Patrick Mahomes was ‘embarrassed’ by Chiefs’ loss to Lions — and that’s an excellent factor

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By Calvin S. Nelson

Patrick Mahomes didn’t use the phrase unprompted.

However the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs’ star quarterback additionally didn’t disagree when requested.

Was the 21-20 loss to the Detroit Lions embarrassing? The defending Tremendous Bowl champions, taking part in at residence, opened their season 0-1 Thursday night time in opposition to a staff that didn’t make the playoffs final season.

“It’s embarrassing for me to lose any time,” Mahomes mentioned through the postgame information convention. “Like I mentioned after the ring ceremony, I’ve moved on to the subsequent season. Clearly, it is cool for the followers to have the ability to see the banner and drop in at Arrowhead Stadium. However this can be a entire new yr and I feel I do know that and we are attempting to win one other Tremendous Bowl and that is clearly not the way in which we needed to start out.

“Any time I lose, I am embarrassed. So I’ll attempt to get higher so I do not lose extra because the season goes on.”

Mahomes earned a number of wins with the response to his loss.

Noting his embarrassment extends to shedding any time, he prevented giving any bulletin board materials suggesting the caliber of the opponent was his trigger for embarrassment. However Mahomes despatched a message to his staff and to the league that he’s not resting on his laurels from final season’s Tremendous Bowl. He was adamant this end result would remind youthful Chiefs gamers of the work that must be completed, and of the clear slate that simply began.

Mahomes’ message to the locker room: Final season’s file and Tremendous Bowl now not depend within the standings. They have to be higher.

“It will be good for the younger guys to know that we’re not going to simply type of stroll in and win the sport,” Mahomes mentioned. “It’s a must to play good soccer. We will play each staff’s greatest shot.”

Followers didn’t must look any additional than Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night time to identify the Chiefs’ two most obvious wants.

The Lions rushed for 118 yards, together with a game-winning 8-yard landing, as four-time All-Professional defensive deal with Chris Jones sat between his brokers in a stadium suite, as his contract dispute lingers. Lions quarterback Jared Goff was hit 4 occasions however sacked simply as soon as.

Seven-time All-Professional tight finish Travis Kelce stood on the sideline with a hyperextended knee. As he watched, solely 53.8% of Mahomes’ passes discovered their supposed targets, a yr after the quarterback accomplished 67.1% of makes an attempt. Chiefs receivers dropped 4 passes along with the deflection off Kadarius Toney’s arms that Lions rookie Brian Department returned for a landing. The three third-down drops have been their most since 2012, per ESPN Stats and Data. No Andy Reid-era sport was worse.

Mahomes acknowledged the impression the lack of Kelce had on the sport. Kelce has averaged 1,288 yards and 9.4 touchdowns per common season in Mahomes’ beginning tenure, and Mahomes mentioned the Chiefs have been “shedding top-of-the-line — I feel the greatest — tight finish of all time” for the opener.

Patrick Mahomes was requested if Thursday’s loss to the Lions was embarrassing, and he did not shrink back from the phrase. (Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports activities)

However Kansas Metropolis can’t hold its Tremendous Bowl hopes on Kelce’s reliability and defensive consideration alone.

“Different guys acquired to step up they usually’re gonna need to step up in massive moments,” Mahomes mentioned, “as a result of I am certain there might be occasions when he will get doubled.

“Gonna need to [rely] on these different guys which might be younger and gifted to step up and make performs, and I imagine that they are going to.”

Fixing the Jones conundrum remains to be trickier. His 15.5 regular-season sacks and two postseason sacks final yr mirror and but nonetheless don’t wholly quantify his game-wrecking nature. Jones held out of all coaching camp, and now the season opener, saying this week he’s merely “asking for a elevate” the Chiefs haven’t granted. NBC sideline reporter Melissa Stark mentioned on Thursday’s broadcast that Jones doesn’t plan to overlook the total season however is prepared to overlook as much as eight video games if an extension doesn’t arrive within the interim.

Eight inside defensive linemen at the moment common heftier contracts than Jones, per He’s scheduled to hit free company after this season.

Would his presence have made the distinction in a 1-point loss, particularly on an evening with out Kelce accessible? It’s possible however robust to say for certain. The Chiefs won’t ever know. However the query they’ll care extra about is how a lot Jones’ absence will proceed to dent their Tremendous Bowl aspirations.

How can the Chiefs re-route towards Tremendous Bowl hopes?

The Lions-Chiefs sport by no means tilted past a one-possession distinction, the Lions’ Dan Campbell-esque grittiness on show the entire night time. And but: To those that had watched current NFL seasons, a Chiefs victory nonetheless felt inevitable.

Even with Lions first-round rookie Jahmyr Gibbs’ spectacular 60-yard efficiency. Even with the Lions gaining momentum on a profitable faux punt, and the Chiefs shedding it on a failed late fourth-and-25 try.

Mahomes had weathered far steeper circumstances to win spectacularly. Why not this one?

Mahomes appreciated the truth examine this loss delivered. Basking in final season’s success will solely distract from this yr’s objective, he believes. He didn’t watch the banner-raising earlier than kickoff, saying he didn’t “know if I even regarded on the banner.”

Mahomes’ five-year AFC championship streak is elite, no matter whether or not it extends to a sixth. The Chiefs really feel each possible (BetMGM offers them essentially the most favorable odds) and unlikely (solely the 2004-05 Patriots have repeated as champions this millennium) to win the large sport this season whatever the loss they now carry.

Mahomes, for his half, mentioned he’ll “preserve firing” to easy chemistry together with his receivers. And he’ll preserve reminding his teammates to neglect final season in the event that they wish to obtain greatness this one.

“I’ve moved on,” Mahomes mentioned. “It is a new season. My objective wasn’t to simply win the Tremendous Bowl and be completed. I am attempting to proceed to do it each single yr and I feel we acquired the staff.

“However clearly now we have lots of locations the place we will get higher.”

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