KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Despite a 26-10 win over the New England Patriots, the Chiefs are looking to do better in the coming weeks.
The score betrays a relatively rocky contest, during which the Patriots mostly maintained a solid grip on the Chiefs offense, holding Mahomes to only 236 yards. New England’s offense also looked strong in many areas, picking up 185 rushing yards and actually ending the night with 24 more total yards than Kansas City, 357-323.
“I feel like especially me, I didn’t execute at a high enough level,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said after the game. “When you’re playing against a defense like that if you want to go out there and have success.”
A little perspective: the Chiefs were leading by only a field goal at half, 6-3. Multiple drives failed to convert into touch downs and a fumble by Sammy Watkins allowed renewed Patriot energy early in the 2nd. New England put together several long drives, but they fizzled out deep in Chiefs territory when Frank Clark sacked replacement quarterback Brian Hoyer as the half drew to an end.
Both teams were missing players. Most notably for the Chiefs, defensive tackle Chris Jones was out on an ongoing groin injury he got during the Ravens game. Defensive end Mike Danna also left the game with a hamstring injury.
However, the Patriots felt the biggest hits. Star quarterback, Cam Newton, tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. Running back Sony Michel went on injured reserve earlier Monday with a quad injury, and their ground game was further hamstrung by the loss of right guard Shaq Mason to a calf injury and right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor to migraines.
It was Newton’s positive test and a positive diagnosis on the Chiefs that delayed the game from Sunday to Monday, Oct. 5. Reid said the players weren’t allowed at Arrowhead until Monday, and the Patriots flew out that morning.
“Obviously it was a little different, but you have to be able to expect the unexpected,” Mahomes said. “I thought guys did a good job of staying focused, but obviously we didn’t have the success as an offense that we wanted to.”
Reid wasn’t so sure on the team’s focus. He said he didn’t think the delay did much, but he said there are several things to work on before the next game.
“We’ve got to stay onside, we’ve got to hang onto the football. All those things, we’ve got to take care of and just play,” Reid said. “I didn’t think the day off or anything really hurt us on that, I just think we’ve got to focus a little more as we go forward here.”
All was not doom and gloom for the Chiefs, though. Tight end Travis Kelce picked up a laser from Mahomes on the run and turned it into a gain of about 45 on his 31st birthday. Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman had short touchdown catches in the 3rd and 4th quarter, and a pick-six by Tyrann Mathieu sealed the deal.
“I like the fight in the guys. They don’t get down, they just try to get better,” Reid said. “Every play is not going to be a great play, but they don’t flinch on it, they learn from it and then they bring it the next time.”
The Chiefs are scheduled to play against division rivals, the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Oct. 11 at 12 p.m.