Chiefs survive 3 Patrick Mahomes interceptions, Tua Tagovailoa rally to top Dolphins, clinch AFC West

This isn’t how they drew it up.

But the Kansas City Chiefs fended off Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins to improve to 12-1 and clinch their fifth straight AFC West title on Sunday.

Kansas City survived four turnovers, including three Patrick Mahomes interceptions, to secure a 33-27 victory at Hard Rock Stadium, the site of their Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers in February.

They bounced back from an early 10-0 deficit aided by the longest sack in NFL history to open a 30-10 lead that threatened to be a romp over the upstart Dolphins.

Miami didn’t quit.

 Andrew Van Ginkel #43 of the Miami Dolphins defends as Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs passes the ball during the first half of the game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Patrick Mahomes survived uncharacteristic mistakes to lead Kansas City to victory. (Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Tua rallies Dolphins in 4th quarter

Tagovailoa led the Dolphins to 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to cut the Chiefs lead to 30-24 before a late Kansas City drive ended in a Harrison Butker field goal that secured the final margin.

When he wasn’t turning the ball over or taking historic sacks, Mahomes looked like his normal self, completing 24 of 34 pass attempts for 393 yards with two touchdowns. Travis Kelce led Kansas City’s offense with eight catches for 136 and a score while Tyreek Hill caught three passes for 79 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown to open a 21-10 Kansas City lead on the first drive of the second half.

A punt return for a touchdown by Mecole Hardman and a Chris Jones sack for a safety blew the game open midway through the third quarter as the Chiefs took a 30-10 lead. But the Dolphins made it interesting at the end.

Tagovailoa split three Chiefs defenders to find tight end Mike Gesicki for a 29-yard touchdown to cut Kansas City’s lead to 30-17 early in the fourth quarter.

He capped a 75-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown sneak on the next Miami possession to pull within six with less than five minutes remaining.

Chiefs survive Mahomes mistakes

But the Chiefs effectively ended the game on their next possession with Butker’s field goal to extend their lead to two possessions. Tagovailoa completed 28 of 48 passes for 316 yards with two passing touchdowns and an interception while ensuring that Kansas City wouldn’t run away with the game.

The loss dropped the Dolphins to 8-5, which leaves them in a tough battle in the season’s final three weeks to clinch a playoff berth in the AFC.

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