Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes threw a career high six touchdown passes during the Chiefs' loss to the Rams in Week 11. In this picture, Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs walks off the field after being defeated by the Los Angeles Rams 54-51 in a game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Nov. 19, 2018. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs have firmly established themselves as the favorites to finish as the American Football Conference (AFC) number one seeds with a 9-2-0 record with quarterback Patrick Mahomes II leading the way.

The 23-year-old quarterback, who was the 10th overall pick in the 2017 Draft, has lit up the NFL this season with a league-leading 37 touchdown passes in 11 games thus far. The Chiefs won their first five games of the season before succumbing to the AFC number two seeds, the New England Patriots, and then went on a four game win streak before being beaten by the Los Angeles Rams in probably the game of the season.

The Chiefs went down 54-51 to the current number one seeds in the National Football Conference (NFC) and despite Mahomes impressing with a career best six touchdown passes – he also recorded five turnovers.

The Chiefs quarterback threw 478 yards, which was 103 more than he had thrown in an NFL game, according to the Kansas City Star. However, he was not happy about the turnovers, which was three interceptions and two lost fumbles. The Kansas City franchise had a bye week after their Monday night clash against the Rams and Mahomes has had plenty of time to analyze what went wrong that night.

The young quarterback gave an honest assessment of his mistakes on the night, but he first credited Rams defender Aaron Donald, who was a menace for the Chiefs offensive line.

He made two interceptions one of which resulted in a fumble that was converted into a touchdown. Donald is the best interior defensive lineman in the NFL and also leads the league with 15 sacks. But despite crediting Donald for couple of great plays, Mahomes was quick to accept the blame by admitting that he had to keep the ball more secure when trying to get out of the pocket.

“First off, the guy made great plays,” Mahomes said of Donald, as quoted by the Kansas City Star. “He swatted directly on the ball both times.”

“In the pocket I usually keep two hands on the ball,” he added. “He got me at the perfect time I was trying to escape. You have to be secure with the ball. You can’t lose it.”

“I haven’t been strip sacked a lot, but at the same time, I’m going to try and improve on just keeping two hands on the ball even when I do try to break the pocket.”

Mahomes also admitted that being indecisive cost him during the game after one of his intended short passes late in the third quarter was intercepted by linebacker Samson Ebukam and returned for a 25 yard touchdown. In the same play, receiver Tyrek Hill was open, but the quarterback chose the short pass to Demetrius Harris.

“You just have to be decisive,” Mahomes said. “I was kind of looking at Tyreek and I saw Harris open up and instead of just ripping the ball, I was indecisive with the throw… You have to eliminate those when you want to beat good teams.”

However, the final interception was one that bothered Mahomes the most and it came near the end when the Chiefs were trailing 51-54. He attempted a deep pass as they were closing in on field-goal range, but he was interrupted by Ebukam and his pass fell short and was intercepted by former Chiefs player Marcus Peters.

“I think the biggest one for me was when we were almost in field-goal range and just knowing when and when not to take a chance,” Mahomes explained. “Every experience, good or bad, you have to learn from.”

The Chiefs take on the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum and they will be favorites to pick up the win against a team that has won just two of their 11 games this season. And head coach Andy Reid was certain that Mahomes would not make the same mistakes twice.

“One thing about Pat,” Reid said. “He doesn’t make the same mistake twice. I’m not worried about that.”