KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Quarterback Patrick Mahomes needs some help after all. The Kansas City Chiefs left the NFL’s reigning MVP with little assistance on Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts, and for the first time this season, Mahomes couldn’t deliver a victory.
The Chiefs failed to protect Mahomes well or take any meaningful pressure off him with the running game. Mahomes was left battered — he left the field with a limp with the rest of the offense to make way for the punting unit late in the third quarter after his left ankle was stepped on by a teammate — and the Chiefs had their lowest scoring game with him at quarterback in a 19-13 loss at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs weren’t productive with their running game, but the sample was small. The Chiefs played without their top wide receiver, the injured Tyreek Hill. The other, Sammy Watkins, left early in the first quarter because of a hamstring injury.
That made the Chiefs’ offensive play selection unusual, to say the least. Mahomes was sacked four times and took hits after several throws.
Biggest hole in the game plan: The Chiefs came out throwing and never made any kind of commitment to the running game. Taking away runs by Mahomes, the Chiefs ran six times in the first half. Meanwhile, Mahomes threw 28 passes. The situation didn’t improve much in the second half. The running game wasn’t productive, but the Chiefs could have used it more to take some pressure off of Mahomes and the passing game.
Eye-popping NextGen Stat: Patrick Mahomes took 7.61 seconds to throw his second-quarter touchdown pass to Byron Pringle, the longest time to throw a scoring pass in his career. Mahomes was flushed from the pocket by pressure, reversed his field and threw the 27-yard pass to Pringle in the end zone.
Pivotal play: The Chiefs faced a fourth-and-1 from their 34 with about five minutes left, down 16-10. They tried to convert with Damien Williams in the running game, but he never had a chance. Former Chief Justin Houston, who was discarded during the offseason in an attempt to rebuild the defense, tackled Williams for a 1-yard loss, and the Colts took over. They used the favorable field position to move for a field goal that put them ahead by nine points.