clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes remember how the Chiefs’ 2023 run began

Late in the season, Kansas City was in a rough spot — but the head coach knew that things could be fixed.

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

As we noted in these pages on Monday, the Kansas City Chiefs are on the cusp of a historic postseason run. Suppose they can defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIII matchup at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. In that case, the Chiefs will have completed one of the most challenging championship runs in the modern era.

On Wednesday morning’s edition of “Good Morning Football” on NFL Network, team chairman and CEO Clark Hunt spoke about it with GMFB’s Peter Schrager.

“I think every year has its own level of adversity,” said Hunt. “If you think back to last year, we had to make it through the playoffs with Patrick [Mahomes] nursing a really sore ankle that he got hurt in the game against Jacksonville. He was able to overcome that.

“This year — in November and December — we weren’t playing our best football. We had a lot of ups and downs. At one point, [we] had lost five of eight games. That last loss — coming on Christmas Day — was probably the bottom.

“[But] one thing that struck me during that run was how positive and consistent head coach Andy Reid was. When he and I spoke about the team’s struggles, he said, ‘Look, we’re just play or two away from getting this thing turned around. We’re just making a handful of mistakes that are killing us each week — and if we can figure out how to correct that, we’ll be fine.’”

Reid remembers those conversations with his boss.

“Well, I felt that way,” he confirmed to reporters at a Wednesday media appearance in Las Vegas. “We had some drops. That’s really where it was related. We were getting better, but we were [still] a play away for that catch. It seemed like it came down to that catch [in] three or four games. In some cases, [they were] guys that I’d seen make the play before that weren’t doing it at that particular time — [so] I knew they had the potential to make it.”

Mahomes agreed in his turn at the podium during Wednesday’s media session.

“Obviously, we had some struggles throughout the season,” he noted. “But guys never hung their heads; they just continued to grind through. And it caused us to play our best football at the right time. So every season is different — but you have to continue to work in order to be great.”

Both Reid and Mahomes spoke about rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice’s contribution to the final push.

“Especially in Coach Reid’s offense,” explained Mahomes, “it takes time [for rookies] to learn the different ways we run routes — and the way you have to read coverages at the same time. But he just continued to get better and better — and that’s why I think you saw his production really get [an] uptick as the year went on.”

In the last four games he played, Rice has accumulated 25 catches for 350 yards and a touchdown — and Mahomes thinks the rookie’s ceiling can be even higher.

“I still think he has a long way to go,” declared the quarterback. “He can continue to get better and better. He could be one of the top receivers in this league.”

But in the short term, the team will settle for Rice being one of the top receivers in Sunday night’s game. There will be plenty of time for the rest.

It's Game Time.

It's time for a title defense in Chiefs Kingdom. Sign up for Arrowhead Pride Premier and we’ll deliver 3 newsletters leading up to the Super Bowl packed with exclusive coverage and analysis from Las Vegas you won’t find anywhere else. For a limited time, use the code SUPERBOWL30 to save 30% plus a free trial