‘They want to beat us bad’: Chiefs address weekly burden of being in the ‘crosshairs’


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Because the two-time defending AFC champions with dynamic expertise Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, it is pure the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs take each opponent’s finest shot.

Defensive again Tyrann Mathieu prompt the Chiefs are carrying down below that burden.

“We have simply obtained to discover a option to dig deep,” Mathieu mentioned Sunday night time after a 38-20 loss to the Buffalo Payments. “Each workforce we play needs to beat us. They wish to beat us dangerous. … We go to Washington [this] week and they will wish to beat us.

“Guys keep up late [in preparation to play against the Chiefs], coaches keep up late. These guys come into our stadium and all they wish to do is win. I say that to say it is a sure urgency you need to have while you play for the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. Everyone on this league, they need what now we have: the Mahomes and the Hills and simply all of the success we have had, groups are chasing that, that glory.”

The Chiefs, who began every of the earlier 4 seasons by profitable at the least 4 video games, are 2-3 and in an uncommon spot — final place within the AFC West. They’ve performed a troublesome schedule — 4 of their 5 opponents appear to be they’ll make the playoffs — however uncharacteristically have not dealt with it nicely.

A lot of the issue rests with a protection that’s final within the league, permitting nearly 33 factors per recreation. That may be traced to many components, however there appears to be little doubt certainly one of them is that opponents — as Mathieu mentioned — are placing in additional time to organize for them.

Washington coach Ron Rivera would be the newest to attempt to beat the Chiefs on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS). He is aware of being a specific focus of an opponent’s preparation, having as soon as performed for a Tremendous Bowl championship workforce with the Chicago Bears in 1985 and later teaching the Carolina Panthers to a 15-1 common season and a Tremendous Bowl berth in 2015.

“It is very onerous,” Rivera mentioned. “[Chiefs coach Andy Reid] gained his [Super Bowl] and the subsequent season all people took pictures at him and now all people takes pictures at him one other time.

“Having misplaced [the Super Bowl last season] and simply the trauma of making an attempt to get it began once more, that is troublesome. It truly is. It takes rather a lot out of you. [Reid] has gone by way of it two years in a row, I can solely think about how a lot of a pressure that’s on a person. It is a variety of work. You might be all the time in individuals’s crosshairs. Nothing comes simple at that time. … You are in a scenario the place you are the measuring stick for some time.”

Rivera mentioned the gamers felt an analogous burden because the coach.

“After I was a participant for the Bears, I all the time felt that means from that time on, from 1985 on, that we had been going to get all people’s finest shot,” he mentioned.

No one is feeling sorry for the Chiefs. Carrying the bull’s eye is an issue any workforce wish to have, and Reid prompt doing so is a privilege and never a burden.

“I would not wish to be in any completely different place than that, as are the blokes which were right here earlier than,” Reid mentioned. “And now you have obtained an inflow of recent guys, in order that they weren’t right here the final 12 months or two.

“Everyone, we simply all must rise our recreation up and have that very same urgency to get issues carried out.”

Mahomes mentioned: “I would not need it some other means. I wish to be as ready as doable to play within the playoffs to attempt to make it to the Tremendous Bowl. If meaning we’ll get the most effective shot from each single workforce, then I am prepared for the problem.”

The difficulty for the Chiefs is that they have not been prepared this season. Opponents have constantly tried a defensive technique — two deep safeties and never blitzing — that has at instances annoyed Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense and compelled them into turnovers.

On protection, little has labored. They’re permitting a staggering 7.1 yards per play, which is final within the NFL and nicely over the league common of 5.7. The NFL file for a full season is 6.6.

That may clarify why the Chiefs, at the least on protection, are feeling the pressure.

“We have simply obtained to discover a option to cease the bleeding,” Mathieu mentioned.

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