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Kansas City Chiefs Postgame Transcripts 1/20

Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid, Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and select players comment on their 37-31 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game on Sunday, January 20, 2019.


Press Conference
Sunday, January 20, 2019

OPENING STATEMENT: "Okay, the injuries, Chris Jones and Sammy Watkins weren't able to finish the game. I am proud of our players for the effort they gave this year. This was a tough one. This one hurts, as it does with our fans, I know. I am proud of our fans. They were phenomenal today. It's a great community. We were trying to make this a community effort, and we came up a little short. This gives us a little bit of what we have to look forward to in the future, and that's where we will go when we're done aching here. It's a bright future. We have good players. We will get over the hump here, the big hump. That's this game right here. Anyways, with that, my hat's off to the Patriots, they did a great job today. Bill (Belichick) and Tom (Brady), that last drive in overtime was a heck of a job on their part."

Q: What did you say to the players after the game?

REID: "A little bit of what I just mentioned here. Just that it's going to hurt, which I can obviously see. That's important. That's how you get better. This team has done that throughout the season. When the chips were down we fought back, and did a little bit in this game here, but we came up a little short. We will let it drive us through the offseason. Have this feeling, that hurt, and let that carry you through so you don't experience it again."

Q: Are you able to describe your emotions speaking with Clark Hunt after the game? Was that particularly emotional for you?

REID: "Yeah, well we wanted to bring the Hunt trophy home here. I think all our players did and all the coaches. That's a tough thing. The fact they get to do that right here is really tough. We are going to get that son of a gun. We will bear down this offseason and make sure we get better."

Q: What did the Patriots do in the first half defensively to hold you down and what adjustments did you make for the second half?

REID: "They blitzed about every down. Played man coverage. They were able to get home there a little bit on some of their gains. We made a few adjustments at halftime and came back and pressured them earlier. That's my responsibility. I'll take that. I am proud of the way the guys battled back and put ourselves in a position to win the game. Unfortunately, penalties become an issue, whether I think they're questionable or not. We had an interception right there at the end to finish the game. One of the quickest outside linebackers in the national football league they called offsides. I'll take a peek at that and see what it looks like. We gave ourselves opportunities to finish the game."

Q: Patrick (Mahomes) looked a little off in the first half, was that the pressure they were getting on him, or did you think he was jittery and amped up?

REID: "No, I think it was probably the pressure. He had a nice first third down play and did a great job with that. Then they were able to get home a little bit, so we changed a couple of things up to get it right. Like I said, we put ourselves in a position to win the game, that's what makes this so tough. If it's a rout you sit here and say alright we will chalk this one up to experience, it'll hurt, but this one here where you're in it to win it right there, it's a tough deal. We gave ourselves every opportunity to do it, and they got us in overtime."

Q: What's your message to him (Patrick Mahomes) after the season he has had and the way it ended?

REID: "He's hurting. He's a competitive kid, so he's emotional right now. He will get through that. He'll grow from this. He knows that. It's not easy right this minute."

Q: Did you think about trying to run one more play in the fourth quarter with 11 seconds left before you kicked the field goal?

REID: "You know I just thought they were going to play the prevent look. Anything I did, if it's in bounds, it's over. I wanted to make sure we went ahead and kicked it and got it done. You saw what they did on that play there, where they backed everyone up. I gave it the best shot there, and then Pat (Mahomes) threw it away, then we came back and decided to kick it."

Q: The way the teams went back and forth in the fourth quarter, did you feel like whoever won the coin toss in overtime was going to win the game?

REID: "You know I thought we were another tipped ball away from getting it back. We had opportunities there. I wasn't, when we lost the coin flip, that's not how I felt. I just felt like we needed to get a turnover and let's go stop them and punt it and then we go from there."

Q: They had three third and tens I think on that last drive, what were they doing on those third down plays?

REID: "They made plays. We probably could've gotten a little more pressure with our front guys. When Chris (Jones) goes out, he's a big part of that with the other two guys there of putting pressure on. I don't think that helped us a bunch. He tried to go with it and he just couldn't push off."

Q: When you guys scored right before the two-minute warning it almost looked like they let you score, did you feel like they let you score that touchdown to get the ball back?

