Q: On Travis Kelce catching four touchdowns in tonight’s game. Did you realize he had three already and you were about to throw him his fourth?
MAHOMES: “I don’t think I realized until they played it on the screen, they played like that (Travis) Kelce video but yeah, I knew when he caught the fourth one that it was the fourth one. I didn’t realize he had like seven catches (and) four touchdowns but they had a good game plan of kind of that old New England, hit em off the line of scrimmage, double cover him and stuff like that and I thought the other guys responded and made some big plays happen and that’s what we need to see out of our offense.”
Q: Did the anger from the Chris Jones roughing the passer penalty lead to better play in the second half?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I think there was anger of just how we had played up until that point. I mean I feel like they were the physical team. They brought the fight to us, but I thought our guys responded and I was just talking with guys in the locker room and was like, “Sometimes these games (are) the ones that build the true character of the team.” Whenever you come out and they’re throwing the first punch and hit you and how you respond and go back and fight, that was good to see from this team.”
Q: On Jerick McKinnon’s several long runs. How much do you feel like that plays into what you just mentioned about responding?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I mean we have three running backs – I mean really four – that can go out there and make plays happens. I think you see every week it’s kind of someone different and Jet’s (Jerick McKinnon) a guy that’s – I mean he’s been here. He has that attitude. He’ll come down and pass block, run, whatever you want him to do, catch the ball in the backfield and he kind of set it off where they got a sack and kind of backed us up again and to run the ball, break tackles, carry people, it kind of got the momentum back in our favor to say, “Hey we got to fight if we want to win this game.”
Q: What do you think was going wrong the first quarter and a half or so?
MAHOMES: “I thought they just were more physical than we were. At the end of the day, they came out and they rushed the passer well. They ran the ball well and then that, those two things are how physical you are and I kind of went up to O-line and said, “We’re going to win or lose this game because of y’all.” And they responded. They went out there and blocked their tail off the entire second half and gave me time to make those throws down field.”
Q: Was Travis Kelce the first look on all of his touchdowns tonight?
MAHOMES: “No. On the first one it was actually JuJu (Smith-Schuster) and how the play turned out Marquez (Valdes-Scantling) kind of got pushed down a little bit so I was going to throw to JuJu – I don’t
know if that was the first one – I was going to throw to JuJu and then I ended up hitting him over the top in the back in line of the endzone and then the one – the shallow cross catch that was like a possession throw to make it third and manageable at the goal and he takes it all the way back across the field so sometimes he’s the main guy and sometimes I just go through my reads and he gets himself open.”
Q: Given the attention that Travis Kelce was getting how important did Marquez Valdes-Scantling become tonight?
MAHOMES: “That was big time. We needed it. We needed guys like Mecole (Hardman), Marquez (Valdes-Scantling), Skyy (Moore), JuJu (Smith-Schuster), we needed those guys to step up in different gains and make big plays and today it was Marquez that was the big guy that made a lot of big plays happen and that’s stuff that we’re going to need because I mean, obviously people know we’re going to throw Travis (Kelce) the ball so in certain situations they’re going to double team him. If we can show we can win with other guys, that’ll kind of take that away and then we can open up the entire offense.”
Q: This week was a much different game than last week against the Buccaneers since you had to come back from a deficit. What does that do for you next time you guys are in a deficit situation like this?
MAHOMES: “To me it helps because you just don’t know how guys are going to respond. We have a lot of the same players that have been in some deficit games but at the same time we have a lot of new guys as well. And so, for guys to respond and just to keep battling no matter (if) we’re down 17 points and show that we can fight back from anything, that’s what you want to see out of any great football team.”
Q: The cameras on Monday Night Football caught you getting fired up. Can you talk about how you like getting fired up?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I like to show my emotion when I play. That’s kind of who I am. I thought we needed it at that time for everybody to go out there and bring the fight back to them and I think you saw that guys did that and that’s how (and) why we won the football game.”
Q: What was your reaction to the Chris Jones roughing the passer penalty as a quarterback?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I mean it wasn’t the greatest call in the world (laughter). I mean at the same time it’s (a) hard job they have refereeing. But obviously I mean whenever the ball comes out and that guy, he’s going to try to get off of them, but they’re both fighting for the ball at the same time. It’s tough but you have to find a way to bounce back, and we did.”
