MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw two third-quarter touchdown passes, one to Travis Kelce after the All-Pro…
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw two third-quarter touchdown passes, one to Travis Kelce after the All-Pro tight end briefly left the game with an ankle injury, and the Kansas Chiefs City beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-20 on Sunday. .
Mahomes was 31 of 41 for 281 yards and no turnovers in his most efficient performance of the season for the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs (4-1), who once again won without being at their best.
“There’s a lot of young players and we’re going to get everyone moving and going in the right direction,” said Mahomes, who completed passes to 10 different receivers. “I think by the end of the year we will be dangerous, because you won’t know who will have those opportunities throughout the game.”
Kirk Cousins threw scores to Jordan Addison and Alexander Mattison for the Vikings (1-4). They had two chances at the tying touchdown in the final five minutes, but a late hamstring injury to star receiver Justin Jefferson and a lack of timeouts following earlier mismanagement of the game ultimately proved too much to overcome .
Jefferson slipped on the turf as he attempted to cut off his route on a third-down pass deep in Kansas City territory. He grabbed the back of his right leg and limped slowly to the sideline.
Mahomes hit Justin Watson with a 33-yard heave on third-and-18 from his own 17 to extend the Chiefs’ first possession of the second half. The two-time MVP finished that drive with a game-winning 8-yard throw to Rashee Rice.
“We were backed up,” Mahomes said. “It really could have been a game changer.”
Kelce, whose girlfriend Taylor Swift was not in attendance after the superstar singer attended the Chiefs’ previous two games, fell awkwardly to the turf after catching a pass in the second quarter and went to get X-rays. He watched the first possession after halftime from the sideline and returned for the next one.
With coordinator Steve Spagnuolo sending Cousins plenty of extra rushers, the defense was the catalyst for the Chiefs. Jefferson was held to three catches and 28 yards, both season lows, with cornerback L’Jarius Sneed leading the effort from the secondary.
“They played exceptional today,” said Chris Jones, who had one of three sacks and three of 12 hits against Cousins. “Hats off to these guys.”
All four of Minnesota’s losses have come by eight points or fewer this year after a record 11 wins in 11 games by one score in 2022. The Vikings lost a fumble on their first possession, again, a turnover of tight end Josh Oliver as the Chiefs recovered at the Minnesota 45. Isaiah Pacheco’s touchdown capped the drive and gave Kansas City the early lead.
The Vikings recorded the most turnovers in the NFL, 12, including eight lost fumbles.
“We have to protect the football and we have to play when they are there,” Cousins said.
After Cousins connected with Mattison on a 9-yard touchdown pass that brought the Vikings within seven points with 12:11 to play, the defense did its part by forcing punts on both Vikings possessions. Chiefs.
The Vikings put it on fourth and seven in the 19th minute with 4:54 to play and were assessed a delay of game penalty. Then, Cousins threw the ball into the end zone near Addison as he was hit on a corner blitz by Trent McDuffie. Addison collided with Sneed, but the initial defensive pass interference flag was raised.
“I feel like my head is backwards,” Sneed said.
The Vikings regained possession with 1:07 left at their 19, but Cousins was under heavy pressure. On the Chiefs’ final play 38, he was sacked by Mike Danna.
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The victory gave Mahomes at least one against every opponent in the league. The Vikings were the only team he never beat in six years as Kansas City’s starter. It was his first time facing the team that plays in the city where his father, Pat Mahomes, pitched for the Minnesota Twins.
Chiefs: LB Nick Bolton (ankle) was out for the third straight game, replaced by Drue Tranquill.
Vikings: CB Akayleb Evans (knee) limped off in the third quarter. … Quarterback Nick Mullens (back) was inactive, elevating rookie Jaren Hall to backup for Cousins.
Chiefs: Host Denver on Thursday night.
Vikings: Visit Chicago next Sunday.
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