Chiefs WR Byron Pringle stands out as offense sputters

Chiefs Titans Football
Posted at 6:08 PM, Oct 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-24 19:08:28-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs offense has had a couple pedestrian games fueled by turnovers this season.

Still, Patrick Mahomes and company were on a record pace for third-down conversions (60.3%) and points per drive (3.14) entering Sunday’s loss at Tennessee.

That’s what made the 27-3 throttling — the second-worst loss the Chiefs have suffered under coach Andy Reid — so shocking.

It was the fewest points a Reid-coached offense has scored in the last 12 seasons since Philadelphia was shut out in the 2009 regular-season finale.

“They didn’t give us a different look,” wide receiver Byron Pringle said. “We just should have come out ready to play and executed at a high level. ... We all have to go back, look ourselves in the mirror and come back ready to play.”

If there was a bright spot, it probably was Pringle, who finished with a team-high 73 yards on five catches. He also had the longest reception of the game — a 25-yard catch — among his six targets.

Pringle made a fantastic leaping grab on a scramble drill, which Mahomes floated back toward the middle as he escaped toward the left sideline for a 23-yard gain on Kansas City’s only scoring drive.

Pringle also hauled in a 25-yard bomb on fourth-and-8, snagging the pass high over the middle between two defenders and taking a shot to the ribs on the way to the ground.

The 73 yards represent the second-most of his career for Pringle, who went undrafted out of Kansas State University before signing with the Chiefs in 2018. He had six catches for 103 yards in an Oct. 6, 2019, loss against Indianapolis.

Pringle’s five catches also were the second-most of his career.

During the last six games, Pringle has totaled 16 catches for 237 yards and two touchdowns. He’s already set season career-highs for targets (23), receptions (17), receiving yards (243), first downs (12) and touchdown catches (two) in 2021.

Asked about conversations he’s had with Mahomes, Pringle said he told the Chiefs’ quarterback that “I’m here to fight with you, bro. I’m out here to go to war. That’s what we practice for throughout the week, and you can lean on me whenever I’m in there — whether it’s blocking, catching or running the ball. I’m there with you.”

The gist of the message is that he doesn't want Mahomes to feel like he’s “in there by himself,” and just maybe Kansas City’s quarterback is starting to trust him more in an offense than desperate for production outside Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.