DETROIT — For those who didn’t see the game, it would be easy to conclude that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes didn’t have a big impact on Sunday’s 34-30 win over the Detroit Lions because he didn’t throw a touchdown pass.
Those who played in the game know differently, though, and they said so afterward. Mahomes’ impact was as big as ever.
“On the final drive, he made every play we needed him to,” Chiefs tackle Mitchell Schwartz said after Mahomes took the Chiefs on a 79-yard winning drive, with the touchdown coming with 20 seconds left. “He won’t play a game where he’s not the most important player on the field. It doesn’t matter what the stats show.”
Mahomes was 6-of-9 for 55 yards on the final drive, but his most important play was his scramble for 15 yards on fourth down to keep the Chiefs alive.
“As a leader on this team, [Mahomes] kept us collected and kept us with one goal in mind, and that’s to get the ball in the end zone no matter how long it takes us to get it there and whether it takes us one play or 16 plays, 20 plays,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “It doesn’t matter. We’re going north, and we’re getting the ball in that end zone. I think Pat does an unbelievable job of rallying the troops when we need it the most.”
The Chiefs are used to big numbers from Mahomes. He finished with 315 passing yards, but this was only the fourth time that he was held without a touchdown pass. That’s three times in the regular season and once in last season’s playoffs against the Colts.
He had his streak of games with at least two touchdown passes snapped at 14. Peyton Manning’s NFL record of 15 is safe — at least for now.
“Anytime you’ve 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,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “His demeanor doesn’t change whether we’re up by 30 or down by 10 points. It feels good to have a quarterback like that. It goes through the locker room. It goes through the team. We always feel like we’ve got a shot.”
In the absence of any Mahomes touchdown passes, the Chiefs received a boost from some unexpected sources. Mahomes scrambled for 54 yards, a career high. Running back Darrel Williams rushed for two touchdowns. Tight end Deon Yelder caught two passes, and wide receiver Byron Pringle caught one, a 13-yarder on the game-winning drive.
It was all part of an unusual Sunday for the Chiefs.
“Just finding ways to win a football game,” Mahomes said. “That’s how you roll in this league. It’s not always the touchdowns and the yards. It’s about just finding a way to win.
“If you want to be great as a team and as a player, it’s how you win the game. I’m just going to go out there every single week and do what it takes to win.”