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Seahawks and Chiefs go blow for blow, but Chiefs lose 38-31

The Chiefs miss a chance to clinch the number one seed with one week to go.

Kansas City Chiefs v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

With big playoff implications for both teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks went blow-for-blow for four quarters. The Chiefs had no answer for Seattle’s rushing attack, but Seattle had no answer for Patrick Mahomes magic. Turnovers ended up making the difference as the Chiefs lost 38-31, deferring their hopes for a one seed in the postseason for one more week.

First quarter

The Seahawks won the opening toss, and elected to defer to the second half.

After a touchback, the Chiefs opened with a reverse to Tyreek Hill around left end that was good for eight yards. Patrick Mahomes’ pass to Hill on second down was deflected and went incomplete. On third down, Mahomes was flushed from the pocket and couldn’t connect on a deep pass to Demarcus Robinson. That forced a punt , and the Seahawks started their first drive at the 22.

Not unsurprisingly, the Seahawks started with a pair of handoffs — both to Chris Carson, and each gaining just a yard. Then a false start penalty on Ethan Pocic put the Seahawks in third-and-13. Russell Wilson couldn’t find a receiver open, and scrambled 19 yards for a first down. After throwing the ball away on first down, Wilson was forced to scramble again, but this time found Doug Baldwin for a 16-yard gain that put Seattle into Kansas City territory. Carson got a handoff around left end that was good for 17 yards, and another off right tackle for six. Then Mike Davis took a handoff for 10 yards good for another first down, and the Seahawks were in the red zone. Another handoff to Davis gained three, and a handoff to J.D. McKissic gained six around right end. Now at third-and-1 at the Chiefs four-yard line, Carson got the call for a four-yard touchdown that put the Seahawks up 7-0 with 8:55 remaining in the first quarter.

Tremon Smith returned the kickoff to the 25 and fumbled the ball, but managed to recover it. The Chiefs started with a handoff to Damien Williams, who danced along the left sideline for a 25-yard gain to midfield. Then Mahomes hit Williams in the flat for a seven-yard gain, and missed a pass to Travis Kelce under pressure. Williams picked up a first down with a seven-yard run. Kelce got away from the Seattle secondary, but Mahomes overthrew him. On second down, Mahomes was under pressure again, and a high pass to Demetrius Harris bounced off his fingertips. After another incompletion to Hill, the Chiefs had to settle for a 54-yard field goal from Harrison Butker that made the score 7-3 with 6:38 left in the first quarter.

The Seahawks started the next drive at the 25-yard line after a touchback. Carson gained three yards up the middle, and then another four. On third-and-3, Wilson found Jarran Brown for a nine-yard gain good for a first down. Under pressure, Wilson couldn’t connect with Tyler Lockett on a deep pass, but Steven Nelson was called for defensive pass interference, and that put the Seahawks well into Chiefs territory. Wilson missed Davis, and then tried a handoff to Davis that gained five up the middle. Baldwin gained 10 on a pass across the middle, and Seattle was inside the red zone with a first down.

Davis gained three off right tackle, but on the next play, Justin Houston and Justin Hamilton sacked Wilson for a loss of three yards, bringing up third-and-10. Under pressure again, Wilson had to throw the ball away. That forced a 36-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal that bounced off the right upright, keeping the score 7-3.

Starting at the 26 after the missed field goal, Mahomes couldn’t find an open receiver, and was enveloped by the Seattle pass rush, and Dion Jordan brought him down for an eight-yard loss. Damien Williams gained five yards off left tackle, bringing up third-and 13. Under pressure, Mahomes converted with an 18-yard pass to Conley to end the first quarter.

Second quarter

After a six-yard run by Damien Williams, Jeff Allen was called for a false start, putting the Chiefs in second-and-9. William gained nine and then got the call again, running free around right end for a 21-yard gain that put the Chiefs well into Seattle territory. Hill gained nine yards around right end, and Chardcandrick West got a handoff that gave the Chiefs a first down in the red zone with a one-yard gain. Mahomes found Kelce for a 17-yard gain, and on the next play, Mahomes found Williams open on the right side, and he ran untouched for a touchdown that gave the Chiefs a 10-7 lead with 11:21 left in the half.

The Seahawks started at the 25-yard line after a touchback. Carson was stopped for no gain on an inside run. Then Wilson tried David Moore on the right sideline, but Charvarius Ward broke it up. On third-and-10, Wilson couldn’t find a receiver, tried to scramble up the middle for a first down, but came up a yard short. That forced a Seahawks punt that rookie punter Michael Dixon kicked out of bounds at the Chiefs 20-yard line.

Mahomes found Hill wide open with a short pass that gained 15 yards, and then Jeff Allen was called for another false start. Then the Chiefs got a bad break. Damien Williams was corralled in the backfield on a handoff, and Dion Jordan forced a fumble that Seattle recovered at the Kansas City 21.

