Mahomes and Chiefs rally to beat Washington 31-13.
LANDOVER, Maryland – Teammates closed in on Patrick Mahomes after his second interception in the first half and perhaps the worst of his NFL career. They told him to remain himself.
Mahomes found himself in the second half, engineering three touchdown drives to make up for the giveaways, leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 31-13 comeback victory at Washington on Sunday that brought them back to 500.
“In the second half, I kept doing things,” said Mahomes, who threw for 397 yards and two touchdowns. “I kept throwing through my body and doing a lot of different things because I know those guys believe in me, and I’m going to keep being that and keep fighting until the end.”
Leaving behind his seventh and eighth picks of the season, Mahomes connected with Tyreek Hill on a 2-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter. He put the game out of reach with a 24-yard pass to Demarcus Robinson with 3:14 left in the fourth period.
In the middle, new starting running back Darrel Williams rushed for his second TD of the game to help Kansas City (3-3) avoid what would have been an embarrassing loss.
“We just executed better,” Mahomes said. “The guys trusted each other, they believed in each other and we were able to find a way to win.”
The defense also finally played their part, keeping an opponent below 29 points for the first time this season, forcing a fumble and eliminating Taylor Heinicke to seal the victory. Washington (2-4) finished with 276 yards and his season-low point total.
“We didn’t handle adversity in the second half the way we needed to,” Washington coach Ron Rivera said. “When you have the opportunity, you should seize it. And we didn’t. ”
The Chiefs flirted with disaster for much of the first half, turning the ball three times: a ball that bounced off Hill’s hands, a fumble from catcher Mecole Hardman and an inexplicable shove from Mahomes. They lost 13-10 at halftime before things fell into place offensively.
Kansas City has now committed 14 turnovers, the worst in the NFL, this season, a troubling trend for the defending AFC champion.
“We have to get out of this cycle,” said coach Andy Reid. “I’m not sure I’ve been through so many people, but we are here, so it needs to change. But we were going in the right direction in the second half. ”
Unlike the losses to the Ravens, Chargers and Bills, the offense made up for the giveaways. Mahomes was 32 of 47 in the air, rushed for 31 yards, and led touchdown drives of 95, 68, 45 and 96 yards.
“The way we did it, even though it wasn’t pleasant in the first half, hopefully, it will get us rolling,” Mahomes said. “How this season has gone and the adversity we have faced could have skyrocketed. “But I thought guys, it was a lot of mental toughness to go back and fight.”
HOT MICROPHONE COMPLAINT
Rivera was caught on a hot microphone complaining to officials in the closing minutes of the game. Rivera could be heard making a mention of the offensive line and using an expletive to say he didn’t care.
Washington’s defense, which forced three turnovers in the first half, gave Kansas City points due to poor penalties later.
Passer Montez Sweat was called offside with the Chiefs in the red zone to disallow a third-down save in the series that ended Mahomes to Hill TD. Linebacker Khaleke Hudson received a penalty for endurance in the end zone to set up Williams’ second touchdown.
“It’s one that I feel like we missed a bit,” current Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young said. “The first half we were solid, reaching the quarterback, forcing turnovers. We have to look at it. ”
RETIRED TAYLOR NUMBER
Washington retired No. 21 from safety Sean Taylor at halftime after the team was criticized by alumni and fans for not announcing the tribute until Thursday. Members of Taylor’s family participated in a pregame ceremony naming a road leading to the stadium in his honor and circled a framed burgundy jersey on the field when they removed his number.
Team President Jason Wright publicly apologized for spoiling the situation and not giving enough notice to those interested in attending the tribute to Taylor, a beloved figure in franchise history who was assassinated in 2007 at his home. Florida during a botched robbery attempt.
Fans, many in Taylor T-shirts and “21” towels, chanted his name as the festivities came to a close.
Chiefs: TE Jody Fortson was removed in the third quarter with a torn left Achilles tendon. … LB Anthony Hitchens injured his right elbow in a hit in the second period that was flagged for unnecessary rudeness. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday. … LG Joe Thuney played a second game in a row with a broken right hand.
Washington: RB Antonio Gibson left after aggravating a shin injury he has been playing with, but returned after a brief absence. … WR Curtis Samuel (groin), WR Cam Sims (hamstring), RG Brandon Scherff (knee) and RT Sam Cosmi (ankle) were inactive.