Kansas City’s wideouts haven’t performed to standard, but there is still half a season to go.
The Kansas City Chiefs will welcome the Philadelphia Eagles to Arrowhead Stadium in this week’s edition of “Monday Night Football.” The Week 11 showdown is likely the NFL’s most anticipated game since the same two teams faced off in Arizona in Super Bowl LVII.
One obstacle that could keep the Chiefs from successfully defending their recent Super Bowl title is a thus far underwhelming wide receiver corps. No Chiefs’ wideout accumulated 400 receiving yards in the season’s first half. Rookie Rashee Rice leads the room with 32 catches for 378 yards and four touchdowns.
Speaking on Thursday before the Chiefs’ first practice following their Week 10 bye, head coach Andy Reid insisted that the team’s receivers are improving, even if the results aren’t apparent.
“[The wide receivers] are getting better as we go,” the coach stated. “I know it’s hard to see, but they’re getting better. We’ll just see how it goes going forward. Anything I say isn’t going to mean anything unless they can continue to improve. We’re seeing improvement. We just have to keep it going.”
Speaking after Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes showed faith that he will develop a better rapport with his pass catchers as the season rolls on.
“I’ve always felt like throughout the season,” the face of the league predicted, “the chemistry gets better and better. Obviously, everybody wants the receivers to blow up and everything like that. I think guys have gotten better as the season has gone on. They’ll continue to get better. We’re making strides in the right direction, and I think we’ll keep doing that as the season goes and hopefully carry that into the playoffs.”
Now in his sixth season as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback, Mahomes knows to be more concerned with how his teammates play to close the season than how they begin.
“All you can do is go out there and try to be great every single day,” he claimed. “That’s what I try to do in practice getting extra reps into the game and try to make those adjustments on the fly. I push guys to give everything they have every single day and luckily for me I have a lot of guys like that on the team. At the end of the day, you just have to go at it, stay with the process and at the end of the year, you’re satisfied with the results.”
Based on comments to reporters from the locker room on Thursday, Rice appeared to take note of his quarterback’s challenge to be great.
“I can’t really tell the future,” the first-year pro declared, “but I know that I’m putting in the work to be able to dominate for the rest of the season.”
After consulting with his coaching staff during the week off — including offensive coordinator Matt Nagy and quarterbacks coach David Girardi — Mahomes believes Monday will be a good opportunity for the offense to show progress.
“I got to talk to Coach Nagy,” he recalled. “I got to talk to Girardi. I got to talk to Coach Reid during the bye week. They gave me some of their inputs [and] stuff they wanted me to work on. I told them stuff that I liked — stuff I thought we could get better at — and we’re going to try to execute that this week. What a better challenge than playing the Eagles the first week out of the bye and seeing where we’re really at?”