The Kansas City Chiefs are reeling.
The team has lost four of its last six games and slipped to a relatively mediocre 8-5 record (with the suddenly surging Denver Broncos just a game back of their AFC West rivals.)
But wins and losses can quickly mount. The Chiefs just need to make sure it’s the former building up, not the latter.
Regardless, bigger issues persist for the reigning Super Bowl champions, their superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and their Hall of Fame-bound head coach, Andy Reid.
Their defense, which started the year hot, is banged up and injured. The team’s receivers who aren’t dating Taylor Swift are struggling to create any meaningful or consistent separation from defenders (Swift’s boyfriend is also on the clear tail end of his physical prime.) And the team’s running game — never a strong suit during the Patrick Mahomes-Andy Reid era — isn’t good enough to mask over any passing deficiencies.
All of that frustration has clearly been building over the course of about two-and-a-half months of the NFL regular season… and it all appeared to come to a head on Sunday.
The Chiefs lost their second straight game on Sunday, losing to the embattled Buffalo Bills 20-17 after the referees correctly assessed an offside penalty on what would’ve been the go-ahead touchdown in the game.
That penalty negated a genuinely impressive lateral play from Chiefs star Travis
TRAVIS KELCE LATERAL TO TONEY GETS CALLED BACK 😭
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 11, 2023
Mahomes and Reid were livid that the referees didn’t observe an unspoken (and thus unofficial) courtesy that when a player checks into the game, a referee should tell them if they’re offside or not.
This general courtesy was not extended to the Chiefs on Sunday (again, the call itself was correct) and that triggered a number of meltdowns.
Mahomes threw a tantrum on both the sidelines and after the game, where he couldn’t even muster the sportsmanship to tell Bills quarterback Josh Allen “good game.”
(Mahomes instead complained loudly to a somewhat bewildered Allen that the offside penalty was one of the worst calls he’d ever seen.)
Mahomes’ wife, Brittany, continued that tantrum on social media, blaming the referees for her husband’s team’s sudden struggles.
It’s all an imminently bad look for, arguably, the most popular quarterback in football today.
Perhaps realizing this, Mahomes went on KCSP-AM, and over the course of a 40-minute interview, half-apologized for his behavior.
The relevant bit can be heard below:
— 610SportsKC (@610SportsKC) December 11, 2023
“Obviously you don’t want to act that way,” Mahomes began, in regards to his actions. He did quickly pivot and try to justify some of that reaction by claiming, “I care, man.”
“But obviously, can’t [throw a tantrum], I mean, you can’t be that way towards officials or really anybody in life,” he continued. “So I probably regret acting like that.
“But more than anything, I regretted the way I acted towards Josh [Allen] after the game, because he had nothing to do with it.
“So I was still hot and emotional, but you can’t do that man.
“That’s not a great example for kids watching the game.”
He added: “I was more upset about that than I was about me on the sidelines.”
The Chiefs should get back to their winning ways when they travel to Foxborough, Massachusetts, to face the woeful New England Patriots on Sunday.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.