Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes takes positive approach ahead of AFC West showdown: ‘You can’t panic’

The defending Super Bowl champs have yet to clinch a playoff spot, but Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is advising fans to trust the process. 

Speaking to “CBS Mornings” host Nate Burleson on Friday, Mahomes was asked about the “panic” surrounding the Chiefs’ recent slowdown, which included a two-game slide before a win over the struggling New England Patriots on Sunday. 

Willie Gay, #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs, celebrates with teammates after an interception during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 17, 2023 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

“There isn’t,” Mahomes said when asked if the team was experiencing any similar concern. 

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“I think people just aren’t used to us winning in this fashion. We’ve won a lot of close games, but we haven’t won those close games this year – but we’re right there. We know that. We watch the film, we see the good that’s out there – we also see the bad and where we need to get better. But you can’t panic, I think that’s the thing.” 

Kansas City is preparing to play the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Day, and a win would guarantee them their eighth straight division title – a streak second only to the Patriots’ 11-straight AFC East titles. 

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Travis Kelce walks off the field

Travis Kelce, #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs, runs off the field following the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 17, 2023 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. ( Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

The Chiefs are also still holding out hope of getting the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but Mahomes said Friday that the seeding is not as important as some believe it to be.

“Everything’s out in front of us. And everybody talks about the No. 1 seed, the No. 1 seed, the No. 1 seed. I’m like ‘I’ve been to the Super Bowl without it being the No. 1 seed before.’ So I think it’s just more about how can you find a way to win the game ahead of you and let the rest take care of itself.” 

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Despite picking up a crucial win last weekend, the cracks in the Chiefs’ offense were still noticeable. 

Dropped passes and turnovers continued to be an issue with Mahomes even exploding on the sidelines after Kadarius Toney’s dropped pass was intercepted by the Patriots. It came just a week after his offside penalty against the Buffalo Bills proved to be costly both on and off the field for Kansas City. 

Patrick Mahomes pumps up the crowd

Patrick Mahomes, #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs, pumps up the crowd prior to the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Dec. 10, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Head coach Andy Reid knows the Raiders’ defense will present the biggest challenge.  

“They’re great at that,” he told reporters on Thursday. “You better keep it high and tight, we’ve had a couple that have popped out and you know they’re going to go after the ball. But they do a nice job of doing that.” 

The Chiefs host the Raiders on Monday at 1:00 p.m. ET. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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