Tyrann Mathieu thinks Chiefs can play ‘championship defense’ after win vs. WFT

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With their third win of the season under their belt, the Kansas City Chiefs proved they could play a well-rounded game of football, even if some aspects of the matchup didn’t break their way. MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw two interceptions, Mecole Hardman coughed up an all-too-familiar fumble and the pass rush didn’t yield a sack.

The win over Washington was a case study in reasons to be confident in the Chiefs in spite of recent failures. Nobody knows what this Kansas City team is capable of quite like safety Tyrann Mathieu, who spoke to reporters after the victory about what it meant to get the team back on track at FedEx Field.

“Any time you come on the road in the NFL I think it’s important for the defense to step up and make plays,” Mathieu said. “I thought we did that for the most part.”

Forcing their first turnovers in about a month, the defense held up its end of the bargain against the Washington Football Team on Sunday. They allowed 76 yards of total offense in the second half and looked markedly better than they have against the early opponents on their schedule.

Mathieu extrapolated on the trajectory of his unit in his portion of the post-game press conference, telling the media that stopping offenses in one particular situation would separate the Chiefs from other AFC pretenders down the stretch.

“Obviously it’s high expectations,” Mathieu explained of the team’s current juncture. “We could be a championship defense, we’ve been to the championship the last two years, and I think after a while you have to play a certain way, obviously any time it is third and long you’ve got to get off the football field.”

Mathieu was spotted excitedly gesturing to his coaches and teammates after a 16-yard third-down conversion in the second quarter that gave Washington a chance to extend their lead before the half. His frustration in recent weeks has been palpable when witnessed live through the television, and he seems to have struck whatever nerve his defensive compatriots needed to tighten up when it mattered most.

Washington had their work cut out for them in this game and almost has enough juice to get one over on the Chiefs, who played a relatively pedestrian strategy by their standards. Whether the defensive turnaround will last longer remains to be seen, but if Mathieu’s comments are any indication, the defense hasn’t lost faith in itself just yet. In fact, they look to have turned a corner ahead of a challenging matchup against Tennessee in Week 7.

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