This was a rough game for Patrick Mahomes, but even when he’s not playing his best, he’s still better than almost every other QB in the NFL. Mahomes threw two picks, but he made up for that by engineering two longs drives in the fourth quarter that helped Kansas City put the game away. With Mahomes struggling in the passing game, Isiah Pacheco helped carry the Chiefs offense with 19 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown. The unfortunate takeaway from this game for other NFL teams is that the Chiefs can still win even when Mahomes is playing at a level that’s nowhere near his best.
Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes threw the 200th touchdown pass of his career, reaching the milestone in his 84th game to break Dan Marino’s NFL record.
Mahomes, playing in his first game at MetLife Stadium, connected with Noah Gray on a 34-yard touchdown that gave the Chiefs a 17-0 lead against the New York Jets with 3:24 left in the first quarter on Sunday night.
Marino threw his 200th TD pass in his 89th NFL game with Miami in 1989.
This game did not go the way many believed it would. Well, it actually did at first. In the opening quarter, it looked like the Chiefs were preparing to coast to a blowout victory as Taylor Swift received plenty of airtime. Without a doubt, the Chiefs’ quick start was pivotal in this win.
Kansas City wanted to turn this into a track meet, and scored a total of 17 points on its first three possessions. The Chiefs racked up over 200 yards of total offense in the first 15 minutes, while the Jets sputtered out of the gate. If Kansas City didn’t secure that 17-0 lead before Mahomes’ ugly interceptions and Wilson’s impressive tosses, we would be talking about something entirely different.
How Mahomes and the Chiefs handled the fourth quarter is absolutely noteworthy. This squad has more experience when it comes to gutting out victories, but the dominant first quarter was just as important.
Next Gen stat of the game: Isiah Pacheco’s 48-yard rushing touchdown had a 0.5% TD probability, the most improbable touchdown run of his career, with 39 rush yards over expected.
NFL Research: With Sunday’s win, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid became the fifth NFL coach with at least 250 regular-season wins.
But here’s the cold reality—the Jets aren’t good. They entered Sunday night ranked dead last in the league in total offense. This is a team that the Chiefs should have rolled just like they did the Chicago Bears a week ago.
But they didn’t—for several reasons.
The first was Mahomes himself. In the second quarter of Sunday’s game, it appeared that some Freaky Friday action had happened and Mahomes and Wilson had changed places. Wilson was sharp and accurate. Mahomes was lobbing up gopher balls and turning it over. The NFL’s best quarterback finished the game 18 of 30 for 202 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. His passer rating was over 40 points lower than Zach freaking Wilson’s.
No, really. It was.
Mahomes made plays with his legs in the second half after the Jets tied the game at 20. And Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco had the best yardage game of his career. But the players around them didn’t do a lot to further the cause.
Wilson turned in perhaps the most impressive performance of his young career. Unfortunately, his New York Jets still fell to the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, 23-20, and a Wilson fumble in the fourth quarter loomed large in the loss.
“I thought he was really good,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said. “Gave us a chance to win the game, brought us back. If he plays like that, we’re gonna win a lot of football games.”
Wilson finished the night 28 of 39, completing 71.8% of his passes, for 245 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 105.2 rating. But it was more than the sturdy box score. He showed confidence, poise, solid decision-making and showcased a big arm and some tight-window accuracy at times.
A pissed off Robert Saleh at the end of the game….— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 2, 2023
Rarely hear an official call a penalty on the head coach: pic.twitter.com/v48zlGcNIZ
Around the NFL
A one-handed Justin Herbert won an AFC West butt-kicking contest on Sunday.
With his left, non-throwing hand bandaged, Herbert led the Los Angeles Chargers to a 24-17 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, highlighted by a 51-yard completion to Josh Palmer that clinched the victory.
Herbert shrugged off the injury after the game, calling it a “flesh wound” that he never considered leaving the game for, though he was uncertain about his status going forward.
“Just a bit of a scratch. Just a flesh wound,” Herbert said in a bit of an ode to Monty Python. “Just got stuck in a helmet, but thankful for all the doctors and trainers out there to help me get through that.
“There was never really a question, it was just getting it fixed up, get it taped up and head back out there.”
Herbert deftly avoided most of the serious injury quandaries, including saying, “I’m not sure,” when asked if he underwent X-rays on his finger.
White suffered what is believed to be a torn right Achilles in the third quarter of the Bills’ commanding 48-20 win over the Miami Dolphins, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said after the game that White is still being evaluated. An MRI is set for Monday.
“He’s been through a lot. And sometimes you wonder, right? Why things like that happen twice, you know, to someone,” McDermott said. “I’m not saying what it is, what it isn’t. I’m just saying like, you know, you just wonder why.
“Because you watch him and how hard he’s worked to get back. And yeah, you know, I just, I know he’s a man of faith. And I know how strong he is. And you know, he will, he will rebound.”
32. Finally, ICYMI, if you thought merging the NFL and Nickelodeon’s slime was something, hopefully you caught snippets of the Jaguars-Falcons game played in the world of Pixar’s “Toy Story.” Can’t be long before Trevor Lawrence is getting Woody and Buzz out of trouble.
Wembley Stadium vs. Andy's room.— NFL (@NFL) October 1, 2023
: ESPN+/Disney+ pic.twitter.com/9SejXHrpG3
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Kadarius Toney: In the second quarter, he finally got involved with an important diving catch where he took a big hit and came down with the ball. He immediately got the ball back on a pop pass and broke some tackles to get a bit downfield. Toughness may not be synonmous with his name — but maybe it should be. While these two plays would be his only impacts on the game, they were still encouraging to see after his season got off to such a slow start.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes — when running: We’ve said before that running Mahomes is the best Mahomes. Against the Jets, he was incredible on the ground. Finishing as the team’s second-leading rusher with 51 yards on seven carries, Mahomes showed how he has a real knack for sensing just the right moment to take off and move the chains. In large part, Kansas City’s seven-minute, game-sealing drive happened because Mahomes simply refuses to lose. The MVP ran for 14 yards (called back for penalty), 25 yards and 9 yards — before sliding down short of the goal line like Jerick McKinnon in the Super Bowl.
A tweet to make you think
I don’t feel bad for Robert Saleh or the Jets on that final call. They only reason they were still even in that game was because of the awful safety call and the bogus horse collar. Otherwise that game is over and buried before half. #Chiefs— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) October 2, 2023