The last time Patrick Mahomes stepped on a football field, he played the worst game of his playoff career and watched the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Mahomes won't forget the Kansas City Chiefs getting blown out in the Super Bowl, nor how the team failed to repeat as champions.
This isn't the first time Mahomes has failed in the NFL, even though he's had a tremendous amount of success in his young career. The last time Mahomes experienced a grueling playoff exit, the record-setting quarterback rebounded by putting on a playoff performance for the ages as the Chiefs won their first Super Bowl title in 50 years.
Is history going to repeat itself? Mahomes is using the same philosophy when he last experienced postseason defeat.
"I think you have to take it back to the first year that I started, we lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. I mean you have to let that stuff motivate you to get better each and every day," Mahomes said on a conference call with reporters Monday. "You look back at that and we were able to find a way to kind of flip a switch and make ourselves better and make a run at the Super Bowl the next year and try to have that same mentality of knowing that we've been there two years in a row now.
"We've won one, lost one. We have to find a way to get back and try to win it."
Mahomes typically tries to create a big play in order to get Kansas City's offense going. He was guilty of that in Super Bowl LV, as the All-Pro quarterback completed just 53.1% of his passes and threw two interceptions in the 31-9 loss. The 52.3 passer rating was the lowest of Mahomes' career.
Instead of hitting home runs and making things happen, Mahomes vows to take the single and move on to the next at-bat.
"There were times in the game where we're down in the game and I would try to scramble to make a play happen," Mahomes said. "They were playing a lot of deep coverages and I probably could have handed it off on some RPO type options that we had. At the end of the day we just got to execute at a higher level as an offense and I know the guys are motivated to come back and do whatever we can this offseason whenever that is and to make ourselves the best team we possibly can."
Keeping it simple is the next step for Mahomes to elevate his game. Based on past improvements, good chance Mahomes makes this happen.