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Mahomes praised for checkdowns in opener

2:31 PM ET

Patrick Mahomes had the third-lowest yards per attempt (6.59) of his career and fourth-lowest yardage total (211) in the Kansas City Chiefs‘ season opener against the Houston Texans last Thursday.

Mahomes’ long completion of 19 yards last week also tied a career low.

But he said Wednesday that two teammates, veteran quarterbacks Chad Henne and Matt Moore, told him it was one of the best games of his career “because they said I actually took the checkdowns and didn’t try to force anything down the field when it wasn’t there.

“My nature always wants me to take that shot if I get a chance to. I’m trying to find that balance of when to go out there and when to take the shot and throw it deep and let these guys make plays and when to just take what’s there and move the ball down the field.

“It’s something that I’ve learned from those veteran guys. It’s something that I’ve learned from Coach [Andy] Reid. All of us want to go for the big shot. All of us want to go for the touchdown pass every single time. But if defenses are going to play us back and going to play us in coverage [downfield], I’m going to take the stuff underneath and let the guys make plays and find ways to score and find the ways to win football games.”

Mahomes had similar games for the Chiefs in blowout wins late last season, when his team was controlling the play with its defense.

Reid said Mahomes wasn’t as capable of being so patient with the passing game and taking what the defense offered early in his career.

“I thought he did a nice job with that, managing the game and still taking shots when needed,” Reid said. “I thought he was accurate with the ball, and I thought he just handled the situation against a good defense. I thought he handled it well. That to me showed some growth. Not that he hasn’t been good at it, but he was even better Thursday night.”

Mahomes said after reviewing video of the Texans game that he had regrets about not trying a deeper throw on a couple of plays.

One occurred on the first drive of the second half, when he said he probably could have hit Travis Kelce down the sideline, possibly for a touchdown.

He threw instead to Demarcus Robinson for 7 yards and a first down but didn’t beat himself up over his choice because Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran 27 yards for a touchdown on the next play.

“It kind of worked out either way,” Mahomes said.

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