Skip to main content

Kelce: Mahomes proved he's best quarterback in NFL

Looking rusty out of the gate, the Kansas City Chiefs piled up more mistakes than points in the first quarter, leading to an early 24-0 hole.

Andy Reid's team was plagued by a blown coverage and multiple dropped passes, suffered a blocked punt for a TD and muffed a punt leading to another score.

Huge deficit acquired.

(Viewer blinks.)

Huge deficit overcome.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense then caught fire, thanks in part to some questionable decisions and bumbles by Houston, to overcome the 24-zip shortage. K.C. scored four straight touchdowns to close the half with a 28-24 lead. The Chiefs ran away in the second half for a 51-31 victory.

Even Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was blown away by the swift turn in the tide.

"No, I've never been a part of a team like this, either, so it was, I guess, a perfect match there, after we went down," Kelce told NFL Network's James Palmer when asked if he'd ever been part of a game like that before. "Just leaned on each other, circled the wagons, get a little bit tighter when things get a little rough and lean on your brother. And when in doubt make plays for your guy back there. 1-5 (Mahomes) got us going, 17 was the one that really sparked us there on the special teams and, you know what, this defense played their tails off all game."

Kelce noted that No. 17's (Mecole Hardman) big kickoff return woke up a sleepy Chiefs team, leading to the first score. A Texans decision to call an ill-fated fake punt from their own 31-yard-line led to a second TD 23 seconds later. What appeared a blowout was a game.

The teeter-totter tilted toward the Chiefs, and they never gave an inch back.

Mahomes darted pigskin BBs all over the field. The 2018 NFL MVP reminded everyone he's still the biggest weapon in the league. Mahomes became the first player in postseason history to throw for 300-plus yards, rush for 50-plus yards and throw five TDs in a game.

Battling through an injury-riddled season, Mahomes' 2019 campaign was overshadowed by Lamar Jackson's historic year in Baltimore.

Kelce was asked if some forgot how good Mahomes was with all the attention on Jackson this season.

"Not anybody in Kansas City, I'll tell you that right now," Kelce retorted. "Pat Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league, and he proved it today."

Mahomes finished with 321 yards on 23-of-35 passing with a 9.2 yards per attempt average and five TD tosses and chipped in a team-leading 53 yards rushing. He was unstoppable for the bulk of the game. Mahomes found his favorite mismatch, Kelce, repeatedly. The TE generated 10 catches on 12 targets for 134 yards with three TD snatches.

The Chiefs offense gobbled up 29 first downs and 434 yards. Over 32 minutes of game-time from the second quarter to midway through the fourth quarter, K.C. scored 51 points, including 41 straight at one point. Mahomes led seven straight touchdown drives.

The offensive explosion was so spectacular that Arrowhead Stadium ran out of fireworks.

The crew will need to restock for next week's AFC Championship Game against the steamrolling Tennessee Titans, who beat the No. 3 seed New England Patriots and No. 1 seed Baltimore Ravens on the road the past two weeks.

Kansas City lost 35-32 in Tennessee in Week 10, the last time the Chiefs suffered a defeat. In that tilt, Mahomes threw for 446 yards and three TDs. But Derrick Henry galloped for 188 yards and two TDs, the defense gave up a late game-winning TD drive by Ryan Tannehill, and K.C. had a potential game-tying field goal blocked.

In that defeat, the Chiefs gave up an early 10-point lead in what became a back-and-forth affair. After Sunday's come-from-behind win, K.C. is ready to have the rematch in their home stadium.

"Just feels good to have another game here at Arrowhead," Kelce said. "I love this city, I love this crowd, they were rocking today, baby, and there's nothing like it."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content