Patrick Mahomes says the Chiefs and Bengals can’t be called rivals at this point

Jeff Dean/AP

A few years ago, NFL pundits were touting the Chiefs-Ravens rivalry as being on the cusp of becoming one of the biggest in the league.

That was replaced by the Chiefs-Bills, especially after Kansas City’s epic playoff win in January.

Following the Bengals’ 27-24 win over the Chiefs on Sunday, there’s been much made of the rivalry between the teams. Could this be the biggest rivalry in the NFL?

One person not ready to call it a rivalry just yet is Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Although Mahomes has a 67-19 career record as a starter, including the playoffs, he is well aware that he and the Chiefs are 0-3 against the Bengals and Joe Burrow.

“I don’t know if you call it a rivalry,” Mahomes said Monday on KCSP (610 AM). “We haven’t beat them yet. So until we beat them, that is not really a rivalry. They just have beat us a couple times now. So I’m sure we’ll play them a lot in the following years and maybe again in the playoffs if we match up again there.

“But there’s a lot of good teams in the AFC, so we have to just continue to get better and better and prepare ourselves to make a playoff run.”

The loss Sunday dropped the Chiefs’ record to 9-3 and they were knocked from the top spot in the AFC playoff race behind the Bills.

But Mahomes is confident the Chiefs can finish the season strong.

“We understand where we’re at,” Mahomes said. “Obviously, everybody is disappointed we lost (Sunday), but we know that if we can continue to win a lot of football games we can go get what we wanted from the beginning of the year. And so it’s just about how you build, how you build and continue to get better.

“And we’re playing the Denver Broncos this week, it’s always a competitive game against them. They have a crazy good defense from watching the film. And so, how are we going to respond as an offense and as a team to play a rival that we’ve played for a long time? It is always a close game.”

Mahomes was also asked about his foot, which appeared to be injured on the final offensive play against the Bengals when he was sacked.

Mahomes limped off the field as the Chiefs tried a field goal.

“It’s good. I mean, my foot and ankle are a little bruised,” Mahomes said. “But this is a bruise. As long as everything’s all healthy and everything like that, I’ll be out there playing. You deal with those little dings and stuff like that during a football game and a football season. So you just kind of deal with it and keep moving forward.”