In his first six years within the league, Kansas Metropolis quarterback Patrick Mahomes has pulled off a profession’s price of surprises, trick performs and comebacks. So with 2 minutes 37 seconds remaining within the fourth quarter and his Chiefs trailing by only a level at house towards the Detroit Lions, Mahomes appeared poised to mount one more game-winning drive.
However on Thursday night time, Mahomes was taking part in beneath uncommon circumstances. Together with his favored goal, tight finish Travis Kelce, out with a knee harm and the longtime offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy changed by Matt Nagy, Mahomes was unable to spin his acquainted magic.
Receiver Kadarius Toney, uncontested, dropped a go on the primary play of the drive, and a completion to receiver Skyy Moore was known as again due to an offensive holding penalty. Three extra incompletions and a penalty pressured the Chiefs at hand over the ball on downs, permitting the Lions to carry on for a 21-20 upset victory within the N.F.L.’s season-opening sport.
“There have been some good issues on offense, however we have now to be extra constant,” Chiefs Coach Andy Reid stated. “It’s uncommon for us to drop that many passes anyplace anytime.”
It was a surprising end result, and never only for the Chiefs followers who reveled in a pregame celebration of their workforce’s newest Tremendous Bowl championship, from February. Mahomes, the workforce’s star, the undisputed king of lively quarterbacks after the retirement of Tom Brady, appeared human. Coming into his seventh season, Mahomes has already received two Tremendous Bowl titles in three appearances, and two Most Useful Participant Awards.
“It’s embarrassing for me to lose any time,” Mahomes stated. “It’s cool for the followers to see the banner dropped, however it is a entire new yr.”
Detroit’s win continued a stunning streak courting again to final season, when the Lions received eight of their last 10 video games, together with an upset of the division-rival Packers that knocked Inexperienced Bay out of playoff rivalry.
Coming into his third season because the Lions’ head coach, Dan Campbell has made a trademark of unusual and daring play calls, which he went to early towards Kansas Metropolis. Within the first quarter, Campbell known as a faux punt with the Lions on their very own 17-yard line. The ball was snapped on to linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who ran up the center of the sphere for 3 yards and a primary down. Quarterback Jared Goff zipped brief passes the remainder of the drive, discovering Amon-Ra St. Brown for a 9-yard rating to offer the Lions a 7-0 lead following the additional level.
Regardless of an uneven efficiency by his requirements, Mahomes, who completed with 226 yards on 21 of 39 passing, mustered his teammates at key moments. On the drive following the Lions’ first rating, Mahomes focused seven completely different receivers to march Kansas Metropolis on a 75-yard landing drive.
The Lions botched a landing drive when receiver Marvin Jones Jr. fumbled within the purple zone. With the sport knotted at 7 earlier than halftime, Mahomes hit receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justin Watson on back-to-back performs for 34 and 26 yards. He then discovered the backup tight finish Blake Bell alone on the aim line for a landing.
The Lions caught a break within the third quarter when Brian Department picked off a Mahomes go that popped out of Toney’s palms. Department raced 50 yards into the top zone to knot the rating at 14. The Lions, it appeared, weren’t going to go away simply.
The Lions additionally damage themselves. They have been charged with a 41-yard go interference penalty on a Kansas Metropolis drive late within the third quarter. After two extra Mahomes passes have been dropped, the Chiefs settled for a discipline aim to take the lead, 17-14. Kicker Harrison Butker added one other discipline aim early within the fourth quarter.
The Lions went forward, 21-20, halfway by way of the fourth quarter when working again David Montgomery bulled 8 yards into the top zone.
On the Lions’ subsequent drive, Campbell once more made an aggressive name by opting to go for it with the Lions parked on the Chiefs’ 45-yard line on fourth-and-2. He was maybe emboldened with Chris Jones, the Chiefs’ All-Professional go rusher, watching the sport from a set within the stadium amid a contract dispute and Goff on his technique to a 253-yard efficiency.
However Goff’s try was batted down on the line by Chiefs security Justin Reid, giving Mahomes loads of time to regain the lead. That was till he was undone by his teammates.
The Lions left Arrowhead Stadium with an announcement victory, with Goff beckoning cheers from the stands. Detroit has not received its division in three many years and hasn’t made the playoffs in six seasons. The Lions sank to a 1-6 begin to start the 2022 season, lots of the losses determined by one-score margins.
“We’re bored with being on the poor facet of issues, the place you stroll away from these video games and you already know it’s a detailed one however you lose,” stated Aidan Hutchinson, the Lions’ second-year defensive finish. “And I believe we’re bored with it, man. And, man, I believe we’re coming this season, dude.”
Regardless of the loss, the Chiefs stay a workforce to be feared. Mahomes, essentially the most gifted participant of his technology, is decided to not relaxation on his laurels. Earlier than the sport, he was requested if Kansas Metropolis, which appeared in three Tremendous Bowls throughout Mahomes’s first 5 seasons because the full-time starter, is a dynasty. No, he stated, the workforce would wish to win a 3rd Tremendous Bowl to earn that standing.
As Thursday’s loss confirmed, to earn a 3rd ring, Mahomes will want somewhat assist.