Mahomes shines as Chiefs avenge loss to Raiders
Patrick Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce on a touchdown pass with 28 seconds left as the Kansas City Chiefs avenged an earlier loss to the Las Vegas Raiders with a thrilling 35-31 victory on Sunday.
Mahomes engineered two brilliant scoring drives in the final quarter and Kelce grabbed eight passes for 127 yards for the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs, who improved to 9-1 on the season.
“The guys stepped up and made crucial plays at crucial times. That is a great football team and we wanted to show them that everything goes through Kansas City,” Mahomes said.
Super Bowl MVP Mahomes started slowly before finishing with 348 passing yards, including the 22-yard winning toss to Kelce.
The Raiders celebrated their win in Kansas City last month with a victory lap around Arrowhead Stadium in their team buses, a bold statement that angered the Chiefs and their coach Andy Reid.
“You never want to lose to the same team twice,” said Mahomes. “They beat us in Kansas City so we had to find a way to beat this team.”
The Raiders led 24-21 on Darren Waller’s touchdown catch on the first play of the fourth quarter, but Mahomes led a 91-yard scoring drive midway through the period for a touchdown.
Quarterback Derek Carr answered with a strong drive which ended on Jason Witten’s one-yard touchdown catch with just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
But Mahomes needed just 75 seconds to go 75 yards for another score as Kelce got open across the middle then scored easily.
Carr made a desperation long pass but the Chiefs’ Daniel Sorensen picked off the attempt with 19 seconds to go.
Also, Derrick Henry delivered another stellar performance, rushing for the winning touchdown in overtime as the Tennessee Titans rallied to beat the Baltimore Ravens 30-24 in a testy affair between the AFC division rivals.
Henry capped the scoring with a 29-yard touchdown romp with 5:21 left in the extra session as the Titans stormed back from a 21-10 third quarter deficit in front of a pandemic-limited crowd of 21,000 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.
“I try to do anything I can when the ball’s in my hand to help our team win,” Henry said.
Henry carried the ball 28 times for 133 yards to record his sixth 100-yard game of the season. He also surpassed 1,000 total rushing yards for the third straight year.
In January, Henry ran roughshod over the top-seeded Ravens, finishing with 195 yards in the AFC Divisional playoff game.
There was a heated exchange before the game which was sparked by Tennessee’s apparent invasion of the Ravens’ space during the warmup. Baltimore coach John Harbaugh took exception to the Titans’ players congregating on the Ravens’ logo at midfield and Harbaugh and Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel ended up exchanging words.
“We kind of knew there was going to be some extra stuff coming into this game because of last year,” Titans wide receiver Corey Davis said. “We tried to keep our poise and go out there and handle business.”
Elsewhere, Ben Roethlisberger threw for two touchdowns and 267 yards as the Pittsburgh Steelers continued their best start in franchise history with a 27-3 thrashing of the Jacksonville Jaguars in Florida.
The Steelers remained the NFL’s lone unbeaten team by winning their 10th straight to sit atop the AFC North.
Also, Taysom Hill rushed for two touchdowns and passed for 233 yards in his first NFL start at quarterback, and New Orleans defeated visiting Atlanta 24-9 for its seventh straight victory.
Hill was given the start after the 41-year-old starting quarterback Drew Brees was sidelined with 11 fractured ribs and a collapsed lung.
In Landover, Maryland, Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow was carted off the field early in the third quarter after suffering an apparent season-ending left knee injury in a 20-9 loss to Washington.
Burrow suffered a torn ACL “based on the initial diagnosis”, the NFL Network reported. He tweeted an hour after the injury, “See ya next year.”