Patrick Mahomes had never thrown a go-ahead touchdown pass in the final two minutes of a game, but Andy Reid’s thought on Sunday night was that there is a first time for everything.
Sure enough, Mahomes came through for Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs. He threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce with 28 seconds left to give the Chiefs a 35-31 lead over the Raiders in Las Vegas.
The Chiefs would hold on to run their record to 9-1 and give themselves a three-game lead over the 6-4 Raiders in the AFC West.
“I’ve got Pat Mahomes,” Reid said. “You give me a minute and a half and I’m pretty good right there. We can roll.
“I’d take him over everybody and I’m lucky to have him.”
The Raiders scored a go-ahead touchdown of their own with 1:43 remaining, but that proved too much time for Mahomes. The Chiefs drove 75 yards in seven plays with Mahomes going 6-of-7. The Chiefs went to third down once and needed a second down only twice.
A field goal would have tied the game but the Chiefs moved into reasonable range with more than 30 seconds left.
“There are steps,” Mahomes said of constructing the winning drive. “The first step is to try to get into field goal range. Once we got into field goal range we still had some time left. I was hoping we had a couple of shots into the end zone.”
He needed just one. Kelce prides himself on getting open frequently by reading the defensive coverage. But he said he misread the coverage on his winning touchdown.
“When I got to the second level, which is the linebackers, I felt an opening on the opposite hash,” Kelce said. “Might as well go where the void is.”
He did. Mahomes was looking for his primary receiver, Tyreek Hill, but fired to an open Kelce instead.
The game’s finish drew praise from many places, including LeBron James, who tweeted, “I mean was there any doubt on that drive!?!?! No there wasn’t.”
I mean was there any doubt on that drive!?!?! No there wasn’t. @PatrickMahomes Insano!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 23, 2020
Kelce, like Reid and James, wasn’t surprised Mahomes delivered in the clutch.
“[Mahomes] is always ready for the moment,” Kelce said. “We’ve got 15 back there making plays. He kind of turns it up when it matters the most.”