Mahomes (4 TD passes) leads Chiefs past Panthers
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 372 yards and four touchdowns Sunday to lead the host Kansas City Chiefs past the Carolina Panthers 33-31.
Tight end Travis Kelce came up huge for Kansas City (8-1), snagging 10 receptions for 159 yards as the Chiefs gained their fourth straight win and remained entrenched in the AFC West lead.
Sparked by the return of All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, who missed the previous six games with an ankle injury, Carolina (3-6) produced touchdowns on its first two possessions and grabbed a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter.
The Chiefs didn’t claim an advantage until the 4:42 mark of the third quarter as a 44-yard strike to Kelce keyed a 59-yard march after Carolina kicker Joey Slye had missed a 51-yard field goal. Clyde Edwards-Helaire caught a 4-yard TD pass from Mahomes for the 20-17 lead.
Mahomes, who finished 30 of 45 passing, connected with Tyreek Hill for fourth-quarter touchdowns of 28 and 2 yards. The second came with 7:40 left after an onside kick Carolina recovered failed to go the requisite 10 yards. Hill had nine catches for 113 yards.
An airborne rush by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to convert on fourth-and-14 prolonged a drive Bridgewater capped with a 4-yard touchdown run to pull the Panthers within 26-24 with 10:22 remaining.
Bridgewater completed seven consecutive passes to lead Carolina to another TD on a 1-yard McCaffrey burst with 1:53 left. Carolina then trailed 33-31.
After a quick stop, Carolina took over at its 9 with 1:26 left. The Panthers got to their 49, but a 67-yard field goal by Slye missed badly as time expired.
Bridgewater finished 36 of 49 for 310 yards passing. McCaffrey recorded 151 yards on 28 touches, including 10 receptions. He scored twice for Carolina, which held the ball for 19-plus minutes in the half.
The Panthers drove for two touchdowns and a 17-13 halftime lead, using a completion off a fake punt by Joseph Charlton to key a 74-yard march that Curtis Samuel ended with a 14-yard end-around.
Although the Chiefs possessed the ball sparingly in the half, they scored on their first three possessions. Mahomes went 6-for-6 on their only TD drive of the half.
–Field Level Media