Kansas City started the game with the football and put up first-quarter points for the first time since Week 1. After running back Damien Williams — returning to the lineup after missing two games — could not hold onto a deep pass that hit his hands in the end zone, the Chiefs settled for a 29-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.
They would lose it on the next possession. Llinebacker Darron Lee missed a key tackle, which led to a 30-yard run by Marlon Mack. Mack had 40 rushing yards on five carries in an 11-play drive that ended with a 1-yard scramble by Jacoby Brissett for a touchdown.
On the run, side arm by PMII. pic.twitter.com/c6cQhUDTla— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) October 7, 2019
The Chiefs drove the ball to the Indianapolis 19, only for Patrick Mahomes to take an 8-yard sack by now Colts-defensive lineman Justin Houston. On the next play, Mahomes was flushed out to his right, was able to escape pressure and threw a marvelous ball on the run 27 yards to rookie Byron Pringle for a touchdown and 10-7 lead.
The Colts could not take advantage of a 53-yard defensive pass interference penalty called on cornerback Bashaud Breeland that brought them to the KC 14-yard line thanks to two strong plays in a row by defensive lineman Tanoh Kpassagnon. Kpassagnon nearly had a sack on third down but forced Brissett into a bad throw, and the Colts settled for a 32-yard field goal.
Cornerback Mo Claiborne came on to replace Charvarius Ward on the next drive, but a Breeland defensive holding penalty gave the Colts a new set of downs at the Kansas City 23-yard line. On second down at the Kansas City 22, Brissett threw a pass into the hands of safety Tyrann Mathieu for his first pick of the year.
The Chiefs called a crafty screen pass to LeSean McCoy, who was on his way to a big gain before fumbling the ball away at the Indianapolis 14-yard line, but the Chiefs defense forced a three-and-out.
The Colts pass rush was noticeable on the next drive, pressuring Mahomes consistently on each play. Mahomes came up limping after taking a hit on a third-and-15 14-yard pass to Demarcus Robinson. Despite an obvious limp, Mahomes rushed the offense up to the line for fourth-and-1, which the Chiefs converted by way of a 1-yard rush from fullback Anthony Sherman. The Chiefs eventually punted on the drive.
Breeland took his third penalty of the half with just under a minute to go — defensive holding on third down, which gave the Colts new life at the Kansas City 41. The Colts closed the half with a 32-yard field goal to make it 13-10.
The Chiefs overcame yet another defensive holding penalty by Breeland to push the Colts to punt to begin the half. Mahomes connected with rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman down the right sideline for a beautiful 31-yard gain.
A few plays later, Mahomes looked to throw an interception and left tackle Cam Erving took a bad penalty for unnecessary roughness at the end of the play. Though the interception was overturned (the ball hit the ground), the personal foul pushed the down and distance to fourth-and-17. Dustin Colquitt punted back to the Colts.
The Colts did not score on the next drive, as the Chiefs held up, but they did take six minutes off the clock before punting back to Kansas City. The Chiefs went three-and-out on the next possession. The Colts held onto a 13-10 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Colts were able to score a field goal on their next possession, taking 8:34 off the clock on a 14-play drive, including a stretch of nine straight running plays. With the Colts facing second down on the Kansas City 5-yard line, Mathieu came through with an 8-yard tackle for loss. Mahomes and the Chiefs got the ball back with 7:40 on the clock.
Demarcus Robinson was called for a facemask penalty, and Mahomes was sacked for 10 yards on the next play. Facing third-and-28 at the Chiefs’ own 7-yard line, Mahomes escaped pressure to his left and found Pringle, who came just a yard short. On fourth-and-1, the Chiefs handed the ball off to Dami.en Williams, who Houston stopped in the backfield. Houston turned to the Chiefs’ sideline, pounding his chest in celebration.
A 29-yard field goal gave the Colts a 19-10 lead with just 2:30 left. The Chiefs managed a field goal but couldn’t recover the onside kick, and they took their first loss of the season.
Chiefs stats of note
Patrick Mahomes: 22 of 39 for 321 yards, one touchdown pass, no interceptions
Byron Pringle: Six catches for 103 yards and a touchdown
Damien Williams: Nine carries for 23 yards | Three catches for 15 yards
Tyrann Mathieu: Four tackles, one interception
It felt like absolutely nothing went right for the Chiefs on Sunday night. Several key Chiefs players — including Sammy Watkins and Chris Jones — left the game with injuries. The offensive line could not protect Patrick Mahomes, who looked hobbled by his lingering ankle injury. The defense cannot stop the run. The Chiefs never really recovered from their lone turnover — a LeSean McCoy fumble — when they would have surely broken a 10-10 tie.
Injuries were a significant factor on Sunday, but the problems run much deeper. We’ll see how they respond against Houston next week.