The Kansas City Chiefs defense is searching for improvement after only beating its last two opponents by a single score.
On Wednesday, Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu told reporters growing as a defense should be a relatively smooth process considering the unit's mentality and drive.
"Mentally, we’re kind of upset with the last two outings we’ve had," Mathieu said. "I wouldn’t say that we’re down, we’ve kind of been in these situations before, the kind of situations where you have to lean on each other, take the coaching and you’ve got to find a way to get better. I think we have the right kind of guys in our room.”
Last Sunday, quarterback Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders carved through the Chiefs’ defense, gaining 364 total yards of offense in the Chiefs' 35-31 win.
The Raiders converted six of nine third-down attempts and punted the ball just twice. Additionally, the home team gained 11 or more yards on 16 plays.
“Obviously, I didn’t think we did a great job tackling early on in the game. It was a lot of third downs where we couldn’t get off the field, missed tackles, miscommunication. It's little things but they’re important things. If we can continue to harp on those things and continue to make those things important, I think we’ll be fine.”
The Chiefs' schedule doesn't get any easier as they will be tested again this Sunday. Kansas City will travel to face Tom Brady and the new-look Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The last time the Chiefs faced the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, quarterback Patrick Mahomes was 17 years old.
Brady sits No. 2 behind the Chiefs quarterback in terms of passing yards, collecting 2,885 this season. He averages 259.5 per game, good enough for the 10th-best average in the league.
Mathieu said perfection is the goal as the defense works together to grow in the areas of struggle from the previous two games.
"I don’t think we feel the best right now, especially defensively, especially these last two games," Mathieu said. "We've got another good football team that we’ve got to play this week, so we have to turn a page and really find a way to continue to commit to each other.”