Ravens' success against Patrick Mahomes can't easily be copied

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Patrick Mahomes has seen many different coverages and blitzes from opposing defenses during his first season as the Kansas City Chiefs' starting quarterback.

But he said Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens was the first time he felt such a determined effort to slow down the high-scoring Chiefs.

"They didn't want me to be comfortable," Mahomes said following a 27-24 overtime victory at Arrowhead Stadium. "They didn't want me to know what was coming every single play. I felt like sometimes they rushed to get to me and get the sack, and sometimes they tried to just close in the pocket and keep me within the pocket.

"When you're a young quarterback, I haven't seen some of those things they were doing. ... We knew we weren't going to score every single drive. I know that's the expectation every time we go out there, but you can't get frustrated."

Baltimore's plan worked to a point. The Ravens led 24-17 late in the game and held the Chiefs scoreless in the second half until the final minute of the fourth quarter.

Mahomes threw for 377 yards, his second highest total of the season. But with a passer rating of 91.5, Mahomes was held under 100 for only the third time this season.

Though the stats might not say it, coach Andy Reid called it Mahomes' best game.

"For a lot of reasons," Reid said. "This defense was a huge, huge challenge. [The Ravens] were really good and had a really good package, and they unloaded it at him and he kept bringing it.

"[Some quarterbacks] would hang their head [after] an interception or just [from] being hit. He doesn't do that. He tries to fix the problem, which is unique. ... He will tell me to dial it up again. It's different that way. I appreciate that. He's a unique kid."

Mahomes was pressured on 33 of his 57 dropbacks Sunday, the most dropbacks under duress by any quarterback in the last 10 seasons. Mahomes was 16-of-30 when pressured for 210 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Mahomes beat the Ravens' blitz, finishing 16-of-22 for 180 yards and a touchdown when the Ravens sent five or more pass-rushers, including his game-saving, fourth-down, 48-yard pass to Tyreek Hill late in the game and his tying touchdown pass to Damien Williams in the final minute of the fourth quarter.

If the Chiefs face the Ravens in the playoffs, Mahomes and the Chiefs might have a problem. The Ravens, who entered the game as the No. 1 defense in both points and yards allowed, have the talent to pull off an upset.

But Mahomes said the Chargers, who face the Chiefs on Thursday night at Arrowhead, and other upcoming opponents might not be able to copy the plan.

"This defense is really good," Mahomes said. "They're the real deal. They did a lot of things ... they really mixed it up. It was like a different coverage on every single play.

"They had a good game plan that they were going to try to mix it up. It's easier said than done on defense because you've got to have the veteran guys and the talent to execute every single call."

Mahomes made some unconventional plays against the Ravens. He completed a no-look pass to Demarcus Robinson in the first half. He threw across his body for 40-plus yards downfield to Hill while sprinting to the right sideline because of pressure.

The Chiefs are happy he has those kinds of plays at his disposal, but he would prefer to avoid them.

"I'm definitely comfortable with it, but I'm definitely more comfortable when it's on time and you can kind of just set your feet and throw," he said. "That's when you can really show off the accuracy and what you've got to do to be a great quarterback in this league."