REID: "I don't know if they let us score. We ran the ball. We got up and ran it. If the clock is running, then we can go there. It's one of those things. It's not like basketball. It's a little different sport. It's tough to score in this league. If you have opportunities to score you are going to score."

Q: What are some things you look at other than Patrick Mahomes, that gives you optimism about the future?

REID: "We led the National Football League in sacks and pressures on the quarterback, I think that's a positive thing. Having Brett Veach here working with our personnel, I think he will continue to bring in an influx of players in on both sides of the ball, it'll be great competition for the guys who are here. I like our wide receiver position. I'd like to get them all healthy and look forward to that after playing a year with Patrick (Mahomes), Kelc (Travis Kelce) is back, we have a good offensive line. There's a good, young nucleus of players. We found (Charvarius) Ward, who I thought stepped up and had a couple of nice plays today, that's a positive at corner. Eric Berry came back and played today, which is a positive, and he will be back. There's a lot of things to be optimistic about. We just have to get through it, you have to give me a little bit of time here. That was a tough one."

Q: You had a lot of young guys on the defense this year who started to jell together towards the end, is that another thing to look forward to?

REID: "Yeah, we made some moves there and I think it helped. We got (Daniel) Sorensen back healthy, EB (Eric Berry) came back for this one, he tried to come back for a couple of the others. Having him back and going I think, he's always a big time leader for our defense. I thought Justin Houston and Dee Ford had good years. We have a good young nucleus of players. They played their hearts out down the stretch. All these turnovers and things that were happening today, that's against a pretty good quarterback, and they had another opportunity for that last one, which would've ended the game."


Press Conference
Sunday, January 20, 2019

Q: What was happening in the first half with what they did so well? What did you guys do to change that in the second half?

MAHOMES: "They challenged us. They came up and played man. Not a lot of teams have this year. They put people in our face to see how we responded. The first half, we struggled. We couldn't make anything happen. The second half, I feel like our guys took the challenge and they (Patriots) were doing the same things and we were just winning. You have to find ways to win one-on-one matchups and we found ways in the second half."

Q: What was going through your mind during overtime when your defense is out there trying to get a stop?

MAHOMES: "I have ultimate trust in the defense. I know those guys are out there giving everything they have. I know those guys are doing whatever they can. They just ended up making more plays than we did in the end. At the same time, I had the trust that we were going to get the stop. If we got the chance, I felt like we were going to score."

Q: You got the ball and there was 30 seconds left in regulation and you guys are marching down. What was going through your head then and what was the atmosphere like?

MAHOMES: "We knew we just had to get it in field goal range. We got a pretty good return to get us into shorter yardage where we didn't have to get too much. We knew if we could get it into Harrison's (Butker) range, he was going to make it. So we found ways to get a couple plays there and he knocked it in."

Q: What did you say to the guys in the locker room knowing that not everyone may take the field together again?

MAHOMES: "Every team's going to be different year-to-year. We've got a lot of young guys on this team. It hurts. It hurts everybody. We knew we had opportunities in this game and throughout this season. We put in the work. We know that this can be a building block. It could be something that carries us in the future. Right now, it's the end but hopefully it's the beginning of a long time."

Q: Along the same lines, was that the kind of message Coach (Andy) Reid gave you guys?

MAHOMES: "No, you have to take in the hurt. You have to accept that this hurts. It's supposed to hurt. You put in work for this. You're doing everything you can to get to the Super Bowl and to win it. For this opportunity to fall short, it's going to hurt and he told us to accept that. You have to go through that. At the same time, when you look back and then you come back to look at the bigger picture, you know that you can build off of this feeling and use it as motivation to go out and find ways to win next time."

Q: How hard was it to sit there for most of the first half after only having eight completions?

MAHOMES: "You have to stay within the game plan. You can't try to do too much. They had a good game plan and they came out fast. We started slow, but we picked it up. You just have got to trust in the process and not try to do too much and things will start happening and having success your way."

Q: How did it feel to have to watch the Patriots win the coin toss and for Tom Brady to go out there and complete a game-winning drive?

