Patrick Mahomes didn’t have just the worst game of his NFL career in Super Bowl LV. He had the worst game of his career, college or pro.
The Kansas City Chiefs were held to three field goals in their 31-9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the first time since at least high school that Mahomes’ team failed to score a touchdown in a game he started. The loss was his first as a starter with the Chiefs by more than eight points.
“They were the better team today,” Mahomes said. “They beat us pretty good, the worst I think I’ve been beaten in a long time.
“They took away our deep stuff. They took away the sidelines and they did a good job of rallying to the football and making tackles. We weren’t executing early, had a few miscues. Guys weren’t on the same page. Credit to them. They played a heck of a game defensively and offensively to beat us.”
The Bucs hounded Mahomes relentlessly. He was pressured 29 times, a Super Bowl record, and Tampa Bay sent extra pass-rushers on just two of those plays. On the other 27 plays, the Buccaneers’ front dominated a Chiefs offensive line that was missing four starters from the group Kansas City planned on having before the start of the season.
Mahomes was 26-of-49 for 270 yards and two interceptions. His QBR of 49.9 was the second worst of his NFL career.
The Chiefs were out of sorts like never before with Mahomes at quarterback.
“I just think we weren’t on the same page as an offense,” Mahomes said. “I wasn’t getting the ball out on time. The receivers were running routes not exactly where I thought they were going to be at. The offensive line, they were good sometimes and sometimes they let guys through. When you play a good defense like that, you’ve got to be on the same page as an offense, and we weren’t today and that’s why we played so bad.
“They were just better than us.”
Mahomes was dealing with a toe injury that might need surgery soon. But, as he said, he had no problem with the injury two weeks earlier in the Chiefs’ AFC Championship Game victory over the Buffalo Bills.
“I can’t say the toe was a problem when I played two weeks ago and I played well on it,” he said. “Anytime you play football, you have to battle through injuries. We’ll look at it tomorrow and we’ll make a final decision on if we’re going to have to have surgery on it or not.”
The Chiefs, for the first time in Mahomes’ time as their starting quarterback, have some soul-searching to do at the end of a season. They lost the 2018 AFC championship, but in overtime. They won the Super Bowl last season.
This loss seemed to come from nowhere.
“Obviously it hurts right now,” Mahomes said. “It hurts a lot. But we’re going to continue to get better. We have a young group of guys that had a lot of success and we learned from that, but we’ve had a few failures and we have to learn from that.
“We can’t let this define us. We have to continue to get better going into next year and prepare ourselves to hopefully be in this game again. We knew it wasn’t always going to be successful and we weren’t going to be able to win 1,000 championships in a row. We knew we were going to go through times like this and adversity. I think the best thing about it is the guys we have the leadership ability to be even better next year.”