Kansas City’s superstar quarterback was proud of how his team performed in a comeback victory
Late in the Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 9 game against the Tennessee Titans, the home team found themselves in a somewhat familiar spot: down on the scoreboard. Kansas City is no stranger to that and while this week’s challenge was nothing insurmountable, the momentum and trends of the game made a 17-9 disadvantage appear to be a multi-score deficit to just about everyone watching.
Despite many things working against both him and the offense as a whole, quarterback Patrick Mahomes put the unit on his back en route to a 20-17 win.
Late in the fourth quarter, Mahomes almost single-handedly led a drive in which he made plays with his arms and legs. Capping things off with a 14-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion score on the ground, the MVP-winning quarterback added to his already historic highlight reel of feats. Kansas City ended up putting the game away in overtime for the win and afterward, Mahomes detailed his rushing touchdown and also praised the entire team for completing the comeback.
“Yeah, I mean, they had good plans,” Mahomes said of the Titans. “They did a good job. On the touchdown run, I probably could have just thrown it to JuJu (Smith-Schuster) but I had fully committed to run it at that point. We were just battling at the end of the game. We were just trying to find a way to win, and our defense kept us in the game long enough to do that.”
In the victory, Mahomes accounted for a whopping 82% of the Chiefs’ total rushing yards on the night. Additionally, he became the first player in NFL history with at least 400 passing yards, 60 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown all in the same game. It was a legendary effort from a player who is known to produce them, and it happened in spite of a lackluster offensive effort from the Chiefs through three quarters and change.
In all, Mahomes targeted 12 different players on offense and completed 43 of his career-high 68 pass attempts for 446 yards and a touchdown. Nothing came easy for Kansas City on offense through the air or on the ground, and Mahomes made up almost all of that production. With some timely help from tight ends Travis Kelce and Noah Gray, as well as a clutch reception or two from wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, everything came together in the end. Mahomes admitted that while this win wasn’t a pretty one, it served as yet another example of how he and the rest of the team can win in a playoff-like environment.
“The battle… these are playoff games,” Mahomes said. “These are games you’re going to need if you’re going to try to win a Super Bowl. Obviously, we want to be that high-flying [offense] scoring every time we’re out there on the field but I think with the schedule that we’ve played, we’ve won all different types of ways against a lot of great football teams. We’ve shown that we can do it in different ways, but we’ve got to keep it going. We have to keep building and keep getting better — offense, defense and special teams — to try and prepare ourselves to go out there and win the AFC West.”
Eight games into the 2022 campaign, Kansas City sits atop the AFC West standings at 6-2. The Chiefs are tied with the Buffalo Bills, losers on Sunday, for the best record in the conference as well. They still need some help from Buffalo in order to regain the advantage for the top overall seed in the AFC, but this win was still an important one nevertheless. It also generated some distance between them and the Titans, a team that multiple players said could prove to be a challenger down the road. On the heels of an epic comeback, Mahomes tipped his cap to Tennessee and echoed that sentiment. He also sent a message: Kansas City isn’t backing down.
“We’re going to see this team a lot,” Mahomes said. “They’re well coached, (Mike) Vrabel is a heck of a coach, they have a lot of great players and they bring a physicality to the game. We’re not going to back down from anybody. I’m glad at the way our guys responded, and we went out there and battled to the very end and got the win.”