Against the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes posted one of the most unassuming stat lines of his career. He completed just 15 of his 29 pass attempts for 184 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. He was far from the main problem against the Broncos, in a win, but he also didn't quite look like himself. His numbers almost surely would have looked much different had his receivers hung on to the ball, though.
Among those whose faulty hands either cost Mahomes yards, led to an interception or ended up killing drives, several suspects land on the Chiefs' list from Sunday's game. The likes of Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Byron Pringle all struggled to haul the ball in consistently. Not only did it make the Chiefs look mortal on offense, but it made Mahomes look a lot worse than he actually played in Week 13. After the game, Mahomes said all his weapons have to do in order to improve is simply be themselves.
"I think they know, from me and from all of us, and it's the same towards me as well, it's that they just have to be themselves," Mahomes said. "There's nothing they have to do extra. They have the talent, they have the playmaking ability to just continue to go out there and be themselves. I think we'll continue to get better and better. We're still winning football games. We don't want to get lost in that — we're winning a lot of football games, and we're winning by pretty big margins. But we expect greatness from each other. We want to continue to get better as an offense and the defense to continue to get better and hopefully create a great football team."
In regards to the big margins of victory, the Chiefs' five-game winning streak has largely been fueled by the defense's amazing stretch. The Chiefs do have an offensive outburst filtered in with the rest of that picture, but Mahomes and company have looked entirely mortal after beginning the 2021 campaign on a tear. There's still time left to solve the problem before the postseason arrives and according to Mahomes, opportunities may present themselves to anyone.
"You figure that when you get to — hopefully — the playoffs and kind of try to make a run that guys are going to try to take away those two guys," Mahomes said. "We'll do our best job of still trying to get them open, scheming them open in different ways. But other guys are going to have to step up, and this week it was running backs out of the backfield. Next week, it might be other receivers, it might be different tight ends. I think we have the guys to do it, we just have to continue to go out there and do it."
Against the Broncos, running backs Darrel Williams and Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the team with 60 and 28 receiving yards, respectively. That's far from what the team imagined heading into the year but in a season that's required constant tinkering and in-game adjustments for the Chiefs, they'll take the production how they can get it. Scoring won't be much easier in the future based on the opponent, so it's up to Kansas City to snap out of its funk and develop some sort of consistency on offense. If their flashes of dominance turn into more prolonged stretches of stellar play, it will likely be because Mahomes' weapons are being themselves.