By Frank Pingue
(Reuters) - Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said on Monday his team's Super Bowl defeat by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will drive him on for the rest of his NFL career.
Mahomes, who was aiming for a second consecutive Super Bowl triumph, was unable to penetrate the host Buccaneers defense in Sunday's championship game during which he turned in one of the worst outings of his largely stellar career.
"When you're a competitor and you get so close to your ultimate goal and you fall short, it's something that will motivate you for the rest of your career," said Mahomes.
"It was a bad feeling in that locker room after the game and you don't want to have that feeling again."
Against Tampa Bay, the 25-year-old Mahomes completed 26 of 49 passes for 270 yards and two interceptions as his top-seeded Chiefs fell 31-9.
Mahomes, a superb athlete with an unprecedented resume for a player of his age, said he will focus on studying game film to ensure he remains ahead of other teams who will undoubtedly try to draw from the defensive game plan used by the Bucs.
"Obviously with our offense and the success that we've had, when teams see the defensive plan that (the Buccaneers) had and how well it worked, they're obviously going to try to do the same things," said Mahomes.
"So we'll try to find ways to combat that. It's the evolution of our offense where we're going to have to do better things and be more efficient."
While the Chiefs failed in their bid to become the NFL's first repeat champion for 16 years, Mahomes remains confident his team will be back on the game's biggest stage.
"It's not the end of something," said Mahomes, who was the Most Valuable Player of last year's Super Bowl. "It's going to be another chapter where we're going to have to continue to drive to make ourselves better so we're back in that game."
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)