The Kansas City Chiefs got a scare from the New York Jets on Sunday night, but held on and improved to 3-1 this season with a 23-20 victory on the road.
It looked early on like the Chiefs might run away with the game, getting out to a 17-0 lead following a field goal, a touchdown run from running back Isiah Pacheco and a touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes to tight end Noah Gray. That’s when the game turned, however.
On the drive immediately following Gray’s touchdown, Chiefs right tackle Jawaan Taylor was called for a facemask penalty in the end zone, resulting in a safety and two points for the Jets. After a New York field goal Mahomes threw an uncharacteristic interception, his first of two turnovers on the day. New York scored seven plays later when quarterback Zach Wilson found tight end C.J. Uzomah from two yards out, closing the deficit to one score.
The Jets tied the game with another touchdown pass just over four minutes into the third quarter, but that was the final major score for either team. Four straight drives saw the two teams alternate punts before the Chiefs put together a long drive to put the game away for good. Kicker Harrison Butker capped off a 14-play, 80-yard drive with a chip-shot field goal, giving Kansas City it’s final 23-20 advantage.
The Jets reached Chiefs territory on their ensuing drive, but a Wilson fumble and subsequent recovery by Kansas City defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton effectively ended the game. Mahomes and the offense burned up the final 7:24 of game time on their last drive, capped off by the reigning MVP sliding down near the goal line to record one final first down with merely 38 seconds remaining.
“It was definitely a fight. We came out hot, obviously struggled, I made two just bad throws where I was trying to lay it over a linebacker and a safety and I just didn’t throw it far enough, hit a dude right in the chest,” Mahomes said. “Obviously, the defense kept us in it, and then the offense had two drives in the fourth quarter where we had sustained drives, and that’s a good defense, so I’m proud of that but obviously a lot to learn from and a lot to correct.”
Mahomes finished the game 18-of-30 passing for 203 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, also picking up 51 rushing yards on seven carries. Pacheco was the offensive star of the game for the Chiefs, setting a new career high with 115 yards on 20 rushing attempts.
Pacheco was also the Chiefs’ second-leading receiver, catching three passes for 43 yards.
“I felt good tonight, I ain’t going to lie to y’all,” Pacheco said. “I felt light on my feet.”
Wilson had his best game of the season despite the Jets falling to 0-3 in his starts this year. He completed 28-of-39 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns, good for a 105.2 passer rating. This was just the second time in his career he’s had a game with a passer rating over 100.
The Chiefs will continue their road trip next week when they visit the Minnesota Vikings, which will be their third game in a row against a team with a losing record. The Vikings are 1-3, but won their first game of the season on Sunday over the Carolina Panthers. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. on Oct. 8.
For more on the Kansas City Chiefs’ 23-20 win over the New York Jets, check out 580 Sports Talk Monday from 2-6 on 580 WIBW.