For a while, it looked like the Kansas City Chiefs’ division title, all but a foregone conclusion for months, was in some danger.
Then Patrick Mahomes came to the to the rescue.
Mahomes made an unbelievable fourth-down pass to Tyreek Hill for 48 yards to keep a drive alive with the Chiefs trailing by a touchdown. The Chiefs tied it on another fourth-down completion, a short pass to running back Damien Williams with less than a minute to go. The Chiefs missed a potential game-winning field goal at the end of regulation, but no matter. Kansas City won the coin toss and Mahomes led a drive that resulted in a go-ahead field goal. Then the defense held to clinch the 27-24 win. The Chiefs clinched a playoff berth with the victory.
The Chiefs face the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night in a big AFC West game. But the Chiefs have a bit of a cushion still, after Mahomes’ heroics.
Patrick Mahomes comes up big
Mahomes has already shown a knack for coming up big at the end, even if he’s held down early. He did that earlier this season on a Monday night at Denver, and he did it Sunday.
The Ravens did a good job against Mahomes for 3½ quarters. They pressured him well. And in the final minutes, they needed to make one more play to get a huge road upset.
After the Ravens took a 24-17 lead late, the Chiefs were down to their last play. A third-and-3 pass to Ware lost a yard. Then a false start before fourth down pushed them back again. Then on fourth-and-9 with the game on the line, Mahomes made an amazing pass, rolling right and throwing back across the field to Hill for the 48-yard gain. Given the circumstances, it’s hard to find a much better throw. Williams scored a fourth-down touchdown with 53 seconds left on a short pass from Mahomes.
The Chiefs had a shot to win in regulation. Justin Houston strip-sacked Lamar Jackson in Chiefs territory. The Chiefs were content to settle for a long field goal, and two runs up the middle set up a miss by Harrison Butker.
It ended up fine. The Chiefs drove downfield on the first possession of overtime and, with a bit of luck after the Ravens were unable to recover a Mahomes fumble, Butker gave them the lead.
Chiefs get a stop to win
The Chiefs still needed a stop to close out a bit win. Jackson drove the Ravens into Chiefs territory. But the drive stalled and Jackson was sacked for a big loss on second down. He was injured on the play and Robert Griffin III had to come in. Griffin threw incomplete twice, including on a nice fourth-down throw that was knocked away.
The Chiefs were on the ropes, and their lead in the AFC West that they’ve held since beating the Chargers in Week 1 was in jeopardy. But Mahomes made an amazing fourth-down pass to keep them alive. That play might be the difference in who wins the AFC West.
It might also decide who wins MVP this season.
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