MAHOMES: "It's just how the coin tosses, I guess you'd say. It's a thing where he had a great drive. He had a lot of third-down conversions. In big moments, guys made big catches for him. It's a thing where all you can do is support your teammates, trust your teammates, and when you get your opportunity, go out there and try to make plays."

Q: What adjustments did you guys see at halftime to get your guys in rhythm?

MAHOMES: "I think we just manned up. Noting different. They played the same coverages, we did the same things. Our guys just made plays. That was the message at halftime by everybody. It was to just man up and go out there and make plays against this man (coverage) and see what happens from there."

Q: Any doubt in your mind that if you guys had won the coin toss in overtime that you guys would've gone down there and scored?

MAHOMES: "No doubt at all, but that's just ifs and buts. You can't look at that, but at the same time I thought we were rolling. It didn't go our way and stuff happens."

Q: Near the end of regulation, they had three guys in their end zone and you had really no chance to score a touchdown there. Is that why you guys went with a field goal?

MAHOMES: "Yeah, we knew with the situation, Coach had told me before the play that we needed a touchdown or get the ball out of my hands and throw it away. We had a good play call on, but they had enough guys in the end zone that I didn't want to force it in there for a pick. I found a way to throw it out of bounds where it wasn't intentional grounding and Butker knocked it in."

Q: What will you think back on from now that's going to eat at you about today?

MAHOMES: "Just not starting how we wanted to start. We scored 31 points in the second half of both games we played them. We just have to find ways to start better. It's something I'll look back on for my entire career and use it as something that I can find ways to win these games when I'm in them."

Q: Your brethren next door, the Kansas City Royals, failed to win the World Series in 2014 but hit the offseason, refocused, and came back to win it the following year. What are your plans for the offseason with your teammates to get you all on the path for next season?

MAHOMES: "We'll be together. We're great friends. We have great relationships, so we'll get in the work. Like you said, it's not always the same team, but there's a lot of the same core guys that will be here next year and hopefully a lot of the whole team. For us, we're going to keep that chemistry going, get better in every single way that we can, look back at the film to see what we didn't do well and to see what we did do well and try to really emphasize that stuff. That's the stuff you have to do in order to be a great team and keep this success going."

Q: Tyreek Hill only had one catch. The media always talks about how Bill Belichick tries to take something away. Did they do a really good job with that and were there not many opportunities to get to him?

MAHOMES: "Yeah, they doubled him on like 95% of the plays. He made the one play with the deep one. Guys have to step up and I thought guys did. We put points on the board, we found ways to move the ball whenever we needed to. That just comes with how we played all season. Whoever gets their opportunity, they're out there making plays."



Q: What are your emotions right now?

KELCE: "Upset. Frustrated with how I played personally. I've just got to be better for my teammates. The way we fought, you can't ask for more out of the guys. I'm kind of at a loss for words. It's a hell of a run and it hurts to see it end the way it did today."

Q: How proud are you of your teammates?

KELCE: "I love these guys man. We call ourselves a family for a reason. We sure as hell fought like it today. We came together here at half, the defense played their tails off. The offense, we kept our foot on the pedal, we kept trying to put up points and fell short. We couldn't overcome today."


Q: What makes this one sting?

JONES: "Just all our work and commitment we put in it for six or seven months of football. You get these opportunities to get in the championship and play a high-quality game. It just hurts."

Q: What do you think kept you from getting 3rd-and-10 stops in overtime?

JONES: "(Tom) Brady got rid of the ball fast. We didn't get to the quarterback like we usually do. I put this on the defense. We've got to build from it, learn from it, and we'll be better next year."

Q: What does it say about this team that guys on both sides of the ball feel responsible for this loss?

JONES: "Both sides of the ball have to hold each other accountable. We'll definitely hold this dear to our hearts this offseason. Next year we'll definitely be in this position again and we've got to seal the deal."


Q: On overcoming the 14-point deficit:

FORD: "Yeah, we did. We put ourselves in a great position. In times and games like this, we want to capitalize."

Q: How proud are you of your teammates?

FORD: "I'm so proud. The adversity that we fought through all year. How close we got in all of our loses, how close we were and how we stayed together. That is hard to do, stick together. We are going to continue to stick together even through this tough loss."

Q: What was the difference in this football game at the end?

