What Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes said about the Kansas City Chiefs’ dropped passes

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·3 min read
Jill Toyoshiba/jtoyoshiba@kcstar.com
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  • Kansas City Chiefs
    Kansas City Chiefs
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Patrick Mahomes
    Patrick Mahomes
    American football player
  • Tyreek Hill
    Tyreek Hill
    American football player

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes turned away from the aftermath of the play and threw his hands up, and whether the reaction came from exasperation or perplexity — how does this keep happening — could you blame him?

For the second time in two games, a pass play concluded not with a reception but with a Chiefs receiver — first Travis Kelce and then Tyreek Hill — arriving at the sideline with their helmet ripped off, ready to slam it to the turf. A pass had met their hands but fallen through them and into the arms of a waiting defender for an interception.

Mahomes has thrown 12 of them now — more than the previous two seasons combined — and over half of the picks have been deflected. Heck, over half of them, you could argue, should’ve been caught by his own receiver.

The drop Sunday — off Hill’s fingers and into Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II — is the third ball to hit Hill before being intercepted.

“For me, all I can do is have better placement on some of those. Like the one to Tyreek was a little high and hard,” Mahomes said. “So try to find ways to make it easier on them. These guys make plays, so I’m going to keep throwing the football to them. They’re going to go out there and make plays happen. And if (a drop) happens, it happens, and we’ll move on to the next play.”

A couple of things to unpack there. First, it’s getting more difficult to just “move on to next play,” as the gestures of frustration indicate. This is a trend, not simply a blip in an otherwise smooth-sailing offense. It’s the culprit for stalled drives and, at times, turnovers.

Second, yes, Mahomes could’ve thrown a better ball Sunday before Surtain intercepted it, but it’s a pass Hill has made a career out of catching. And suddenly, he’s not. He has nine drops this season, per Pro Football Focus.

“Just going back to the basics, I think, is important,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “Sometimes these things come in cycles like that. The ball sometimes looks big, and sometimes it looks small. A little bit like batters go through in baseball.”

The solution, then?

“You gotta refocus it back on the fundamentals and go right back to square one — see the tip of the ball, squeeze it, and the tuck,” Reid said. “And then do that at mock speed with whatever elements are out there. You gotta put all that together.”

The Chiefs dropped four passes Sunday. Hill dropped another a few snaps before the interception. Byron Pringle, offered a greater role in the offense in terms of snap counts, responded with two drops in the span of three plays.

It’s continued a theme of the season.

“Tipped balls become problems, and drops become problems,” Reid said. “We’ll keep working on it until we get it right. So, if I’m saying it every week, we’re going to keep it working on it.”