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Chiefs’ Andy Reid and Travis Kelce Hash Things Out after Sideline Outburst vs Raiders

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By Dave Skretta

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that he has talked with Travis Kelce after the star tight end’s sideline outburst in which he chucked his helmet toward the benches during a 20-14 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas.

Reid did not elaborate on what was said during the conversation, but Kelce said on his “New Heights” podcast that dropped earlier Wednesday that he “reacted in a bad way” to the way the Kansas City offense continued to underperform.

The Chiefs have lost three of their past four and five of their last eight games after a 6-1 start, leaving them at 9-6 and still in need of a win to clinch their eighth straight AFC West championship. They play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

“Every single play is somebody not doing their job, and it’s me — it’s everybody on the team,” Kelce said during a profane back-and-forth with his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, on their podcast.

“Whether it’s prep, whether that’s having confidence and understanding of what the defense is in their coverages, their gaps in the run game, how we’re picking up blitzes, how we’re running routes versus certain coverages — all of the above.”

The Chiefs have built a reputation during six seasons with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback for their high-octane offense. But this season, they lead the NFL with 34 dropped passes and are tied for the league lead with 56 offensive penalties.

Kelce, who had five catches for 44 yards against the Raiders, had one of the drops on the second series of the game. He also was called for offensive pass interference, though the penalty was moot because Mahomes’ fourth-down throw was incomplete.

Kansas City had minus-18 yards total offense in the first quarter, the worst first period for any NFL team in 12 seasons.

“We’ve got to do something else,” Kelce said, “because it’s been pretty consistent that we haven’t been on the same page. We just got to take a little more ownership in what we’re doing. And I’m not saying that I’m out of this. I’m the main part of this.”

Mahomes took ownership of the loss to the Raiders on Wednesday, too. He had one of the worst performances of his career, with just 235 yards passing and a touchdown to go with two costly turnovers: He was part of a fumbled handoff that the Raiders returned for a TD, then he threw a pick-6 on the very next offensive play for another score.

“In order for offenses to work in this league, it takes everybody,” Mahomes said. “It starts with me and it goes through everyone else, and everybody has to be on the same page, and this last week we weren’t on the same page.”

More than once this season, TV cameras have caught Mahomes yelling at teammates or visibly frustrated on the sideline. That was the case again on Monday, when they showed him asking for plays to be relayed to him more quickly.

“You have to be critical of yourself. Be true to what’s on the film and what’s happening,” he said. “I think a lot of people make excuses and that’s why they don’t take the next step, or be better because of it. If you look at it and try to make an excuse for why something happened, or it’s not your fault because this happened, that’s when stuff snowballs.”

Injuries across the offense haven’t helped.

Wide receiver Kadarius Toney remained out of practice Wednesday with a hip injury, while left tackle Donovan Smith continued to miss time with a neck stinger. Running back Isiah Pacheco, who had just returned from shoulder surgery, was in the concussion protocol after taking a knee to the head after his helmet popped off against the Raiders.

“We’ve just got to be better as a unit,” Mahomes said. “I have to play better, read the field better. You have to learn from your mistakes and be better this next week. We have a big game against a great team coming up.”

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