Mahomes, unbeaten Chiefs host Colts on Sunday nightReuters | Kansas City | Updated: 03-10-2019 06:31 IST | Created: 03-10-2019 06:28 IST
Patrick Mahomes missed on some throws, suffered his third-worst pass efficiency rating and did not pass for a touchdown last week. Yet the Kansas City quarterback came away feeling even more confident about his unworldly abilities and the upside possessed by his team after executing a decisive touchdown drive in the final minute to beat the Detroit Lions.
The reward for the Chiefs (4-0) will be their first prime-time appearance of the season on Sunday night, when they welcome the Indianapolis Colts (2-2) to Kansas City, Mo. "You're not always going to win by throwing touchdowns. You're going to have to find a way to win by one score at the end of the game," Mahomes said of his 315-yard passing performance at Detroit.
"In the meat of the schedule, we're going to be put in that situation in more and more games. To find a way to win will help us out in the long run." Mahomes, in just his second season as a starter, has already proven himself to be a capable winner after steering the Chiefs to home-field advantage last season in the AFC playoffs.
He stands 18-5, including postseason play and a victory over the Colts last year in the divisional round. Kansas City already enjoys a two-game lead in the AFC West, a division it captured each of the past three years. So, it is easy to overlook that Mahomes, who turned 24 last month, can still improve.
"He's a unique talent; he's fun to watch," Colts coach Frank Reich said. "We respect that, and like I've said before, we respect who he is off the field. Make no mistake, though, everybody can be beat in this league, not matter how good you are, and he's great." Injuries have left several in the Colts' young defense banged up, including safety Malik Hooker, who is out with a knee injury. Safety Clayton Geathers and linebacker Darius Leonard are each dealing with concussions, though Leonard returned to practice in preparation for the Chiefs.
The injuries pose obvious concerns when facing Mahomes, especially after the Colts recorded just one sack in their last two games. The Indianapolis offense can provide support by controlling the football. A powerful ground game led by Marlon Mack, who averages 4.7 yards per carry as the Colts' workhorse, will attempt to exploit a Chiefs defense ranked 31st against the rush.
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett has converted 10 of his 14 red zone opportunities into touchdowns, a 71 percent rate. "He's had over 100 for a quarterback rating (in games). He's done a good job," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.
Brissett may not have all of his weapons, as Indianapolis wide receiver T.Y. Hilton continues to nurse a quad injury that kept him out last week. Tyreek Hill (clavicle) returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday for the Chiefs but will be monitored closely before a determination is made whether the speedy wideout can play. He caught two passes for 16 yards before he was hurt in the opener.
Running back Damien Williams (knee) also returned to practice and got in a full session. Cornerback Morris Claiborne, an offseason acquisition, becomes active after serving a four-game suspension for violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. Left tackle Eric Fisher (sports hernia) remains out.