The Kansas City Chiefs went where no team has gone before, at least this season, in their 41-31 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football.
Entering the game, the Buccaneers had allowed just 27 points total over their first three games of the season.
The Chiefs then scored 28 points before halftime in Week 4.
Kansas City’s fortunes to start this week’s game were almost the perfect opposite of how last week went in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts. In the first quarter of that game, Chiefs wide receiver Skyy Moore muffed a punt and the Colts recovered, scoring moments later and commanding the momentum from there.
Against the Buccaneers, it was Tampa Bay that made the early, crucial mistake. Rookie running back Rachaad White fumbled the opening kickoff, and after recovering the ball the Chiefs scored just two plays later on the first of three passing touchdowns on the night from quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The former MVP filled up the highlight reel throughout the game, dazzling spectators and viewers at home to the tune of 23-of-37 passing, 249 yards, the aforementioned three scores and just one interception.
Even Mahomes’ teammates, namely tight end Travis Kelce, were impressed by what the quarterback did against one of the league’s best defenses.
“The NFL hasn’t seen anything like Pat Mahomes, I promise you that,” Kelce said. “You saw it today, he’s the Houdini of our era.”
Mahomes got plenty of help from the Chiefs’ offensive line, which had a bounce-back performance after struggling a week ago in the loss to the Colts. That came both in terms of pass protection and opening holes in the running game. Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 92 rushing yards and Isiah Pacheco added another 63 in the win.
Bulletin board material may have played a role in the offensive line’s impressive performance, given that Tampa Bay’s Shaq Barrett unleashed some biting criticism of the unit leading up to the game.
“That’s a great defense, a great defensive line, and I think they heard the talking,” Mahomes said.
In addition to the big win for the team, it was a history Sunday night for both Mahomes and Kelce. Mahomes crossed the 20,000 passing yards threshold in the game, reaching that mark in fewer games than any other quarterback in NFL history. Kelce, meanwhile, is now fifth all-time in receiving yards among tight ends, passing Rob Gronkowski.
On the Buccaneers’ side of things, quarterback Tom Brady had a big night, but that was necessary with their rushing attack doing effectively nothing all night. Brady completed 39-of-52 passes for 385 yards and three touchdowns, but as a team Tampa Bay ran the ball just six times for three yards.
The Chiefs’ defense played well overall and the special teams unit had a resurgence, but the story of the night was an offense going on the road and tearing apart one of the best defenses in the NFL almost nonstop for 60 minutes.
“To come to their house and find a way to score some points and find a way to win, hopefully it gets you kickstarted for the rest of this year,” Mahomes said.
Kansas City will have an extra day off this week ahead of a Monday-night matchup with the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5. The Raiders downed the Denver Broncos Sunday for their first win of the season.