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Mahomes breaks Dawson’s record as Chiefs beat Cardinals 26-14

The Chiefs extend their record to 9-1, but score fewer points than any other game this season.

Arizona Cardinals v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs extended their season record to 9-1 with a 26-14 victory against the Arizona Cardinals. Patrick Mahomes broke Len Dawson’s single-season passing touchdown record, but otherwise looked mortal for the first time this season. Still — with key plays in critical moments from the Chiefs defense — Kansas City came away with a two-score victory.

Full game stats from

First quarter

After losing their first coin toss of the season, the Chiefs started the game on offense for the first time in 2018 — but otherwise stayed on the normal script. Starting at their own 25 after a 15-yard kickoff return by Tremon Smith, Patrick Mahomes found a wide-open Tyreek Hill with a deep pass good for a 38-yard gain. On the next play, Mahomes was forced to throw the ball away under pressure, but on second down, Hill was open again for a 37-yard touchdown pass.

Three plays into the game — with less than a minute gone in the first quarter — the Chiefs led 7-0.

After a Harrison Butker touchback, the Cardinals immediately found themselves in trouble with a third and six after a four-yard rush by David Johnson and an incompletion to Larry Fitzgerald. But Josh Rosen then found Johnson with a short pass good for 11 yards. After a Johnson rush gained a yard, Derrick Nnadi was called for encroachment, and a four-yard Johnson rush put the Cardinals at midfield. Rosen then found Ricky Seals-Jones for a 21-yard completion.

Another flag — this one an offsides penalty on Steven Nelson — wiped out an incompletion to Johnson, and put the Cardinals at first and five. Another pair of four-yard runs by Johnson put the Cardinals at the Chiefs 16-yard line. Orlando Scandrick smothered Fitrzerald on an end zone shot, Johnson gained seven on a run up the middle, and then Rosen found him for a a seven-yard touchdown pass.

The Cardinals’ 75 yard, 12-play drive consumed 7:57, and tied the game at 7-7 with 8:03 remaining in the first quarter. It was the first opening-drive touchdown given up by the Chiefs defense all season.

The Cardinals tried to grab a extra possession on the kickoff, attempting an onside kick that almost worked. But the ball went out of bounds before the Cardinals could secure it, and the Chiefs started at the Cardinals 35-yard line.

After a four-yard inside rush by Kareem Hunt, the Chiefs tried a short pass to Hunt good for eight yards — but the play was wiped out by in illegal shift penalty on Hunt. Mahomes had to scramble on the next play, but it was good for a 13-yard gain and a first down at the Arizona 26. Mahomes found Travis Kelce for another first down with a 10-yard pass, and then things went south.

Hunt was stopped for a two-yard loss. Hill gained four on a short pass, but on the next play, Kelce was flagged for a false start. Then on third and 13, Chandler Jones sacked Mahomes for a 13-yard loss. That forced a 45-yard Butker field goal, and the Chiefs led 10-3 with 3:05 left in the first quarter.

The Chiefs forced a three and out on the next Cardinals drive, which began at the 25 after a touchback. On the ensuing punt, Hunt lost two yards on the return, and the Chiefs had the ball on their own 18-yard line.

Mahomes immediately found Hunt for a completion down the right sideline that Hunt turned into a 20-yard gain. Mahomes was unable to connect on consecutive pass plays, but on third and 10, Mahomes found Demarcus Robinson for a 17-yard gain.

Second quarter

Hunt started the quarter by rushing off-tackle for an impressive 18-yard gain, and caught a short pass good for another nine that put the Chiefs in the red zone. But on second down, the Cardinals stopped Hunt for a two-yard loss, and on the next play, Jones notched his second sack of the game, dropping Mahomes for a seven-yard loss. That forced another field goal — this one for 46 yards — that pushed the Chiefs to a 13-7 lead with 12:35 remaining in the half.

