The 2022 Kansas City Chiefs kept the receipts.
Yes, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid heard all the criticism and concerns this offseason about how they would maintain a championship pedigree without Tyreek Hill and others.
Fresh from a thrilling 30-27 win over division rivals Los Angeles Chargers and firmly in the driver’s seat of the AFC West, the Chiefs (8-2) stop (briefly) to smell the roses.
“It starts at the top,” Mahomes said when asked about the Chiefs’ success despite overwhelming roster changes. “If you look at the organization, everyone comes to work with an attitude of how they can improve themselves to make this organization better,” he concluded.
Mahomes and Company is an effective four games ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers in division standings and in position to win the AFC West for a seventh straight season.
“There were some unknowns because we hadn’t seen some of the guys play,” head coach Andy Reid said of his pre-season concerns on Wednesday.
Amid a series of offseason decisions, Kansas City decided to part ways with veteran defenseman Tyrant Mathieu, clearing the way for a junior high school youth movement.
“But as the season progressed I could see that we were still improving and that we were going to be fine,” Reid said. Kansas City started with four rookie defensemen in Sunday’s win over Justin Herbert’s Chargers. And despite a few early-game dropouts, Kansas City held Los Angeles to just seven points in the second half.
“We have good players, a good dressing room – coaches who are willing to work,” Reid said of his team’s championship culture. “It’s everyone. It’s not a thing we do. It is everyone involved.”
Not only is Reid’s side poised for divisional success, but they’re looking to cement their top spot in the AFC for the first time since 2020.
An important reason why? How the Chiefs begin each season under Reid — in the grueling temperatures of St. Joseph, Missouri, for training camp.
Mahomes said of the new signings: “If you can get through the training camp you will be ready for the whole season.”
“And I think they understand that now,” Mahomes continued. “They understand why we did what we did in training camp to prepare them for those moments.”
The Chiefs’ QB1 is a big reason for Kansas City’s 11-week success as they led the league in passing yards and touchdowns. The chiefs say they’re enjoying the fruits of their labor while making sure they don’t mess up before it’s time to eat.
“I’m delighted,” said Andy Reid. “But like you said … the important thing is that there is still a lot of season left.”