That sounds like a recipe for failure for the Chiefs, who in the absence of three injured offensive starters have been asking for even more from the NFL’s reigning MVP. But it worked out for them on Sunday, as they came back from behind to beat the Detroit Lions 34-30 on Darrel Williams‘ 1-yard touchdown run with 20 seconds left.
They drove 79 yards for the score. Mahomes was 6-of-9 on the drive for 55 yards but his most important play was his 15-yard scramble on fourth down to keep the Chiefs alive.
“On the final drive, he made every play we needed him to,” Chiefs tackle Mitchell Schwartz said. “He won’t play a game where he’s not the most important player on the field. It doesn’t matter what the stats show.”
The Chiefs appeared headed to defeat after the Lions scored with 2:26 remaining to take the lead. But they left too much time for Mahomes.
“As a leader on this team, (Mahomes) kept us collected and kept us with one goal in mind, and that’s to get the ball in the end zone no matter how long it takes us to get it there and whether it takes us one play or 16 plays, 20 plays,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “It doesn’t matter. We’re going north and we’re getting the ball in that end zone. I think Pat does an unbelievable job of rallying the troops when we need it the most.”
Mahomes threw for 315 yards while completing 24-of-42 passes. But he went without a TD throw for the fourth time, three in the regular season and once in last year’s playoff game against IndiaNapolis.
Peyton Manning’s record of 15 games with at least two touchdown passes is also safe, at least for now.
However, Mahomes did become the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to lead his team to multiple 4-0 starts before his 25th birthday.
“Just finding ways to win a football game,” Mahomes said. “That’s how you roll in this league. It’s not always the touchdowns and the yards. It’s about just finding a way to win.
“If you want to be great as a team and as a player, it’s how you win the game. I’m just going to go out there every single week and do what it takes to win.”