After a 25-yard T.J. Logan kickoff return, the Cardinals started at the 28. But this time, it would be the Cardinals’ turn to run into penalty trouble. After a two-yard rush by Chase Edmonds and an incompletion to Seals-Jones, Rosen found Christian Kirk for a 15-yard gain. But Andre Smith was called for holding, bringing up third and 18. A ten-yard completion to Logan wasn’t enough, and the Cardinals had to punt again.

The punt went out of bounds at the Chiefs 27, and the Chiefs went to work. After an incomplete pass to Conley, Hunt broke an inside run for 17 yards, and then went off-tackle for 13 to put the Chiefs in Cardinals territory. Spencer Ware came in to give Hunt a breather, and gained three. Kelce caught a pass good for ten yards, and Mahomes found Conley open on the right side for a 22-yard gain that gave the Chiefs first and goal.

But on the next play, Mahomes was sacked again — this time for seven yards — and then a inside shovel pass to Kelce gained only a yard, bringing up third and goal from the 14. It didn’t deter Mahomes, who found Hill in the end zone and extended the Chiefs lead to 20-7 with 5:31 remaining in the half.

With the touchdown pass — his 31st of the season — Mahomes broke Len Dawson’s single-season franchise record of 30, which was set in 1964.

Hill vaulted into the stands after the play, temporarily taking control of a CBS-TV camera.

The officials penalized the Chiefs 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, but Hill got a great shot of the flag being thrown.

Logan got a 28-yard touchdown return on the kickoff, starting the Cardinals at the 32. A pair of seven-yard Johnson rushes gave Arizona a first down, and then Johnson broke a pass play for 24 yards. But then Rosen was sacked on two consecutive plays — first on a safety blitz by Ron Parker, and then by Chris Jones — and the Cardinals had to punt into the end zone.

Starting at the 20, the Chiefs got a first down on a trio passes to Hill and Robinson, but then the drive fizzled when Mahomes was sacked for eight yards, and couldn’t complete another pass to Robinson. After the Chiefs punt, the Cardinals knelt to send the teams into halftime with the Chiefs maintaining their 20-7 lead.

Third quarter

The Cardinals got a good start on their opening drive of the second half with a 36-yard kickoff return from Logan, which started them at the 39-yard line. A pair of three-yard rushes from Johnson — and Larry Fitzgerald’s first completion of the game, good for five yards — gave them a first down. Johnson got another with an off-tackle run good for 11. A third came on a short Johnson run, a six-yard pass to Kirk and a 13-yard completion to Fitzgerald that put the Cardinals at the Chiefs 15-yard line.

Johnson gained two yards inside, and Rosen threw incomplete twice — but on the second one, Ford was penalized for roughing the passer, which gave the Cardinals a new set of downs at the eight-yard line. Edmonds gained five with an off-tackle rush, and on second down, Johnson ran up the middle for a one-yard touchdown.

The Arizona drive was much like the first drive of the game — consuming 7:12 on 12 plays — and narrowed the Chiefs’ lead to 20-14 with 7:48 remaining in the third quarter.

Tremon Smith was brought down after only a seven-yard return, which started the Chiefs at their own 13. Hunt lost a yard on first down, and Kelce gained 10 with a pass. Mahomes ran for three to get a first down, and then Hunt gained another with a hard-fought off-tackle run that was good for 14. Mahomes gained five with a run to the right side, and then found Kelce with a short pass that gained 11 yards, and put the Chiefs in Cardinals territory.

Hunt was dropped for a four-yard loss on first down, and Mahomes couldn’t connect on a pass to Hill. On third and 14, the Chiefs dialed up a screen pass to Anthony Sherman, but the Cardinals sniffed it out, and the Chiefs had to punt.

Starting at their 20 after the Chiefs were unable to down the punt short of the goal line, the Cardinals gave the ball to Johnson for a three-yard gain. Kirk gained two on a short pass, but then Scandrick and Kendall Fuller ganged up on Fitzgerald after he caught a pass in the left flat, holding the play to four yards and forcing a Cardinals punt.

