Mahomes, Chiefs use 4th-quarter magic to edge Browns
Patrick Mahomes passed for 337 yards and three touchdowns Sunday, all in the second half, as the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t lead until the fourth quarter but edged the Cleveland Browns 33-29 at Kansas City, Mo.
Cleveland punter Jamie Gillan failed to handle a snap with 8:42 left in the fourth quarter, and the Chiefs tackled him for a fourth-down loss at the Browns’ 15. Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce three plays later for an 8-yard touchdown and a 33-29 lead with 7:04 remaining.
The rally gave the Chiefs their 15th consecutive September victory as they begin their quest for a third straight AFC title. Mahomes finished 27-of-36 while also throwing an 11-yard TD to Kelce and a 75-yard scoring bomb to Tyreek Hill.
Baker Mayfield played brilliantly, passing for 321 yards while going 21-of-28 to fuel the Browns, who lost at Kansas City in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs last season.
But the botched punt (the first time the Browns attempted one) and another second-half turnover proved costly before Mayfield threw an interception to end Cleveland’s final drive.
Two straight three-and-outs in the fourth quarter enabled the Chiefs’ defense to atone for a 457-yard output by the Browns. Mike Hughes snagged the interception that sealed the outcome with 1:16 left and the Browns at midfield.
The Browns’ Nick Chubb added a game-high 83 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Cleveland scored touchdowns on each of its first three possessions to grab a 22-10 halftime lead with a 9.9-yard average per snap. Chubb produced scores off carries of 4 and 18 yards.
The Browns converted a fourth-and-3 from the Kansas City 15 on their first drive. After Chubb’s TD, Cleveland added a two-point conversion leap by Kareem Hunt to go up 8-0.
That was only the beginning, as the Browns amassed 318 first-half yards and even gained 45 on their last snap with a series of laterals trying to tack on another score. Mayfield completed nine straight passes during one stretch and fired for 186 first-half yards.
Browns safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. was ejected after he shoved a Chiefs assistant during a first-quarter sideline scuffle that led to personal fouls on both teams.