Facing the Miami Dolphins in the first of two International Series games in Frankfurt, Germany this season, the Kansas City Chiefs ran out to a 21-0 halftime lead against the NFL’s highest-scoring team — and then allowed the Dolphins to score two unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter. But the Chiefs held on in the fourth frame to win 21-14m extending their record to 7-2.
The Dolphins won the opening coin toss, deferring the decision to the second half. That gave Kansas City the ball to open the game. The Chiefs started from the 25-yard line after a touchback.
The Chiefs’ pass game started hot. Right out of the gate, wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling gained 21 yards on a downfield throw. Two plays later, wide receiver Skyy Moore lined up in the backfield, catching a quick pass to convert third down. That was followed by tight end Noah Gray catching a 25-yard pass, setting up the Chiefs at the 11-yard line.
Wide receiver Justin Watson nearly corralled a pass in the end zone, but it fell incomplete. However, wide receiver Rashee Rice took a screen pass to the end zone on the next play — giving Kansas City an initial 7-0 lead.
Miami matched Kansas City’s opening play with their own long completion to wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. However, the Dolphins backed themselves up to third and 9, and the Chiefs dialed up a great blitz to surround quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and sack him. Cornerback Jaylen Watson created the pressure, and defensive end Mike Danna helped finish it off. The Dolphins had to punt.
Running back Isiah Pacheco got going with two carries totaling 17 yards to start the possession. However, the Chiefs stalled from there; a third-down screen pass to Kelce was stopped short of the sticks.
Miami got rolling with a reverse run by Waddle, then a 17-yard completion over the middle to former Chiefs’ wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Two plays later, a third-down conversion was negated, and the Dolphins were too backed up to recover. They were forced to punt from the Chiefs’ 44-yard line.
Kansas City couldn’t get much going with the ball; after one first down, three pass plays ended in sacks or an incompletion, leading to a quick punt and the end of the first quarter.
The Dolphins continued to tread water on offense, with the latest failed possession highlighted by an incompletion to Hill; the pass looked catchable. The Chiefs’ defense forced another third and long, and again, Miami failed to convert.
Kansas City followed that up with their own short drive; it was doomed after a seven-yard loss on first down. The Chiefs punted after pressure forced Mahomes to check down on third and 17.
The Chiefs offense started inside its own 10-yard line for the second-straight drive, but got some breathing room when Rice extended for a catch at the sticks on third down. A few plays later, wide receiver Kadarius Toney gained 18 yards over the middle and advanced past midfield. Then, Skyy Moore found room between defenders downfield for a 23-yard catch, closing in on the red zone.
On third and 3, Mahomes found running back Jerick McKinnon wide open, taking it 17 yards into the end zone to give the Chiefs a 14-0 lead.
With over two minutes to go, the Dolphins drove down the field and threatened to score, getting to the 30-yard line — then disaster struck for Miami. Tyreek Hill was quickly tackled by cornerback Trent McDuffie, who forced a fumble recovered by safety Mike Edwards, who lateraled to safety Bryan Cook and set him up to run all the way back for a touchdown. The crazy play gave the Chiefs a 21-0 lead with 30 seconds left in the half.
Miami stalled with the little time they had left, and the game eventually went to intermission with the 21-0 score.
It was more of the same for the Dolphins’ offense out of the break: a quick drive ended on a third and 17, being backed up after a holding penalty negated a big run. Miami punted for the sixth time in the game.
On the Chiefs’ first drive of the half, a completion to tight end Noah Gray initially moved the sticks — but a holding penalty a few plays later on right guard Trey Smith set the unit back to far to come back from. The Chiefs punted for the fourth time.
The Dolphins came to life on the second drive of the third quarter, going 75 yards on eight plays to score a touchdown. The run game kept Miami ahead of the sticks, and allowed them to convert a short third down. To finish the possession, wide receiver Cedrick Wilson caught a pass in the end zone over cornerback Trent McDuffie, closing Kansas City’s lead to 21-7.
