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KANSAS CITY, Mo. Saturday’s final game of the regular season began, as many of the others did for the Kansas City Chiefs this season, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes leading the attack for a touchdown on its opening possession.
The game then continued in another familiar pattern, with the Chiefs fighting for points the rest of the way. They had to rely on their defense to come up with the winning touchdown, an 86-yard fumble return by linebacker Nick Bolton, during a 28-24 win over the Denver Broncos.
Starter and finishing fast is a weighting for Mahomes and Chiefs’ attack in the playoffs, beginning with Sunday night’s wild-card-round game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium (20:15 ET, NBC).
“It’s just little things here and there,” Mahomes said as an explanation. “That’s how it is in this league. We’ve been blessed enough to have been able to execute at a high level the last few years, including pretty much the start of this season, so we do not have to worry about them.But you see it with the little things here and there on drive.They stop and it starts with me getting into the right game and throwing the right one to get the completion.
“You’ve seen it pretty much in every match that there have been times where we’ve stalled and we don’t execute or I throw a ball and don’t hit the right spot or the receiver can’t see it. in the same way as I do, or fines or turnover. “
Chiefs could not have asked for a better opening possession than the one they got in Denver. Mahomes completed passes to four different receivers as the Chiefs drove 91 yards in 17 games and took nearly eight minutes off the clock. They went 4-for-4 on the third down, the drive ended on Mahomes’ 3-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce.
The Chiefs led the NFL in the regular season with nine touchdowns in first possession. They were just leading in the first quarter with an average of 7.65 points. They scored a touchdown in the first quarter of their last 10 games, the third-longest streak in a season in NFL history.
In Denver, the Chiefs managed another offensive touchdown and two field goals after their opening run. During their 17 games, they were number 20 in goals from the second quarter with 19.4 points per game. match.
As Mahomes suggested, the Chiefs have committed many untimely offensive penalties later in matches that put them in long yardage situations they have not been able to overcome. For a while earlier in the season, the Chiefs made a lot of turnovers, but it hasn’t been such a big issue lately.
The Chiefs were also tied for ninth place in the NFL in dropped passes in the regular season with 24.
“We have to take care of those things,” coach Andy Reid said. “It’s not necessarily the adjustments the other team makes. It’s just that we need to make sure we take care of our business. That’s where we are right now, but we’ll probably make it. Min. responsibility and [offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s] responsibility to make sure we take care of it. “
The Chiefs, like many NFL teams, write their first 15 offensive games before the game, though they occasionally make adjustments depending on game situations. The goal is to give the opponent’s defense plenty to see and react to, but the Chiefs perform their 15 games better than any other team in the NFL.
“What we want to do, of course, is just to diversify what we do and give the defense a few different looks,” Bieniemy said. “Besides that, we want to give our guys a chance to go out there and play fast. So of course we’ve written the first 15. I do not know it in any other way since I’ve been in this coaching profession. I think it’s something that gives our guys a unique opportunity to know what’s expected and it also gives them the ability to basically visualize and see it, and now they have that ability to make it happen when they become asked for it. “