FORD: "They executed, and we didn't at the end of the day. Execution trumps everything, especially in overtime being what's at stake at this time of the year."


Q: Can you put into words this stunning ending?

MORSE: "I think the position we were in was kind of brought about by our offensive line in particular. Just poor execution in the first half. We scored 31 points in the second half. We can't put our team in a position (like that). Our defense battled like sons of guns. When you lose a heart-wrenching one, and in overtime, it is terrible. It is tough. For us it is just—I got nothing for you except it is gut-wrenching for sure."

Q: Do you feel like you have a foundation for next year?

MORSE: "I think it just speaks to the resilience of this team and this group of guys. I'm sure as hell proud to be a part of them. Proud to be a part of this last season, these last few years. It is fun. It is interesting. I mean, this team is one of a kind. The kind of chemistry, we are true friends. We are all real good friends. I think that is something you don't find often in the league."

Q: What halftime adjustments did you guys make to allow you to have more success in the second half?

MORSE: "I think we just had to come out with some better juice and better energy. We knew what they were going to bring. It wasn't a secret what they were going to do, we were just poor executing. It was a very spirited locker room at halftime, as it should be. We weren't playing or executing like we should as an offense and the defense was really kind of doing a great job. For us, we score 31 points and got into overtime, but we shouldn't have been in that position in the first place."


Q: What does it say about you guys that you were able to overcome a 14-point deficit?SCHWARTZ: "We never stopped fighting. You've seen that all year. When we were in the Denver game the first time and it's kind of been that way all year. We need to come out on top or else it doesn't really matter if you get back in it."

Q: Why do you think you got out to a slow start?SCHWARTZ: "They just played better than us. There's really nothing else to it, they were just better."

Q: What do you say to the fans?SCHWARTZ: "Thank you for all the support all year. It makes it a pretty tough place to play and a lot of that has to do with the fans."


Q: What are your thoughts on getting this far and falling just short?

ERVING: "It's tough. We went out there and we put everything into it as we've done all season. We fell a little short. It's unfortunate, but we've got to continue to hold our heads up and look forward to this offseason. Get some time off and just come back and get ready to make another run."

Q: What are some things that will make you more hungry after a game like this?

ERVING: "The game itself. The game itself. We had a lot of opportunities out there and we didn't capitalize. We let them get back into it there at the end. The game itself."

Q: As an offense what can you take from a game like this?

ERVING: "We should have started faster man. I don't think we scored in the first half. We just got to execute. We left a lot out there on the field."


Q: Comments on what happened in the game

WARE: "We tried to take care of our side of the ball, eliminate mistakes and penalties. We fought hard, it just wasn't good enough."

Q: Do you feel like the future is bright for this team?

WARE: "Absolutely, like I said, we fought hard. You know, they scored more points than us so we have to wait until next year. There isn't anything we can do about it now. I love my teammates. We'll be back at it, back to the grind. That's what we do."

Q: How do you reconcile what you have accomplished this year versus knowing that you came up one game short?

WARE: "There is a lot to build on. This team is very, very exciting. There are a lot of young players on both sides of the ball. These are my brothers. My teammates and coaching staff, we are in this together. Like I said, back at it, back to the drawing board. I'll see you all next year."

Q: What was the mood of the team going into overtime?

WARE: "The mentality was win. That's all we were trying to worry about. That scoreboard showed we didn't. Thanks to the Chiefs Kingdom. The fans that came out supported us. They were loud. Like I said, we have to finish. We didn't do that today."

Q: What did you guys do in the second half to fix the offense and get moving?

WARE: "We didn't change anything. We stayed to it, stayed true to ourselves. We overcome adversity. Each and every different player has their own obstacles they have overcome this year and throughout their career. I love my men that I go out there and battle with. We just have to play our ball. We have to play our ball from start to finish. They created more opportunities for themselves than we did."


Q: Comments on what happened in the game:

SORENSEN: "We had a chance to win the game. I thought we played well enough to pull it off. I thought the whole time that we were going to come back and get a stop and get the offense on the field."

