Much of the worry about the Kansas City Chiefs heading into the postseason was directed at their defensive unit.
Being compared to the 2019 squad, critics were looking for the "turning point" for the defense in the regular season but Kansas City has been able to "flip the switch" when it mattered.
In his first media availability since last week's game, Mathieu spoke to reporters about what his unit has been able to do to complement the high-potent Chiefs offense.
“I think each and every week we try our best to go out there and compete at a high level," Mathieu said. "At the end of the day, especially when you get into the postseason, it’s all about which team has the better defense on the field. For us, it all comes with winning third downs, not letting teams score over 17 or 20 points. As long as we can stay in that mindset, we can give ourselves a chance to win any big game.”
Mathieu has played incredibly well in the Chiefs' two playoff games this season. Pro Football Focus gave the safety a divisional round grade of 90.5, which ranked the highest of all players in that stage of the playoffs.
Much like in the AFC Championship, the Super Bowl will be a regular-season rematch for Kansas City and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Chiefs were able to handle the Buccaneers in round one but what does Mathieu think has changed from the first time the two teams met in Week 12?
“I think experience," Mathieu said. "A lot of those guys, this is their first time playing together. I think great things take time. I think those guys have been able to settle in, create some familiarity with one another. They’ve got two running backs that can really run the football well. That can only add to the play action and deep shots down the field. Like I said, those wide receivers seem really comfortable now with [Tom] Brady.”