Chiefs

As Patrick Mahomes willed the Chiefs to a win, his teammates watched in awe

There are countless vantage points from which to appreciate the game-winning drive that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes conducted Sunday against the Detroit Lions. From one of the 65,000 seats inside Ford Field. From your living room couch. From a local sports bar.

Maybe you were one of the select few on the field with him. Or maybe you were on the Chiefs’ sideline, with a bit more at stake than simple fandom, as a member of the defense that seconds earlier had allowed the go-ahead score.

Taking a moment to admire it as it unfolded.

“I just stepped back and watched,” Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens said. “It was amazing.”

Mahomes marched the Chiefs 79 yards down the field in 2 minutes, 6 seconds, the impetus for a 34-30 victory as Darrel Williams bowled into the end zone with just 23 seconds remaining to keep Kansas City unbeaten through four weeks.

As they received instructions for the ensuing possibilities, defensive players couldn’t help but watch every moment, their eyes fixed on the Jumbotron big-screen. Mahomes pinpointed five different receivers on the drive. Extended time in the pocket with mobility, drawing enough time to allow tight end Travis Kelce to shake open late in a route. Converted a fourth down with a scramble down the spine of the field.

All of it to erase a frustrating 58 minutes in which so little had gone right, except that Bashaud Breeland 100-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

So after a game that featured five turnovers, 64 points and nearly 900 yards of total offense, the conversation in the locker room — even the corner of it consisting of exclusively defensive players — narrowed to just one thing.

That drive.

And the man who led it.

“It was pretty cool,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “You got a quarterback that doesn’t necessarily look at the scoreboard. It always feels like he’s in it, even when he may not be having his best day.”

As Mahomes piloted the two-minute drill, defensive coaches prepared for every possible scenario — either the Chiefs would be protecting a late lead, or they would be trying to stop the run and get the ball back one last time.

It turned out to be the former, of course. And players acknowledged they assumed it would be, even if Mahomes had never formulated a game-winning touchdown drive in the final minute of a game.

They just knew.

“You’re trying to just stay mentally locked in and prepare for whatever’s next,” Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller said. “But yeah, you’re expecting they will score.”

In various segments of the visitors’ locker room in Detroit, players expressed their amazement at different aspects of the drive. Defensive lineman Derrick Nnadi remarked on its expedience. Kelce noted to the fourth-down scramble.

Hitchens pointed to the bigger picture.

“When it’s all said and done, he’s going to be one of the best to ever play position,” Hitchens said. “As a quarterback (in his) second year of playing, he just did something that some quarterbacks who are playing for years can’t do.”



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