Q: Was there a point this week where you not only knew you were going to play but get done the things you got done tonight?
MAHOMES: “I didn’t expect to be able to run very much. Just from the way it felt but the training staff, (Assistant Athletic Trainer) Julie (Frymyer), did a great job of getting me enough range and mobility that I was able to protect myself and at the end of the game there I had to run to get the first down and got us into field goal range so credit to them (the training staff) and then just trying to stay on it. (We) have two more weeks so we gotta keep doing it.”
Q: Is there a point you knew this week though that you would get some big things accomplished this game?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I tried to a couple times in the game where I was trying to get through spots that I could usually get through and you could see that I didn’t have that burst that I usually have. I got the ball out of my hands quickly. I think you saw that, and I threw probably a few more check downs then I would usually throw and relied on my teammates to make the plays happen and that’s what they did.”
Q: How badly did you tweak your ankle on the third down pass to Mecole Hardman?
MAHOMES: “Yeah I think y’all saw – I said the stopping was going to be the hardest part and obviously throwing it across your body because you have to plant that right leg and twist across and throw so that definitely didn’t feel good. I think the worst one was when I fumbled. I tried to pick it up and that was probably the worst tweak that I had during the game but like I said they got me close as they could to 100% and then I just battled through and I’ll have a few more weeks to get it ready.”
Q: On the fumble did you just kind of lose the handle on the ball?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, it wasn’t the – it was wide open (and) I was going to throw it to Marquez (Valdes-Scantling). They blitzed and so he was going to be wide open and (the ball) just slipped right out of my hand and obviously I tried to pick it up and I wasn’t able to do that. Luckily it didn’t cost us the game because it was a big moment in the game, our defense stepped up and got some stops for us there at the end.”
Q: Inside the locker room how much did the trash talk from the Bengals impact you guys?
MAHOMES: “Yeah I think guys were probably the most pumped up I’ve seen them going into a football game. Lot of trash talk coming from a lot of different places. I think no one picked us to win, if so, it was like five percent of people and we think we’ve built up enough respect to have a chance to go out and win every game so whenever you feel like you’re the underdog when you’re playing at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, it gets guys ready to go.”
Q: What was it in particular they said that got you guys fired up? Was it the ‘Burrowhead’ stuff?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I mean you got ‘Burrowhead’, I mean they beat us last time they were talking about ‘we got to play them.’ There was a lot of stuff, I mean the (Cincinnati) mayor (Aftab Pureval) came at me (laughter). I mean I understand he’s the mayor of Cincinnati, so he has to think about something but it’s something you just got to play the football game and let your play do the talking.”
Q: When you made that run was the tweaked ankle in the back of your mind at all? How did you process that?
MAHOMES: “Throughout the game I think I just tried, I tried to do whatever I could to win and obviously there were times where you could see it (the ankle) wouldn’t let me do what I wanted to but I was able to do enough on that last play to get the first down and get myself out of bounds and try to give Harrison (Butker) a chance to win and obviously we got the flag when he pushed me, he pushed me pretty late there. But yeah, I was just trying to – the defense had gotten us stops like the last two drives and we had opportunities to get in field goal range and we didn’t so I knew I was going to do whatever I could to get us in field goal range and then Harrison made the kick.”
Q: The trash talk aside, how significant was it to beat this particular team given your history with them?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, the way we’ve played the last couple games (against Cincinnati) I mean you saw, it was very similar to these last games where we get ahead and they come back and beat us and that’s a credit to them. They’re a great team and great leaders over there. But we felt like we needed to get this win. We wanted to play this team and we got them at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium and we were able to finish the job this time and the job’s not finished for us. I mean we got a chance to go up against a great football team in the Philadelphia Eagles. So, we got to enjoy this for about a day and then get right back to it because I’ve been in the Super Bowl and winning it is a lot better than losing it.”
Q: What would it mean to you, to the city and the organization to win another Super Bowl?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, I would appreciate it way more. I mean I don’t want to say that in a bad way. I think when I first got in the league it all happened so fast. I won the MVP; I won the Super Bowl and I thought that’s just kind of how it went. You were going to play, I listened to what (Head) Coach (Andy) Reid said and that stuff happens and now that I’ve dealt with failure and losing the AFC Championship and losing the Super Bowl. I know how much hard work and daily grind that it takes (to win) and so I’m just excited to get to that game with the teammates that I have here. There’s a lot of new teammates that haven’t been in these Super Bowl games so lets bring them along and prepare them so we can go out and put our best foot forward.”
Q: What worked on the touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling?
MAHOMES: “He was kind of like the third progression in the read, we had a good protection going and the offensive line gave me a lot of time and so I alerted. I wanted to look at (Travis) Kelce first and they did a good job – they kind of double teamed him so I reset back to the deep cross that we had, and the safety jumped that and so both those safeties having to double team Travis and jumping that, I just tried to get back to it and I saw that hand go up. He’s (Marquez Valdes-Scantling) like 6’5”, he’s got long arms, so he threw the hand up. I couldn’t really see in front of him, so I just tried to throw a line drive to him and he was able to make a big play for us in a big part of the game.”
Q: What was it like to deal with so many injuries, specifically to your receivers, throughout the game?
MAHOMES: “It was a wild week, man. We got guys back, we lost guys, we had guys kind of questionable or whatever you want to say and so I was proud of those guys and how they battled. Not everybody was feeling 100% out there but they went out there and battled anyways. But let’s try to get those guys back now and we have the extra week and hopefully we can get them back, as many guys as possible. And the good thing about having a guy like (Marcus) Kemp is he was the guy I was throwing to in scout team in training camp my first year here, so I’ve built up that trust in him and know he’s going to be in the right spot. Every time he gets in he seems like he made something good happen so I was happy for him.”
Q: General Manager Brett Veach said people didn’t realize how hurt you were and that your performance tonight adds to a great legacy. How do you feel like your performance tonight fits in your legacy?
MAHOMES: “Yeah I mean it’s hard for me to comment on it. My goal is to win the Super Bowl and obviously the AFC Championship is something that I’ll forever remember – winning that Lamar Hunt trophy at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. But, to me the job’s not finished. I mean all you can think about is how are you going to get better. I mean we’re playing – this is a great football team that we’re going up against (the Philadelphia Eagles). I think you’ve seen that the last few weeks and this whole entire season. So I know it’s going to take the best that we got and that’s going to take us preparing this next week and the next week after that to go out there and play our best football.”