KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the second time in the last three games, the Kansas City Chiefs committed four turnovers and didn’t force any.
Unsurprisingly, the Chiefs lost both games — a 30-24 loss Sept. 26 against the Los Angeles Chargers and a 38-20 loss Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, both games at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Turnovers are a huge deal in this league,” said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. “Turnover margin usually decides games, so it’s something we have to correct if we want to win games.”
Mahomes later added — perhaps channeling his inner President Harry S. Truman — that the buck stops with him when it comes to eradicating the turnover bug.
“It starts with me,” Mahomes said. “I think three of them were on me — the interceptions and then the fumble at the end of the game. I have to correct that. I have to be better.”
Mahomes threw two third-quarter interceptions, including a tipped pass that went through wide receiver Tyreek Hill’s hands and into Bills safety Micah Hyde’s for a 26-yard interception-return touchdown.
The Chiefs trailed 31-13 at that point.
Mahomes’ second interception, which defensive end Gregory Rousseau tipped to himself, and the fumble, which came on a dropped snap late in the game, came in the red zone.
Byron Pringle also fumbled a kickoff return, but the miscues are only a piece of the turnover puzzle.
Kansas City’s defense hasn’t forced a turnover since safety Tyrann Mathieu intercepted Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson twice in the first quarter of a Sept. 19 loss to the Ravens.
It’s been 15 full quarters since the last time the Chiefs took the ball away from the opposing team.
“You look back on it, the last few weeks, I don’t think we have a turnover,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “That’s a big part of this game, too — getting the ball back to your offense.”
Meanwhile, Kansas City has committed 11 turnovers during that span, including six interceptions by Mahomes.
He only threw five in 14 games during the 2019 season and only had six all of last season.
“It’s not something I’ve usually done in my career, but I have to re-evaluate where I’m at and what decisions I’m making,” Mahomes said.
Kansas City head coach Andy Reid doesn’t see a pattern to the offensive turnovers, but he does feel the urgency to fix the problems causing them.
“Each one’s different,” Reid said when asked if there was a common thread to the turnovers. “No, other than they’ve got to stop for us to be competitive. That’s my responsibility, I’ve got to make sure the team plays the right way. Right now, we’re playing the right way.”
Mahomes sounded like a player ready and willing to dig into the problem and find solutions.
“I have to cut it out,” Mahomes said. “At the end of the day, if you cut out those turnovers, it’s a different ballgame. I don’t know if we win, but it’s a different ballgame.”
He understands that opposing teams have painted a giant bulls-eye on the Chiefs — who have hosted three straight AFC Championship Games, reaching the Super Bowl each of the last two seasons.
Teams know the path to the Promised Land goes through Kansas City, and they’ve used turnovers to put the Chiefs in a big early-season hole in the playoff race.
“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Mahomes said. “I want to be as prepared as possible to play in the playoffs and to try to make it to the Super Bowl. If that means we’re going to get the best shot from every single team, I’m ready for the challenge.”