Carson gained nine yards around left end, and another seven up the middle. That gave the Seahawks a first-and-goal at the five-yard line. Carson was dropped for a three-yard loss on the left side, and then got another handoff up the middle that gained it back. That brought up third-and-goal. Wilson tried a pass to Baldwin in the end zone that went incomplete, and Ward was called for pass interference — which gave Seattle a first down at the one-yard line. But the Chiefs challenged the call, saying that Justin Houston had tipped the ball prior to the penalty being called. The Chiefs lost the challenge, and Seattle got their first down at the one-yard line.

Carson was stuffed for no gain, and then Wilson found Nick Vannett for a touchdown pass that gave Seattle a 14-10 lead with 5:26 remaining in the half.

After a touchback, the Chiefs tried a pair of insaide runs to Damien Williams, who got five yards on the first and four yards on the second. The Chiefs converted on a quarterback sneak, but the Seahawks had called a timeout before the snap. The next handoff to Williams went for no gain, and the Chiefs were forced to punt.

The punt appeared headed to the end zone for a touchback, but Marcus Kemp made a spectacular play, leaping into the end zone and tipping the ball back in front of the goal line, which started the Seahawks at their own nine-yard line with 3:02 left in the half. Carson was stopped for just a yard, and then gained 11 on two inside runs.

After the two minute warning, Wilson went to the air, finding Tyler Lockett for a 19-yard gain. Wilson tried Lockett again, and Ward drew another pass interference call that put Seattle past midfield. Under pressure, Wilson threw incomplete. Under pressure again, Wilson managed to scramble for seven yards. On third-and-3, the Chiefs came with pressure again, and Wilson’s dump-off pass to Ed Dickson lost a yard. That forced a punt, which was downed at the Chiefs 11-yard line with 33 seconds left in the half.

Williams gained 17 yards around right end, and the Chiefs called their last time out with 26 seconds left. Mahomes threw short on a deep pass to Kelce, and then found Chris Conley for a 24-yard gain. But Conley failed to secure the ball properly, and Justin Coleman punched it out. The Seahawks recovered the fumble, and that ended the half with the Seahawks leading 14-10.

Third Quarter

The opening kickoff went into the end zone, and the Seahawks started at the 25-yard line. Carson gained 15 yards around left end, and another four up the middle. Under pressure, Wilson had to throw the ball away, bringing up third-and-and-6. The Chiefs blitzed, but Wilson threw too quickly, finding Vannett for a 10-yard gain at the Kansas City 46. Then Wilson found Baldwin for an 18-yard completion, and Davis gained four up the middle. Wilson hit Lockett with a short pass good for 17, but the play was called back when George Fant was called for holding. Wilson hit Lockett for 10 yards, but on third down, Chris Jones and Dee Ford sacked Wilson for a five-yard loss.

That marked the 11th consecutive game where Jones has recorded at least one sack.

So Janikowski tried a 47-yard field goal that was wide left. But Jordan Lucas — who nearly blocked the attempt — landed on Janikowski’s plant leg, and was penalized for roughing the kicker. That gave Seattle the ball with a first down at the Chiefs 14-yard line. After a four-yard gain by Carson and two incompletions in the end zone, Seattle again went to Janikowski, whose 28-yard field goal made the score 17-10 with 9:30 remaining in the third quarter.

Janikowski — shaken up on the missed field goal, but apparently well enough to try a short one — stayed on the sidelines for the kickoff. Punter Michael Dickson drop-kicked it short, but Tremon Smith could only manage a return to the Chiefs 17.

Mahomes threaded a needle to Kelce for a 23-yard gain, and then found Damien Williams with a screen pass on the left side for a 12-yard gain that put the Chiefs across midfield. Mahomes then hit Hill for 11 yards, and a screen pass to Williams went for no gain. Mahomes had to scramble for seven on second down, and hit Kelce for a five-yard gain to convert. On the next play, Mahomes scrambled left, spun to the right and then somehow threw across his body to find a wide-open West for a 25-yard touchdown that evened the score at 17-17 with 5:18 left in the third quarter,

The Seahawks started at the 25 after another touchback. Carson gained six yards up the middle, and then another 10 for a first down. Wilson found Baldwin deep for an 18-yard gain that moved Seattle past midfield. Vannett was called for a false start that brought up first-and-15, and then Houston stuffed Carson for a one-yard loss. Carson gained it back, which made it third-and-15. Then Wilson found himself with a ton of time, and found Ed Dickson with a short pass. Dickson broke three tackles on the way to an 18-yard gain, putting the Seahawks at the Chiefs 29. Davis picked up two yards, and then Wilson hit Baldwin at the left pylon with a 27-yard touchdown pass that put the Seahawks into a 24-17 lead with :45 left in the third quarter.

Starting at the 40 after Dickson’s drop-kick went out of bounds, Mahomes missed on passes to Hill and Conley. On third down, the protection broke down, and Mahomes was forced to throw the ball away, forcing a Dustin Colquitt punt that was returned to the Seattle 31-yard line.

Jones flattened Carson for a one-yard loss to bring the third quarter to an end.

Fourth Quarter

Wilson hit Baldwin for an eight-yard gain, and then couldn’t connect with Baldwin on third-and-3, forcing a punt. Dickson kicked it out of bounds at the Kansas City 30 to avoid a return.