Looking to answer, Kansas City got held up on third and 9 — penalized and sent further back to need 20 yards. On that drop back, pressure surrounded Mahomes and forced a fumble, leading to the Dolphins gaining possession at the Chiefs’ 27-yard line.
Put in a bad position, the Chiefs’ defense was able to force a fourth down; however, defensive tackle Chris Jones earned a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct — and Miami immediately took advantage with a 13-yard touchdown run. The Chiefs’ lead was now 21-14, leading into the last period.
The Chiefs used runs and quick passes to make the possession look promising initially, but the unit ran into third and 9. On that play, a deep attempt to Valdes-Scantling was broken up, and Kansas City settled for a punt.
From the 11-yard line, the Dolphins moved the chains quickly with the run game. Then, Hill and Waddle found space on receptions to get into Chiefs’ territory. From there, Kansas City stepped up — led by a tackle for loss from linebacker Willie Gay. After that, defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton wrapped up Tagovailoa for a sack, leading to a punt with just over four minutes remaining.
Unexplicably, the Chiefs had a quick three and out — wasting a chance to seal the victory. An incomplete pass on third down gave Miami the ball back with just over two minutes to go.
The Dolphins snuck in a 25-yard run before the two-minute warning hit, setting up at midfield. Running back Raheem Mostert nearly copied his first run with a 19-yard gain on the next play. From the Chiefs’ 31-yard line, Miami worked into third and 10, failing to convert when a blitz hurried a throw into being incomplete.
To follow up the blitz on third down, the Chiefs’ defense brought even more bodies on fourth down — but a bad snap doomed the Dolphins. The sack wrapped up the game; Chiefs win 21-14.
Kicker Harrison Butker nailed his first point-after attempt to cap the opening drive. He made the second and third extra-point attempts as well.
Punt returner Mecole Hardman lost three yards on his first return attempt. On a crucial punt coverage late in the game, Hardman received the punt at the one-yard line He fair caught three others.
Punter Tommy Townsend pinned his first punt of the game at the 18-yard line. Later, he landed one at the 11-yard line. Overall, Townsend punted six times, one being a 68-yard bomb that ended as a touchback.
|Yards per play||5.0||4.8|
|Yards per rush||5.60||3.90|
|Passing Gross Yards||193||185|
|Passing Net Yards||175||174|
|Yards per pass||4.70||5.40|
|Rushing first downs||6||4|
|Passing first downs||11||11|
|Penalty first downs||3||1|
|Third down (Made/Att/Pct)||3/12/25%||3/10/30%|
|Fourth down (Made/Att/Pct)||0/1/0%||0/0/0%|
|Goal to go (Made/Att/Pct)||0/0/0%||0/0/0%|
|Red Zone (Made/Att/Pct)||1/1/100%||2/2/100%|
|Extra Points (Made/Att)||2/2||3/3|
|Field Goals (Made/Att)||0/0||0/0|
|Two-Point Conv (Made/Att)||0/0||0/0|
|Gross Punting Avg Yds||45.1||50.3|
|Net Punting Avg Yds||43.1||45.8|
|Total Rtn Yds (No KOs)||7||14|
|Punt Returns (Num/Yds)||1/7||3/14|
|Kickoff Returns (Num/Yds)||0/0||1/20|
|Int Returns (Num/Yds)||0/0||0/0|
|Time of Possession||30:24||29:36|
|Jeff Wilson Jr.||2||6||3.0||0||6|
|Cedrick Wilson Jr.||1||31||31.0||1||31t||5||0|
|Jeff Wilson Jr.||3||32||10.7||0||12||4||21|
|CHIEFS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|DOLPHINS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|David Long Jr.||7||3||4||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Andrew Van Ginkel||3||2||1||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|CHIEFS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|DOLPHINS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|CHIEFS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|DOLPHINS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|