Fourth quarter

The punt went out of bounds at the Chiefs 24. A quick strike to Hill on the left sideline gained 16 yards, and then he gained four more on another short pass. Mahomes — under pressure — had to throw away the second down pass, and Eric Fisher was called for holding. Hunt gained six on an inside run, bringing up third and 10. But then Josh Bynes sacked Mahomes for a seven-yard loss, forcing the third consecutive punt for the Chiefs.

Starting at his own 17 after the punt, Rosen gashed the Chiefs with a pass to Johnson that was good for 23 yards. But then disaster struck, when Justin Houston intercepted another pass intended for Johnson, putting the Chiefs in business at the Arizona 31.

Six-yard passes to Hunt and Kelce put the Chiefs in the red zone. Hunt gained 16 on a short pass, giving the Chiefs first and goal. And on the next play, Ware bulled his way across the goal line, pushing the Chiefs lead to 26-14 with 10:14 remaining in the game.

The Chiefs tried a two-point conversion, but Mahomes was unable to complete a pass to Kelce in the end zone.

After a touchback, the Cardinals started with a pair of runs from Johnson that gave them a first down. But then things quickly went badly. A toss to J.J. Nelson that may have been a halfback pass was blown up by Dee Ford for a 10-yard loss. Rosen’s second down pass was incomplete, and his third down pass was knocked away by Scandrick.

That forced an Arizona punt, which Hill fielded at his own 18. Breaking several tackles on his way across the field, Hill worked his way to to the left sideline, ultimately finding daylight and jogging into the end zone. But Demetrius Harris had been flagged for an illegal block early in the return, and the play was called back. Then the Chiefs went three and out after a pair of runs by Hunt and a deep incompletion, forcing yet another punt.

The Cardinals — starting at their own 24 — got a six-yard gain on a pass to Seals-Jones and a 10 yard run from Johnson. On first down at their 40, Chris Jones sacked Rosen for a seven-yard loss. Rosen got it back with a pass to Johnson, and got the first down with a pass to Seals-Jones that put Arizona at midfield. Then Fitzgerald gained 15 on a completion. But one play later, Jeremy Vujnovich was called for holding on second and 10, and on the next play, Allen Bailey sacked Rosen for an eight-yard loss. Rosen was unable to complete a pass to Seals-Jones on third down, and on fourth and 28, Ford sacked Rosen again, giving the Chiefs the ball at the Cardinals 40 with 2:43 remaining.

The Chiefs couldn’t get anything going on the ground, and a holding call on Fisher doomed what could have been a game-sealing possession. The Chiefs punted again, giving Arizona the ball at their own eight-yard line with 2:20 left.

The Cardinals got a couple of first downs — and even converted a fourth and four — on their final drive. But the game was sealed when Rosen’s pass to Seals-Jones was intercepted by Steven Nelson with 16 seconds remaining.

Full game stats from

Stats Headlines

Patrick Mahomes had 249 passing yards with two touchdowns, completing 21 of 28. He had no interceptions, and a passer rating of 125.4 for the game. He was sacked five times — the most this season.

For the Browns, Josh Rosen was 22 for 39 with 208 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, with a passer rating of 58.5. The Chiefs sacked him five times as well.

Tyreek Hill led the Chiefs with 117 yards receiving, with two touchdowns on seven catches. Travis Kelce caught six passes for 46 yards, and Demarcus Robinson caught three for 30 yards.

The Chiefs had 118 rushing yards on 23 attempts. Kareem Hunt had 71 yards on 16 carries, plus 25 yards on a pair of catches.

The Cardinals’ David Johnson had 98 yards on 21 carries.


Wide receiver Sammy Watkins, center Mitch Morse and offensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie were inactive for the Chiefs offense. Safety Eric Berry, linebacker Frank Zombo, defensive lineman Justin Hamilton and defensive back Josh Shaw were inactive for the Chiefs defense.

Next week

The Chiefs will get an extra day of rest before taking on the Los Angeles Rams in the long-awaited matchup between two of the league’s best teams — it’s Monday Night Football from Mexico City! Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 pm Arrowhead Time.

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