The Kansas City Chiefs outlasted the Detroit Lions, 34-30, to win a wild, back-and-forth game at Ford Field on Sunday and remain unbeaten on the season.
After falling behind by three points with just over two minutes left, Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes led Kansas City on a 13-play, 79-yard drive to re-take the lead with just seconds left as tailback Darrel Williams plunged ahead for the go-ahead score.
Mahomes completed 24-of-42 passes for 315 yards in the game, but perhaps his biggest play of the day came on the ground. Facing a fourth-and-eight at midfield on the Chiefs’ final drive, Mahomes scrambled for 15 yards to move the chains and set up the eventual score.
The game included five lead-changes overall as Mahomes demonstrated why he’s the league’s reigning Most Valuable Player.
The Chiefs fell behind early in the game, yielding 10 early points to the Lions’ offense, but Kansas City went on to claw their way back into the contest with scores on both sides of the ball amidst momentum swing after momentum swing.
Chiefs’ tailback LeSean McCoy was responsible for Kansas City’s first trip to the end zone, scoring on a 1-yard rush to tie the game up after Detroit’s fast start. It was the beginning of a strong afternoon for McCoy, who tallied 89 yards of total offense to go along with his score.
The two teams traded field goals after that to tie things up headed into halftime, setting the stage for a wild third quarter that included five lost fumbles between both squads and no shortage of excitement.
It began when defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi stripped the ball free from quarterback Matthew Stafford and fellow defensive lineman Chris Jones was there to pick it up. What made the play so significant was that it took place immediately after a Lions’ touchdown was wiped out by a video review, firmly swinging momentum in favor of Kansas City.
The Chiefs ended up losing a fumble of their own upon taking over on offense, but after the Lions drove it all the way down to Kansas City’s 1-yard line, the defense managed to make yet another play as defensive tackle Xavier Williams punched the ball free from tailback Kerryon Johnson and cornerback Bashaud Breeland returned it 100 yards for a touchdown.
It marked just the fourth 100-yard fumble return for a touchdown in NFL history and the first since 2000, pushing the Chiefs back in front on the scoreboard.
Detroit didn’t go away, however, scoring 10 unanswered points to re-take the lead as the fourth quarter got underway. The Chiefs responded in kind with a score of their own to go back in front when Williams rushed ahead for a 1-yard touchdown early in the final quarter, but the Lions were then back in the end zone as Stafford hit wide receiver Kenny Golladay for a six-yard, go-ahead touchdown with just over two minutes left in regulation.
Mahomes then took the field for Kansas City’s final drive, and the rest is history.
The Chiefs return to Arrowhead Stadium next week to take on the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football.