KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes’ reputation as a competitor shows every week on and off the field.

Lots of people close to Mahomes and even himself will routinely discuss how much the Kansas City Chiefs QB1 loves to win.

“It’s embarrassing for me to lose any time,” Mahomes said after the Chiefs’ Week 1 loss to the Detroit Lions.

As the Chiefs prepare to face the New York Jets on Sunday, Mahomes gave the Jets defense and secondary high praise as they are led by last year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year cornerback Sauce Gardner and former Kansas State Wildcat DJ Reed.

“They’re really good,” Mahomes said.

“We have a lot of respect for them. And we know that I want to try to prevent myself from negative plays. Just take those easy positive plays, and if you get the opportunity to take a shot, take it but if it’s not there, you got to continue to just drive and grind out points in this game and that’s a really good defense would be a great challenge for us.”

When asked about the corner duo, Mahomes immediately recalled Reed who did intercept Mahomes and score on a 35-yard pick-six when K-State faced Texas Tech in 2016. The Wildcats con the game 44-38 after being up 31-28 at the half.

“I think Reed got me in college for like a pick-six,” Mahomes said.

“I know he’s good at reading and recognizing routes and then saw [him] obviously had a great year this last year and [he’s] going to continue to get even better and better.”

Reed was a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and was waived after two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He spent the next two seasons thriving with the Seattle Seahawks before signing a three-year, $33 million contract with the New York Jets in 2022 where he has continued to flourish.

Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie is the highest-rated cornerback in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus, and Reed is seventh. He and Gardner man the skies for a Jets defense that has become the team’s backbone after they lost star QB Aaron Rodgers.

“The safeties are good. They had to rotate another other safety in this last week he played good ball. And they know that their D line is good. They know when they can kind of jump and make plays happen. It’s a good unit that you can tell they’ve been together for a year or two now, and they understand what their concept, their defenses and where they can be kind of a little bit weaker, and they know how to execute at that level.

“So it’s gonna be a great challenge for us, especially our young guys. And I’m excited for it.”

The Jets are coming off a 15-10 loss against the New England Patriots that was a battle for both sides. With an offense that has yet to produce more than 25 points led by QB Zach Wilson, they will depending on their defense when they face KC on Sunday Night Football.