November 28, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes entered a new dimension of his pro career in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

Mahomes threw his 55th pass of the game, setting a career high. He would throw 13 more, including 10 in overtime, giving him a 68 total, which was the third-highest in NFL history.

The Chiefs needed every one of them to secure a 20-17 victory in overtime.

“Now we know if we need him to throw [68] We can make passes,” said tight end Travis Kelce, who caught 10 of Mahomes’ shots.

Mahomes also led the Chiefs in rushing yards, which isn’t a first for him. But his 63 yards was a career high for the regular season. He had 69 in last year’s playoff win over the Buffalo Bills.

Mahomes scored the Chiefs’ final touchdown at 2:56 in the fourth quarter and then leveled the game by running for the two-point conversion.

The Chiefs have rarely relied on Mahomes to win a game more, but were unsurprised that he delivered.

“He’s Pat, and Pat will be Pat,” said wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who caught Mahome’s only touchdown pass of the game in the first quarter. “In situations like this, we can definitely count on him.”

Mahomes didn’t set a personal record with 68 pass attempts. He threw 88 passes at Texas Tech in a game against Oklahoma in 2016, so Chiefs coach Andy Reid had no problem placing such a burden on Mahomes against the Titans.

“I saw him do that a few times in college,” Reid said.

Reid didn’t have much of a choice. The Chiefs’ running game — outside of Mahomes — was dismal, with their four backs totaling 13 carries for 14 three-yard hauls.

“We want to try and get the running game going as the season progresses and stay kind of more balanced, but that’s a good line of defense and they did a good job of stopping that,” Mahomes said. “Coach Reid kind of put it into my hands to go out there and try to move some things and it looked bad there for about two and a half quarters, three quarters but we were able to make it there in the end. ”

Mahomes didn’t make a single play bigger than his 20-yard scramble in third and 17th on touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs were down 17-9 and in desperate mode as time ticked down.

When Mahomes couldn’t find an open recipient, he found another way to get the job done.

“I definitely saw a lead to get it close enough that I thought we might try,” Mahomes said. “If you’re in that situation, you know that if you make it to a fourth and five, fourth and fourth, coach Reid will probably give you a chance. . .

“We were just fighting at the end of the day. It wasn’t like we designed it. We just went out and tried to do some stuff.”

Because of that, Reid seemed happier after the Titans’ win than anyone this season. The 6-2 Chiefs’ winning tally includes three away games in which they scored more than 40 points.

What the Tennessee win lacked in sparkle, it made up for in a will to win. Much of that was supplied by Mahomes, who was sacked four times but didn’t let the Chiefs lose.

“Everything wasn’t smooth,” Reid said. “It’s been ups and downs. So you have to get through those lows. And then someone has to get up and play a game. That has to happen.”

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