Following an unspectacular performance against the Houston Texans last week, the Kansas City Chiefs, and particularly Patrick Mahomes, were looking to come back strong against the Atlanta Falcons on the road.
The plan all along was for Mahomes to play the first two quarters, and that’s exactly what happened on Friday night.
Mahomes’ outing started slow, with the Chiefs trailing much of the first quarter by a touchdown.
With two minutes remaining in the first and facing a third-and-11 in the first, Mahomes threw a solid 14-yard pass to Travis Kelce for a first down at the Falcons 42. Although unable to punch it in for a touchdown, it put them at first-and-10 to start the second quarter.
Unfortunately, that led to a Mahomes interception by Damontae Kazee. Mahomes was targeting Sammy Watkins, but Kazee, who timed his run, read the play perfectly and was able to come across the field and make the interception despite Watkins finding a way to separate himself from the cornerback.
INTERCEPTION @DamontaeKazee ‼️ pic.twitter.com/kXZR6q7FKr— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 18, 2018
But Mahomes wouldn’t let the pick be the last thing fans remembered as his playing came to a close. To end the half strong, Mahomes used his arm strength to find none other than the Chiefs’ cheetah, Tyreek Hill, for a touchdown with less than a minute remaining.
Mahomes’ 69-yard bomb found Hill in stride, allowing the Chiefs to cut the deficit to 14-10. Mahomes’ pass went farther in the air than any pass all of last season, according to NFL Research.
Patrick Mahomes' 65-freaking-yards-in-the-air throw to Tyreek Hill over 3 defenders... and watch til the end. pic.twitter.com/qd3SnpVeR9— Tom Martin (@TomKCTV5) August 18, 2018
Mahomes finished the half 8 for 12 with a touchdown and an interception.
Overall, a solid performance for Mahomes. He demonstrated his world-class arm that has created all the hype and at times showed rookie inexperience.