Q: Looking at the play of the defense and holding them, how proud were you?
MAHOMES: “I was extremely proud. That’s a really good offense. They’ve put up points on a lot of teams this year and so for our defense to stop them in so many critical moments, that’s what we need going forward. When they play like that, we’re going to be a hard team to beat. Offensively we’ve got to execute at a little higher level, but we got what we needed done and credit to the defense of kind of holding us in there when we were struggling.”
MAHOMES: How much did Juan Thornhill’s interception energize you guys?
Q: “Yeah, I mean I went to the sideline kind of after we had a few drives in a row where we fizzled out really fast and I said, “Hey how the defense is playing we just need one more score to put this game away.” And I thought the guys responded well. Obviously, Travis (Kelce) got lost in space two times in a row where we wanted to throw deep but when they play that deep of coverage hitting Travis over the middle usually is a good thing and he was able to get us down there in the red zone and we were able to punch it in and get the touchdown.”
Q: On putting together a game with no turnovers.
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I’m going to keep saying it, but when the defense is playing like that it’s my job to not make those struggles worse and so if that’s just throwing the ball away or if we’re not getting the first down not forcing it, that’s what you have to do. So, defense they stepped up, made a lot of big plays and I was just patient enough to get us enough points at the end of the game.”
Q: On Patrick Mahomes’ rushing TD.
MAHOMES: “Yeah, they did a pretty good job. After I looked at it after I realized that they dropped – like my last guy was JuJu (Smith-Schuster) was wide open in the endzone but we had a play where we kind of had a front side read where I either wanted to either throw a flat to a little hook route to (Travis) Kelce across the middle and they covered it well and I started running trying to find the edge and I was able to just get enough of the pylon. I grazed it and I knew it was close. I grazed it and I knew the rule that if you touch the pylon, you’re good so luckily enough I stayed out of bounds and was able to get in the endzone.”
Q: Was the handstand on purpose too?
MAHOMES: “No, no, no. That was definitely not on purpose, but it shows that the wrist is a little strong. I had a little push up position (laughter). I’m not going to say I’m the strongest guy in the world, but I’ve done a little bit to hold myself up.”
Q: Is there any way to practice that rush?
MAHOMES: “Not that one. There’s no way to practice that one. I mean we do different things to try to put me in different positions to go out there and excel but at the end of the day you get down there towards the endzone in the late parts of these football games you have to just go out there and be a competitor and we were able to get it into the endzone on a big drive that kind of helped put the game away.”
Q: You had a pass to Travis Kelce when he was covered by Seattle safety Teez Tabor. Do you get the sense that if you just throw it down there, he’ll find a way?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I mean it’s all about matchups. I think that’s a lot about this league. 39’s (Teez Tabor) a bigger safety, a good player, (Teez) Tabor. Whenever Trav (Kelce) has a guy on his back I try to put it in that one spot only where he can make a play on it. Tough conditions today, obviously cold but I thought the guys battle through and made a lot of big plays. When he’s one-on-one, like I said, I always try to give him a chance and I’ll keep going back to him.”
Q: When the defense is playing well like you mentioned, do you change anything?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, the only thing I really change is kind of more for like on those scramble plays. Instead of trying to force something and make a big play whenever it’s not there or throw a deep one and kind of put it in a 50-50 ball I’ll kind of just take what’s there. Throw it underneath or try to scramble for it. I think that’s what I’ve learned as I’ve kind of grown in my career is when the defense is rolling don’t give the momentum to the other team. Keep playing the field position battle, we have a great punter (Tommy Townsend) and play the field position battle and whenever we get our opportunities, we’ll strike then.”
Q: Do you think about that while you’re scrambling?
MAHOMES: “I don’t know if it – I think it subconsciously does. I think about it before. You think about it throughout the defense is out there. You’re on the sideline and they’re getting the spots and they’re punting you just say – we want to go out there and score obviously. We want to score a touchdown, that’s what we’re always thinking first but if it’s not there, don’t force it. Just take what’s there and keep the chains moving and we were able to do that there on the last drive.”
Q: Do you think about that more after what happened in Denver with the unusual interceptions?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, for sure, you always take away from everything. The only thing that sucks is in Denver I was thinking about that on the last drive, and I still threw an interception (laughter) in the field goal range so it’s just something you have to deal with. I’m an aggressive player. I like to go out there and score and put up a lot of points but as I’ve kind of learned throughout my career it’s a team game. I mean that’s what it is at the end of the day and when the defense is playing like that don’t put them in a bad position and try to do whatever you can to put points on the board but don’t put the team in a bad position.”
Q: It looks like you have a one two punch with Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon, what are you seeing from them?
MAHOMES: “Yeah they’re both playing hard. At the end of the day that’s the biggest thing. Those guys – both can do everything. They can run the football, but they can also catch the ball out of the backfield. We’ve got a good room. We’ve got RoJo (Ronald Jones) – when he gets in, he’s making stuff happen. You’ve got Clyde (Edwards-Helaire) hopefully coming back soon and I’m sure they’ll get those guys all opportunities to go out there and make plays and I mean (Isiah) Pacheco is running the ball hard and Jerick (McKinnon) is making plays every single week so I’m excited just to continue to grow that room.”
Q: On there being little to no drop off between Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon.
MAHOMES: “Yeah I mean that’s the great thing is at the receiver position and at the running back position and even the tight end position guys are coming in and making plays happens. We’re able to get other guys rest, especially like Travis (Kelce) and stuff because we’ve got guys like Noah (Gray) and Jody (Fortson) and now Blake (Bell) that can come in and fill those roles to a degree. I mean Travis is a special player, I mean all these guys that are starters are special players, but we’ve built up so much depth within this offense that we can kind of rotate guys in, and everybody can be fresh when they’re in there.”
Q: There was a lot of focus on the holder and the kicker this week. What did you think about the kicking game today?
MAHOMES: “Yeah I believe we have one of the best punters (Tommy Townsend), one of the best kickers (Harrison Butker) and one of the best deep snappers (James Winchester) in the league and (Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Dave) Toub is the best special teams coach in the league and so I have confidence in those guys that they’re going to go out there and make it happen every single time. Every great team has great special teams and I feel like that’s why we’ve been who we are these last few years.”
Q: Frank Clark mentioned that you can’t have any let up after winning the AFC West, can you speak about that mentality?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I mean obviously we don’t control our own destiny as far as the one seed but we want to put ourselves in the best position to be at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium as much as possible in the playoffs and that takes us getting better as a team every single week and we play a lot of great teams at the end of the season and how can we get better? I thought we got better as a team this week. The defense played really good against a really good offense. The offense, we executed at some points really well but we’re going to learn from this and try to get better next week and you want to be playing your best football going into the playoffs and I feel like that’s where we have to continue to get better and better is let’s put that full game together – offense, defense, special teams and I thought we did a pretty good job of it today but we can be even better going into these last two weeks.”
Q: How will you be celebrating Christmas?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I mean the schedule worked out well. I saw this early in the year. To play Christmas Eve at 12 O’clock, now I get to go home and spend Christmas Eve with my family. We flew all the family up so they’re going to be there at the house and get to enjoy Christmas with everybody and (Head) Coach (Andy) Reid gave us Sunday off, so we have Christmas day off. We’ll get to watch football, basketball, everything and so it’s going to be a great day with all the family. I’m trying to do the gingerbread houses and I’m going to be competitive. I’m going to try to win it.”