CHICAGO — The Chiefs defense continued its late season surge, holding the Chicago Bears to just 234 yards of offense in a 23-3 win at Solider Field Sunday night
"Everybody (is) contributing and staying aggressive and making plays," head coach Andy Reid said. "I can't say enough about the growth of our defense and we're staying consistent.
The Chiefs have held opponents to just 9.6 points per game during the club's five-game winning streak. They stand 11-4 heading into next week's season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu thinks the defense is peaking at just the right time after dealing with adversity through the first half of the season.
"I think we know who we are defensively, Mathieu said. "I think we know that we have the guys to get it done. We have been really committing ourselves to preparing the right way."
The Chiefs offense did its part as well. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 22-of-32 passing for 240 yards and two touchdowns. He also scrambled for a 12-yard touchdown.
Reid said he thought Mahomes delivered against an aggressive Bears' pass rush.
"I think it was a good solid performance," Reid said. "He had some unbelievable throws in the mix there and not a lot of guys can do that."
Mahomes, on his second pass of the game, connected with wide receiver Sammy Watkins for a 17-yard gain. That put him over the 9,000-yard mark for his career, reaching that milestone in just his 30th career game. Kurt Warner previously owned that distinction, reaching that level in 32 games. Mahomes now has 9,227 passing yards in his career.
His two touchdown passes also made Mahomes the fastest quarterback to reach 75 career touchdown throws. Dan Marino reached that mark in 31 games.
Despite the career offensive milestones for Mahomes, the night belong to the Kansas City defense. Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky never found a rhythm, finishing the game 18-of-34 for 157 yards. The Bears had some success on the ground, topping 100 yards on the night, but the offense averaged just 4 yards per play.
The Chiefs knew that a defensive turnaround under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo would take some time in developing. Through the first 10 games of the season, the Chiefs yielded a pedestrian 23.6 points per game. But now Reid says he sees a defense playing with greater speed and confidence than they did earlier in this season.
"It's just a matter of the players buying into it and them him being able to add to it every week," Reid said. "That's a compliment to both Spags, his coaches and the players for trusting in it. Things didn't start off great, but he was able to keep adding a bit here and there because of the guys' work ethic, ability to study and learn."
Tyrann Mathieu paced the Chiefs defense with six tackles and pass defensed. Defensive linemen Chris Jones and Frank Clark and linebacker Reggie Ragland combined for three sacks for Kansas City.
Mathieu said his defensive teammates take pride in their ability to "wreck a game" they way have over the past month.
"We control football games and that is what we have been trying to do, especially defensively," Mathieu said. "We have been trying to play aggressively, and put teams in bad situations. We have been doing a good job of that."
The Chiefs keep alive a chance to earn the No. 2 seed and a bye week in the AFC playoffs with a victory over the Chargers next week coupled with a Miami Dolphins victory over the New England Patriots.
"If we get (the No. 2 seed), that's great," Reid said. "If we don't, we'll be ready for that too. It's not in our hands necessarily there, so whatever we get. When you're in the dance, you got to be ready dance and you've got to do it well."