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Patrick Mahomes Shoulders Blame for Loss: ‘I Didn’t Execute'

The Chiefs struggled on offense against Tennessee, and Mahomes takes responsibility for that.

The Kansas City Chiefs didn't surrender a single point in the second half against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, but the damage was already done. Sure, any defense giving up 27 first-half points is terrible. The main unit that struggled for the Chiefs, though, was the offense.

Heading into the game as arguably the most potent attack in the NFL, Patrick Mahomes and company simply couldn't get anything going whatsoever in Nashville. Before exiting the game due to a big hit and a subsequent evaluation for a possible concussion, Mahomes completed 20 of his 35 pass attempts for just 206 yards and an interception. He also fumbled the ball once and looked out of sorts all afternoon. The Chiefs' star quarterback spoke after Sunday's game and said it wasn't because of anything Tennessee did do, but rather what he didn't do. 

"They just made plays," Mahomes said. "They played the same coverages they played against the Bills. We just didn't execute, or I didn't execute, really. There were open guys, you could see on the tablet. There were pockets that were clean that I scrambled from. I have to be better in order to lead this offense to score more points."

The issues Mahomes mentioned have been problematic for stretches all season long. It's his nature to seek big plays over smaller ones but with many defenses playing variations of Cover-2 and keeping a notable "top" on coverages, the quick passing game and short-yardage passes are ways to combat that. Mahomes' ability to recognize that has been inconsistent, as has his pocket presence. When asked about why that was the case against the Titans' depleted defense, Mahomes pointed to his desire to win.

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"At the end of the day, I want to win, and so I try to do whatever I can to win," Mahomes said. "But you have to believe in the guys around you. You have to know that you can go the long way, you can take the short pass and guys will make guys miss. You can hang in the pocket and make the throws. At the end of the day, I just want to win and whatever that takes, I'm going to try to do. I'll look at this film, learn from it and try to come out better on Monday night this week."

The Chiefs are a much better team than the New York Giants, their upcoming Monday Night Football opponent, but poor execution can cost any team a win. It's paramount that Mahomes and company get back on track because seven games into the 2021 campaign, they're sitting at 3-4. Leadership has been praised as one of the team's calling cards, and Mahomes is confident that there's enough of it to eventually right the ship.

"You never go into a game expecting to lose, but lose bad," Mahomes said. "Definitely, you get shocked because you didn't play the way you wanted to. We have enough leaders on this team that we have to find a way. I don't know what that's going to take yet. We'll go in, we'll talk about it, we'll figure it out and we'll watch the film, but I trust that we'll find it. That's part of what great teams are, is being able to battle through adversity. It's been rainbows and flowers and awesome for these last few years but when you want to build something substantial and you want to build something great, you're going to go through parts like this. It's still early in the year and we're still going to get whatever we want, but it's going to take us getting better every single day."

There's been a similar message preached after several Chiefs losses this year. All four of them have come at the hands of premier AFC foes, which doesn't bode well for potential playoff seeding moving forward. At this point, recovering in time for them to simply make the playoffs is a pressing need. Mahomes knows he has to be better in order for that to happen, and he believes that he and his teammates still have better football left to play. 

Read More: Four Takeaways From the Chiefs' 27-3 Loss to the Tennessee Titans