The Chiefs got off to a slow start offensively in Sunday’s Wild Card matchup with the Steelers, recording three punts, an interception, and a fumble returned for a touchdown on their first five drives.
But T.J. Watt’s 26-yard scoop-and-score effectively woke the Chiefs up, as they scored touchdowns on their next six possessions to beat Pittsburgh 42-21.
After the game, quarterback Patrick Mahomes said there was heavy sideline conversation before things got on track in the victory.
“I think we were all pissed off at ourselves,” Mahomes said in his press conference. “We felt like we weren’t playing with enough energy, we felt like we weren’t executing at a high enough level and not playing with enough urgency. So, I feel like guys really motivated themselves. We all kind of talked, it wasn’t like one person talking, it was everybody talking to each other and we came with a different urgency starting in the second quarter and carried it the rest of the game.”
It’s not the first time the Chiefs have had to overcome a slow start in the postseason to win. In the run to winning Super Bowl LIV, Kansas City overcame significant deficits against the Texans, Titans, and 49ers. Mahomes said those previous experiences helped on Sunday.
“Playing in the postseason games, we have young dudes who hadn’t played yet, so they got to get that experience this week,” Mahomes said. “And we have those vets that have been in here before and showed that today with how Tyreek [Hill] and Trav [Travis Kelce] stepped up in big ways to kind of get us sparked and get us rolling again.”
Mahomes finished 30-of-39 passing for 404 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. His 404 yards were a postseason career-high. He now owns a 7-2 postseason record with a 105.1 postseason passer rating.