Mahomes found Hill for a 16-yard gain across the middle, and Willaims gained four around left end. Robinson had a six-yard completion that put the Chiefs across midfield. Mahomes couldn’t connect with Conley and then handed off to Williams for eight yards. Then Mahomes went deep, and found Hill deep on the left sideline for a 32-yard gain to the Seahawks’ four-yard line.

Williams lost a yard on a first-down pass, and then Kelce was penalized for a false start. Mahomes tried to find Kelvin Benjamin in the end zone twice, but both fell incomplete. On third-and-10, Mahomes was flushed to the left sideline and somehow managed to launch a pass to end end zone that Conley caught just out of bounds, and the Chiefs had to settle for a 29-yard field goal that narrowed Seattle’s lead to 24-20 with 10:32 left in the game.

Lockett returned Harrison Butker’s kickoff to the Seattle 30. Wilson immediately found Lockett for a 25-yard pass that put the Seahawks past midfield. Under pressure, Wilson barely escaped a sack, and then found space down the middle of the field and scrambled for 26 yards into the red zone. Carson gained 11 to bring up first-and-goal. Wilson’s pass to Baldwin fell incomplete, and then Davis gained four around left end. That brought up third-and-goal at the four-yard line. Wilson’s pass to Jaron Brown in the end zone was overthrown, but Tremon Smith was called for holding, giving the Seahawks first-and-goal at the one-yard line. One play later, Wilson hit Ed Dickson in the end zone, and the Seahawks led 31-20 with 7:31 left in the game.

Janikowski was back on the field for the next kickoff, and Smith returned it to the Chiefs 28-yard line. Mahomes hit Conley for a 13-yard gain, and then found Kelce for seven. On second-and-3, Mahomes — under intense pressure — actually threw the ball while in the grasp of Seattle linemen, and the ball fell incomplete. On the next play, a pass to Kelce was stopped short of the sticks, bringing up fourth-and-1. Mahomes did his best Wilson impression, escaping pressure for a 22-yard gain to the Seahawks 23-yard line.

A pass to West fell incomplete, and another gained 12 for a first down at the Seattle 11. Under pressure again, Mahomes somehow found Robinson, who got both feet down the right edge of the end zone for a touchdown. The Chiefs went for two and converted when the Seahawks left the middle of the field open, and Mahomes scrambled for the score. That made the score 31-28 with 4:36 left in the game.

A touchback started the Seahawks at their 25. Carson gained four up the middle, and Baldwin dropped a pass. Wilson then found Moore for a seven-yard gain that was just good enough for a first down. Carson was dropped for a two-yard loss, and then Wilson went for broke, throwing high in the air for a 45-yard completion to Lockett at the Kansas City 21. On the next play, Jones sacked Wilson for a nine-yard loss, but then Wilson threw another high ball — this one to Baldwin — that dropped into his hands in front of Ward inside the one-yard line. Then Carson powered through for a touchdown, and the Seahawks led 38-28 with just 2:29 left.

Then the Chiefs got a break, as Tremon Smith returned the kickoff 61 yards to the Seahawks 31-yard line. Mahomes found Damien Williams for a 12-yard pass that put the Chiefs in the red zone as the two minute warning was sounded.

After two incompletions and a scramble gained only four yards, the Chiefs kicked a 32-yard field goal to make the score 38-31 with 1:23 remaining.

Everything now depended on an onside kick from the Chiefs. Butker teed up the ball on its side, and Seattle took a time out to talk about it. But Butker’s kick went too high on its second bounce and went out out of bounds. That settled the game as a 38-31 loss for the Chiefs.

Full game stats from

Stats Headlines

Patrick Mahomes threw for 273 yards, with 23 completions on 40 attempts, three touchdowns and no interceptions, compiling a passer rating of 103.4 on the day. He was sacked just once.

For the Seahawks, Russell Wilson was 18 for 29, totaling 271 yards, three touchdown passes and no interceptions. His passer rating for the game was 127.2. The Chiefs sacked him three times.

Tyreek Hill led Chiefs receivers with 74 yards on 4 receptions. Chris Conley had 54 yards on three catches, and Travis Kelce had five receptions for 54 yards. Charcandrick West, Damien Williams and Demarcus Robinson each had a touchdown reception.

Damien Williams rushed for 103 yards on 13 carries, plus a pair of receptions for 37 yards. As a team, the Chiefs gained 154 yards on the ground on 19 attempts.

The Chiefs allowed 464 total yards to the Seahawks — 210 yards rushing, and 254 through the air.


Darrel Williams was taken to the locker room in the second quarter with what was described as a hamstring injury. His return was designated as questionable.

Dee Ford was shaken up in the third quarter, but returned after only one play.

Tyreek Hill came up limping after a long pass in the fourth quarter, but returned to the game.


Wide receiver Sammy Watkins, cornerback Kendall Fuller, running back Spencer Ware, safety Ron Parker, offensive linemen Kahlil McKenzie and Jimmy Murray, and tight end Deon Yelder were all inactive for the game.

Next week

The Chiefs will close the regular season at home against the Oakland Raiders next Sunday, where a victory will clinch the number one seed in the playoffs. Kickoff is set for 12:00 noon 3:25 pm Arrowhead Time.

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