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Mahomes and Reid: Chiefs Needed to Respond This Week

Coming off a disappointing loss, KC is pleased with its performance in bouncing back this week.

The Kansas City Chiefs' Week 1 performance against the Arizona Cardinals set the bar unfairly high for what should've been expected of the team's offense moving forward. After back-to-back disappointing outings, however, things returned to that level of dominance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On Sunday night, the visiting Chiefs were able to pick up 27 first downs and 417 total net yards against a defense that was viewed by many as the best in the league coming into the game. Kansas City's offense converted a whopping 12 of 17 third down attempts and averaged more than five yards per carry. Through the air, Patrick Mahomes and company were more than effective enough to get the job done. 

The fact that the Chiefs exacted revenge on a team that last beat them in Super Bowl LV was one thing, but being able to do it on the road and coming off such an ugly loss to the Indianapolis Colts was even better. Head coach Andy Reid admitted after Sunday's 41-31 win that his group didn't play well the week prior, but he also tipped his cap to his men for bouncing back and taking care of business in Week 4. 

"The guys cleaned it up today, which is important," Reid said. "If this becomes an ongoing issue, you're not going to win a lot of games. It was important that the guys put their foot down and did what they did. My hat goes off to them for that effort."

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When asked about pass-catchers who stood out, Reid spoke glowingly of just about everyone who contributed to Sunday's game. In addition to tight ends Travis Kelce, Noah Gray and Jody Fortson, the wide receiver trio of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore also chipped in and provided the Chiefs with the offensive playmaking needed to stave off a somewhat resurgent Buccaneers offense. From top to bottom, it was a total team effort in the win. 

Mahomes was a major part of that, too, but he deflected praise and heaped it upon his offensive line. The Chiefs' run blocking has been close to stellar all season, but pass protection woes crept up and were serious problems in Weeks 1-3. While Mahomes wasn't kept perfectly clean against Tampa Bay, he looked much more comfortable and seemed to have ample time to throw. The Chiefs' offense hummed along all night long which, according to Mahomes, was a byproduct of the line hearing critics during the week and going to work to embrace the need to improve. 

"They accepted the challenge," Mahomes said. "They made our team roll today. That's a great defense, a great defensive line. I think they heard the talking, and they heard the talking not only from them, but from everybody about how they didn't play well the last week. They accepted that challenge, and when they go out there and they dominate like that, it makes my job a lot easier."

The Chiefs very well may have taken tidbits such as those provided by Shaq Barrett during the week personally, as the offensive line was undoubtedly better against a very impressive defense. Barrett was neutralized for the majority of the game, as were multiple other pieces of Tampa Bay's normally dominant unit. Things won't get much easier for the Chiefs soon as although a Monday night matchup against the 1-3 Las Vegas Raiders looms, AFC West battles are always tough. Kansas City learned against the Colts that even the merely decent teams can be serious challenges, and they also understand the significance of responding with a big win this week down in Florida. Mahomes hopes it will help him and his teammates stay ready. 

"We didn't play our best football last week," Mahomes said. "In this league, if you don't play good, you're going to lose. That's a great football team, that's a great defense and a great team led by the best quarterback of all time. So to come to their house and find a way to score some points and find a way to win, hopefully that gets you kickstarted into the rest of this year."