Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes and cornerback Kendall Fuller met with the media on Tuesday afternoon.
Here are five things that stood out.
1. Mahomes was asked about his mentality heading into the first postseason game of his young career.
“Every playoff game is big. For me, this is my first playoff game. I’m excited just to be here and to get the opportunity to go out there and win games like this. When you’re growing up, you want to go and play games like this,” Mahomes said. “When you get older, you want to be a professional athlete and you want to win on the biggest stage. For me, it’s all about going out there, being myself, leaning on my teammates and winning a football game.”
The 23-year-old MVP candidate has certainly impressed during his first campaign under center for Kansas City, breaking numerous franchise and NFL records while becoming just the second quarterback in league history to tally 5,000+ passing yards and 50+ touchdowns during a single season.
He now has a chance to show what he can do on in the playoffs.
2. Mahomes went on to talk specifically about the Chiefs’ opponent on Saturday, the Indianapolis Colts, and what he took away from their victory over the Houston Texans last weekend.
“They came out fast. That was one of the big things,” Mahomes said. “They came out and put the pressure on and then kind of held it the rest of the game.”
Indianapolis jumped out to an early 21-0 lead over Houston and never looked back, winning by two touchdowns. It marked the Colts’ 10th victory in their last 11 games after starting the season 1-5.
“For us, we have to make sure we match their intensity right out of the gate, if not take it to another level,” Mahomes said. “We know they’re coming in with a lot of confidence. They’ve won a lot of their recent games. They have a lot of confidence coming in, but we do as well, and we’re going to try to get that momentum in our favor early and keep it the rest of the game.”
3. Mahomes was later asked about his growth this season, from Week 1 back in September to now as he prepares for a postseason run.
“I think I’ve grown a lot this season. I’ve seen a lot more coverages and blitzes and everything than I’ve ever seen,” Mahomes said. “Everything you’ve learned from - you can go in to Coach Reid about those and ask, ‘What if they do this? How will we attack it?’ and have that open dialogue with him. Just taking every experience I’ve learned from has helped us to continue to execute this offense at a high level this entire season.”
4. Fuller, meanwhile, was asked about the challenge of playing against Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck.
“[He’s] a quarterback that can make all the throws,” Fuller said. “He’s smart because of his reads that he can make before the play starts. It’s going to be a good challenge. He can make throws in the pocket, out of the pocket and he can scramble. It’s definitely going to be a big challenge for us.”
Luck tossed 39 touchdown passes this season, which was second in the NFL to only Mahomes.
5. Fuller was later asked about the benefit of playing in so many prime-time games this season and if that helped prepare the Chiefs for a contest of this magnitude.
“I think they definitely help you. This is definitely one of the biggest stages that you’re going to play on - everything is magnified more and every play counts more,” Fuller explained. “But, at the same time – and this is how I’ve been my whole life - the next game is the biggest game just because it’s the next game. You carry that attitude week-in and week-out. For us, it’s another week. Yeah, it’s the playoffs, but it’s another week. We’re preparing the same way. My teammates laugh at me because every week I eat at a certain place for dinner. Every Monday, I’m eating this. Every Tuesday, I’m eating this. Wednesday, I’m eating this. For me, it’s the same thing. You get so locked into the routine and the schedule that you know every week is the same.”