Q: On his point of view on the roughing the passer calls recently.
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I mean it’s something where obviously you want to protect the players and everything like that in all aspects of the game but at the same time there comes like a commonsense factor where guys are trying to play football and trying to win football games. So, whenever it’s blatant and they do something dirty to try to hurt someone you want to make sure that’s called but at the same time you don’t want it to affect the football game and change the outcome. I’m sure the refs watch tape, and they’ll work and practice just like we do so they’ll go back and work on it and make the right corrections.”
Q: It seems like you almost have a telepathy with Travis Kelce. Can you talk about the chemistry between you two?
MAHOMES: “It just comes with a lot of reps. Knowing that he’s going to be ready for the ball right when he comes out of that break and just giving him a chance and that’s stuff that I’m (going to) continue to work on with other guys. The corner route that I threw to JuJu (Smith-Schuster) down at the redzone, same thing. It’s like you just put it at the spot, he knows he’s going to be there and make stuff happen. So that just comes with reps and I’m sure those other guys will get involved as well (in) the same way.”
Q: Head Coach Andy Reid obviously didn’t like the roughing the passer call. Have you seen him that angry before?
MAHOMES: “I’ve seen him that angry but not about a call on the football field but it’s – if coach is pretty animated, he’s a pretty even keeled guy so he must not have agreed with it – but it’s like I said, it’s a hard job. It’s hard for me to be kind of criticizing it after the fact but (I’m) glad we won the football game and it’s not as big of a deal as it could be.”
Q: What does it show you about the character of this team to come back from a 17-point deficit, especially with it going down to the wire?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, the last two week you’ve seen how the guys responded after a hard loss in Indianapolis. Guys responded against a great Bucs team, a great Bucs defense and I mean the GOAT at quarterback (Buccaneers QB Tom Brady) and then you go into another game where you could have a let down with the big game coming the next week and a division opponent (and us) getting down 17-0. Guys could’ve kind of folded and quit but guys responded. They came back, we won a game and now we’ll have another test this next week so I’m excited. We have a hard schedule and it’s going to build that grit and that toughness that I think we’ll need as we get to the later part of the season.”
Q: On the decision to have Matt Wright attempt a 59-yard field goal before the end of the first half.
MAHOMES: “No it wasn’t about me going for it. I literally just asked (Dave) Toub, I said, “Can he kick a 59-yard field goal?” It’s a new kicker so you don’t know or not. If it’s Harrison (Butker) (kicking) I’m probably just like, “Go out there and kick it.” And so, once we called a time out and discussed (the call) Toub said, “I have confidence he can make it” and the kid went out there and kicked it. You trust in your coaches, and they decided to go with the field goal, and we executed and it ended up winning us the football game.”
Q: Are the emotions you showed tonight partly to fire up the team?
MAHOMES: “Little combination of both. I mean fire up the team, fire up myself. I feel like I didn’t play great in the first half. Sometimes you have to create your own energy and I kind of did that. I think (Maxx) Crosby’s a hell of a player, so I have a lot of respect for him but sometimes you kind of use those things to kind of motivate yourself.”
Q: You mentioned earlier you talked to the offensive line. When did you talk to the offensive line?
MAHOMES: “That was in like the first, probably the second quarter. I think it was after Chandler Jones kind of got around me. I just challenged them, I was like, “Hey we’re going to win or lose this because of y’all. They’re playing man coverage. We’re going to have to attack down field but you’re going to have to protect.” And they responded. You saw from like the end of the second quarter on, I mean those guys kind of held those guys at bay and those are some great pass rushers, so you like to see that out of a veteran offensive line now.”
Q: When you make that challenge to your offensive line did you feel like you had to also make adjustments? Did you make adjustments to your footwork in the pocket?
MAHOMES: “I think we just went back to the plays that were going to have success. We had a game plan in for certain defenses, and they came out with different ones. So that’s like that old New England way with (Raiders Defensive Coordinator) Patrick Graham, is from New England, and he always throws you a different pitch. Its’ never going to be exactly what you see but we’ve played those guys a lot now so we understand and it’s cool to see because we were running plays that we necessarily didn’t really run at practice and we went back into the toolbox and the guys knew how to do it and with a lot of new receivers that can be kind of testy sometimes so I was proud of those guys and how they responded and made plays happen in the second half.