KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Seven years ago, a cheeky news report about De La Salle Collegiate’s dominating victory in the Michigan Division 2 state football championship went viral.
Early in the week, Kansas City Chiefs rookie quarterback Shane Buechele was watching film in the QB room with Patrick Mahomes when he pulled the clip from the YouTube mothballs.
“I was saying I need to get my swag back and he showed me that video,” Mahomes said.
One minute into the video, a De La Salle player awkwardly yet confidently utters, “I think I got my swagger back,” in a high-pitched voice to the delight of his teammates, who quickly join in.
“I was like, ‘Man, that’s what we’re going to do on Sunday,’” Mahomes said.
Restoring the swagger became something of a theme for Mahomes in the buildup to Sunday Night Football against the AFC West rival Las Vegas Raiders.
Five touchdowns and 406 yards later, Kansas City certainly felt swaggy after surging back to the top of the AFC West standings with a 41-14 win. The Chiefs have won a record-tying five straight division titles and now control their own fate in the quest for another.
“That was my motto this week, and I think the whole team got that swag back,” Mahomes said. “We’re going to try to keep that thing rolling.”
Mahomes darted 8- and 1-yard touchdowns to wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the first half as Kansas City built a 10-point halftime lead.
During the second half, Mahomes added touchdowns to Noah Gray, Darrel Williams and Byron Pringle — his fifth career five-touchdown game and second of the season.
Hill never doubted Mahomes would rediscover his mojo, which had been missing during the last three weeks.
“I can’t ask to be in a better position with a better quarterback,” Hill said. “So, we’re all very fortunate. I never worried about him. He’s a guy that never gets comfortable. He’s always trying to get better. He’s always trying to find ways to improve himself or the team. Believe this or not, without him, we don’t go anywhere — he knows that.”
Mahomes said he’s focused on getting back to basics at practice in recent weeks and not worrying about outside (or internal) expectations, like getting back to the Super Bowl. But he also had faith in the offense's explosive capabilities.
“It just comes with (the fact that) we’ve done it before,” Mahomes said. “We’ve done it these last few seasons. We were doing it at the beginning of this season. We were moving the ball and making a lot of stuff happen, but we were just turning the ball over. Then, we went through a little spell where we weren’t making these drives and continuing these drives, but we were still finding ways to win.
"I knew we were going to click back into it. I’ve been saying it for weeks, we’re going to find it. We have the guys — we have too many guys that work hard, we have too many great coaches that work hard and put in the time, that we’re going to find a way to get stuff going.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid also had faith that Mahomes would start doing Mahomes things again soon enough despite averaging only 12 points during a loss at Tennessee and wins against the New York Giants and Green Bay during the last three weeks.
“Pat’s lasted longer than any quarterback in the history of the game without a slump,” Reid said. “So, it’s going to happen. There’s going to be a little something that, it doesn’t go your way. It’s important that you power through it, stay confident and keep firing. That’s how he’s wired, and you knew he was going to get through the ups and downs just by the way he handles himself.”