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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Beyond the pile of issues the Kansas City Chiefs need to have anticipated getting into this season is 1 they may well not have deemed.

The Chiefs, possessing lost two in a row, are abruptly obtaining typical play from quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the NFL’s reigning MVP.

The numbers never lie: For the initially time in his profession, Mahomes has played 3 straight games with a passer rating reduce than 100. He had the two lowest QBRs of his profession, each reduce than 57, in the previous two games. The Chiefs also had their two lowest scoring games with Mahomes as their starter the previous two weeks, with 13 and 24 points.

For the duration of his initially season as a starter in 2018, Mahomes became the second quarterback to throw 50 touchdown passes and for additional than five,000 yards. Immediately after gliding to one more robust start off this season — he threw 10 touchdown passes and for virtually 1,200 yards in the initially 3 games — the Chiefs quarterback finds himself amidst the initially actual adversity of his pro profession.

A assortment of things have contributed to Patrick Mahomes’ playing 3 straight games with a passer rating reduce than 100 for the initially time in his pro profession. Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

“I’ve certainly been by way of adverse occasions when I was in college of not winning the game I felt like we could have won,” Mahomes stated Monday as the Chiefs started preparations for Thursday’s game at the Denver Broncos (eight:20 p.m. ET, Fox). “There have been specific occasions at Texas Tech when we did not do the issues we wanted to as an offense to come across methods to win. My initially year right here, the group went by way of a small stretch exactly where they weren’t winning games.

“It really is a extended season. You can figure it out. … There [are] complicated occasions in the NFL. Teams are fantastic, and we’ve played some good opponents so far this season, and we’ll have to come across a way to get this factor rolling once again on a quick week against a good opponent.”

How Mahomes responds and how speedily will figure out the course of the season for the four-two Chiefs. They will fall to second location in the AFC West, one thing that seemed unfathomable just two weeks ago, if they shed to the Broncos and the three-two Oakland Raiders beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

The Chiefs need to have their quarterback on his game if they are going to reverse field once again.

“Expectations are higher,” offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy stated. “We need to have to play at that level.”

The quarterback is virtually often the most impacted player when issues are falling apart about him, and that is the scenario in Mahomes’ case. The Chiefs have been sloppy on each sides of the ball. They had 4 offensive penalties that price them 35 yards in the initially quarter of Sunday’s 31-24 loss to the Houston Texans. They’ve missed many tackles on defense in each and every of their current games.

“We’ve got a bunch of issues we’ve got to perform on right here and get turned about,” coach Andy Reid stated. “I’ve observed us do it greater, and we will do it greater.

“Each season is going to give you some hurdles that you have to scale. This is 1 of these challenges. It tests you. But we’ll bear down. We’ll bear down and get it carried out.”

That has to start off with the defense. The Chiefs have permitted at least 180 rushing yards in each and every of their previous 4 games, which has permitted their opponents to dominate time of possession and hold Mahomes and the offense off the field for massive chunks of the game.

Chris Berman and Tom Jackson recap the weekend’s games with extended highlights and evaluation.

The show will stream reside at 7:30 p.m. ET each and every Sunday for the duration of the 2019 season and will be out there on demand each and every week till late Wednesday evening. Watch on ESPN+

The scenario was at its worst against the Texans, as the Chiefs had the ball for just 20:12. That is the least time of possession for the Chiefs in a residence game due to the fact the stat was initially tracked in 1977.

The Chiefs had 3 possessions in the second half — 1 of which they scored on — and nevertheless lost by only seven points. They would have had to be a fantastic three-for-three to win. The defense is leaving the Chiefs with small margin for error, and the offense has been far from fantastic.

Mahomes’ protection has been a issue. In the loss to Houston, the Chiefs sustained their blocks for at least two.five seconds on just 35% of their pass plays, according to the NFL’s Subsequent Gen Stats. That is the second-lowest price of Mahomes’ profession.

The Chiefs have also largely abandoned their operating game, which does not support in relieving stress from a quarterback and a struggling passing game. The Chiefs dropped back to pass on 79% of their plays the previous two weeks, the highest price in the league.

“That is some of what you deal with if you happen to be in the [run-pass option] game,” Reid stated. “If you happen to be performing that, you have got some that are going to finish up throws. That is how we roll. We’ll go back and appear at it and see what we can do greater there.”

Eventually, it is on Mahomes to play greater. He has missed some open receivers in current games, a truth reflected by his reduce completion percentage. His percentages the previous two weeks (56.four% and 54.three%, respectively) have been his lowest of the season.

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That could partially be attributed to the sprained left ankle Mahomes suffered in Week 1. He has been on the injury report ever due to the fact. He hasn’t missed any practice or game time, but clearly he has been impacted. He has limped to and from the huddle at occasions and all the way off the field to finish a series on occasion.

“If I felt my ankle was affecting the group and the accomplishment of the offense, I would for certain move on,” Mahomes stated. “But at the very same time, I really feel like I am nevertheless moving about. I am nevertheless capable to run, scramble, throw. I am fantastic now. … I nevertheless get therapy and stuff like that, but I really feel like I can nevertheless do every thing I need to have to do.”

The Chiefs are counting on it.

“We’re going to bounce back,” wide receiver Tyreek Hill stated. “We’re the Chiefs. That is what we do. We’ve got the MVP quarterback.”

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