Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce did it again in Los Angeles on Sunday night, connecting for three touchdowns — including two in the fourth quarter— to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 30-27.
Kelce’s game-sealing touchdown that came with less than 40 seconds to go was his 11th score of the season — and it actually was a variation of the game-winning play that led to the Chiefs beating the Chargers in Los Angeles in 2021.
“You do get amazed by some of the things these guys do — and I’ve watched them do it over and over and over again — but to make the key plays that he does in those critical times when the play is needed, that’s huge,” explained offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who has been more impressed with Kelce’s growth during his 10 years with the Chiefs. “Just watching his growth process and just thinking about all the years that he’s been here and how he’s just evolved — not only as a player, but more as a young man, and how he’s developed as a captain and a leader. Those are the things that I enjoy watching. I love the energy that he brings, and I love the positive impact that he has with our team on the sidelines. So it’s been fun to watch.”
Of Mahomes’ 12 career regular-season game-winning drives, four have ended with touchdown passes to Kelce. The duo’s knack for success when it matters the most has grown to feel like a trend, and Bieniemy credits the program set up by head coach Andy Reid for at least part of their success.
Reid, who is known for his long, stamina-building training camp practices, spends extra time each offseason preparing for teams in the division. Reid is also sure to practice any kind of situation, so when it’s time for a two-minute drill in Los Angeles, the pressure is not foreign to those who need to make the plays.
“You guys have heard me discuss this over time: we spend a lot of time on situational football,” said Bieniemy. “We’re talking through it, we’re meeting though it. (Wide receivers) Coach Joe Bleymaier puts together great film that we go through on Saturdays, but it’s always something that we’re reviewing and constantly talking about. That way, now, when our guys step up to the plate, they know exactly what needs to get done, and that’s something else that we spend time during the offseason with: we work through all those situations against our defense.
“Putting those guys in those predicaments so they can understand how to react and play — and on top of that, it’s great for us as coaches as well, because now, because we have done it so frequently, we just remain poised and allow our guys to play.
“There’s nothing to panic about. Just go out there and perform; you know what to do. You know what the expectations are.”