INDIANAPOLIS -- The Kansas City Chiefs missed a chip-shot field goal in the fourth quarter, failing to get three points that would have been useful at the end. They didn't convert on a fake field goal in the fourth quarter and muffed a punt that set up the Indianapolis Colts inside the 5-yard line for a touchdown.
Patrick Mahomes said none of that would have mattered had his Colts counterpart, Matt Ryan, not outgunned him in the end. The Chiefs came away with two touchdowns in four red-zone tries, one reason for their 20-17 loss Sunday.
"We've got to make it so those little mistakes don't cause the loss,'' said Mahomes, who threw an interception late in the game as the Chiefs were frantically trying to get into field goal range as they attempted to send the game to overtime. "We had multiple chances to get in the end zone, and if we get (in) the end zone one time, don't stall out in the red zone, get seven (instead of the missed field goal in the fourth quarter), the game's over.''
Mahomes and the Chiefs offense needed big help from the defense to get their two touchdowns. They started with favorable field position on both scores after the defense stopped the Colts on downs and also forced a turnover.
Mahomes is throwing to a mostly new cast of wide receivers that includes free-agent additions JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He declined to use that as an excuse for the Chiefs scoring just 20 points on offense last week against the Los Angeles Chargers and then 17 against the Colts.
"I don't expect any growing pains,'' he said. "Obviously have new players and you don't know everybody's going to respond to tough situations.
"We've got to gel all together. It starts with me. There were certain throws I was putting on guys' back hips instead of in front of him. There were certain situations where we were just barely off of it . . . Whenever you're playing a tough game like that, you have to execute at a higher level and we have to learn from it. Our schedule gets no easier. We have a hard game Sunday (against) Tampa next week with a great defense, so we have to get better quickly. And if we don't, we don't want these (losses) to start piling up. We want to make sure we get back on that winning train.''
Mahomes' frustration showed toward the end of the first half when TV cameras caught him in what appeared to be a spirited discussion with offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. The Chiefs ran out the clock rather than try to get into field goal range.
Coach Andy Reid guided Mahomes away from Bieniemy.
"I wanted to go try to score,'' Mahomes said. "That's just who I am. We were in a tough situation. I believe it was second- or third-and -20, something like that, and probably the smart decision was to go to halftime. But I'm always going to want to score. I pretty much just said, 'Let me have a chance at it,' and he was just like, 'Let's get to the locker room and get to the next half.'
"I don't know if that's an altercation. That was the end of the conversation.''