Q: Comments on his interception and coming back

SORENSEN: "Yeah, we had two turnovers, which were big in the game for the defense getting the offense the ball back. Just like any game, especially at this time, there are highs and lows. You have to be able to ride them out. We just weren't able to finish on top."

Q: What does it say about this football team that you were able to come back from a 14-0 deficit?

SORENSEN: "We know what we are capable of. We got a slow start. We started playing Chiefs football after that. The offense got going and the defense made some good stops, a fourth down and a turnover and things like that."

Q: Can you talk about the role the referee calls made in the game tonight?

SORENSEN: "I can't talk about that."

Q: What were your emotions after you found out a penalty negated Charvarius Ward's interception? 

SORENSEN: "I thought the game was over and it wasn't."

Q: How proud are you of your teammates?

SORENSEN: "Super proud, everybody fought super hard. They gave everything they had."


Q: You got your first career postseason interception, in the first half. What did that feel like?

RAGLAND: "It felt good but not getting the win hurts. It hasn't really hit me yet. In the morning I'll wake up and realize. The end of season physical is tomorrow, that's when it will hit me. I'm proud of these guys, man, especially on defense. We fought all year. Some games we didn't have the best game but we fought as a team. I'll go to work with these guys any day."

Q: What was your thought going back onto the field in overtime?

RAGLAND: "Try to get them. We had them on third down but we just couldn't get off of the field. We had them. You just have to finish man, you just have to finish."

Q: You mentioned that you had them in third and long, what does it say about Tom Brady that he was able to convert so many times?

RAGLAND: "His calm and his poise, he has seen everything. He has been doing this for 100 years. It ceases to amaze me. Every year he does it, year in and year out. That's the type of guy he is, a great competitor, great quarterback. You can see why his team goes to Super Bowls every year. This team will be back, though, we will be back. We have the best quarterback coming back in the league, next year, in my opinion and we will be alright."

Q: Do you think it was their game plan to try to keep your quarterback off of the field?

RAGLAND: "I saw it at the beginning of the first drive. The way they were just running the ball. They got in the I formation and just kept leading up on me and throwing those short and medium routes. Then they get in goal line in 23 personnel and just play power ball. We fought hard this whole game. I'm proud of these guys but we just ran out of gas at the end."

Q: Were you guys winded as much as you were on the field?

RAGLAND: "We were exhausted but we still had chances to make plays and we've got to make those plays."


Q: Comments on playing on this team

CONLEY: "I've played on a lot of different teams and in college and here but this team is something special. They definitely have something that's different. They are winners. We didn't get it done tonight but we are definitely winners. My heart is kind of hurting right now, not necessarily for me, it's hurting for them too because that's what they want to do."

Q: Is there a different feeling this time as opposed to last year?

CONLEY: "I think there is a bit of a difference. There are signs of life around here. I think everyone can agree that we have someone special at the helm. A young guy and he is only going to get better. It's only going to go up. The talent he has around him is young and they are only going to get better too. I think this is only the beginning for Kansas City. I wouldn't be surprised if they are back in this spot soon and with a better result."

Q: What is the most frustrating part about the way this one ended?

CONLEY: "I think it's frustrating because we started the game not being ourselves. As a team we were not ourselves. It took us a half to get going. At that point, it's a little too late. There are a lot of things we could have corrected today but it really boils down to the little things. So many little things made this game."


Q: How are you feeling after the loss?

NNADI: "I can't really explain. I don't know what to tell you, it's just kind of mind blowing."

Q: What was your mindset going into the final minutes knowing what Tom Brady is capable of?

NNADI: "We know who Tom Brady is. When we got to the two-minute warning, I already knew, that's where he thrives. My thought was, we have to get a stop soon and get a stop now. When it got to overtime, honestly, I thought we could have done it. Football doesn't always go the way you want it to go. Hats off to the Patriots. They are a great team and they showed it every game of the year. Going into the last drive in overtime, we all tried our very best, point blank, period. With our backs to the wall, we need to make a stop and get the ball to the offense so they can do what they do. We got to that point and things just didn't go the way we wanted then to go."

Q: What was so difficult about getting the Patriots off of the field?

NNADI: "Those type of things, that's team defense. They stepped up their game. Great players make great plays. We just had to do our job. They saw an opportunity and they struck hot."

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