Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw 11 interceptions combined from 2019-2020.
Through 12 games this year, the 2018 MVP has 12 — tying a career-high.
Not all of Mahomes’ turnovers are on him, as dropped passes have also been a significant issue for Kansas City in 2021. In the Week 13 matchup with the Broncos, for instance, Mahomes’ interception went off the hands of receiver Tyreek Hill and rookie corner Pat Surtain II caught it for a turnover.
But even as Mahomes is throwing more picks than ever, he says they’re not really affecting him.
“I mean it just happens, it’s part of football,” Mahomes said in his Wednesday press conference. “Luckily enough, our defense is playing good enough that whenever they happen, they’re able to get stops and get turnovers or whatever it is and not let it impact the team. But you understand that turnovers are a huge part of this game. Our defense is getting a lot of turnovers and winning that turnover battle. I’ll try to limit them as much as possible, but at the same time I have to be me and continue to throw the football and give guys chances to make plays.”
Mahomes also noted that drops that turn into interceptions are just as much on him as they are the receiver because he’s in control of the ball placement. And the quarterback isn’t going to stop throwing to a target just because a pass isn’t caught.
“I’m going to go through the play regardless as to who is at what position and what the read is,” Mahomes said. “Coach [Andy] Reid does a good job of kind of maneuvering it so we can get it back to them pretty quickly there. Like I said, some of the dropped passes — people get hung on them even the one in the game that got intercepted, if I throw the ball in a better spot and he makes the catch, probably splits and scores. I threw it high and hard, and it gets tipped up and picked.
“People put it on him, but it’s really on me to make a better throw. For myself just try to make some better throws and let those guys have easier catches especially in traffic where they can make plays happen after the catch.”
The Chiefs’ heavy turnover rate is why the club is currently third in yards and 13th in points scored. But the team has still been able to rip off five wins in a row, in part because the team’s giveaways have gone down and takeaways have gone up.
If Kansas City is going to make a third consecutive Super Bowl appearance, that trend will have to continue into the postseason.