time he’s out there on the field.”

Still, entering Week 15, Kansas City’s 20 drops by wide receivers are more than any other team — with the nearest squad having 15.

Watson is hoping a change in routine will produce better results.

“[We’re] just getting back on the same page with the quarterbacks,” noted the sixth-year wideout. “Making sure that [on] every look, we see it exactly as they see it.”

As for the rest, it’s all about the attitude.

“It’s just about being mentally tough,” said Watson. “It’s not going to be the last time that we’re put in a tough position — or a call doesn’t go our way.”

It's Game Time.

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