The Kansas City Chiefs needed a win, and they got one Monday.
Kansas City defeated the New York Giants 20-17 at Arrowhead Stadium and bounced back from a blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans in the process. Patrick Mahomes overcame some early struggles and directed two drives that ended in Harrison Butker field goals after falling behind in the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs are still just 4-4 on the campaign and trying to keep up with an AFC West in which every team is .500 or better.
New York dropped to 2-6 but had a chance to win with one drive in the final minute. However, Daniel Jones took two sacks with no timeouts and turned it over on downs.
Notable Player Stats
- Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC: 29-of-48 passing for 275 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Derrick Gore, RB, KC: 11 carries for 48 yards, 1 TD
- Tyreek Hill, WR, KC: 12 catches for 94 yards, 1 TD
- Daniel Jones, QB, NYG: 22-of-32 passing for 222 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
- Evan Engram, TE, NYG: 3 catches for 15 yards, 1 TD
Chiefs Overcome Struggles With Late Field Goals
Kansas City's struggles were arguably the biggest storyline in the entire NFL coming into Monday's game.
After all, this team has no shortage of weapons and is coming off two straight Super Bowl appearances. Seeing an offense with Mahomes at the helm score a mere three points against the Titans was downright stunning, and this matchup against a poor Giants squad was a golden opportunity to bounce back.
Mahomes' interception to Julian Love in the end zone on the game's first drive did nothing to inspire confidence in a turnaround, but the three-time Pro Bowler got another chance thanks to a Kansas City interception and took advantage with a touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill.
Kansas City Chiefs @Chiefs
.<a href="https://twitter.com/cheetah?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cheetah</a> gets us on the board first ☑️<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYGvsKC?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYGvsKC</a> on ESPN <a href="https://t.co/3F5Fxezyh5">pic.twitter.com/3F5Fxezyh5</a>
Although there were more inconsistencies during a first half that featured three Chiefs punts, Derrick Gore provided an unexpected spark with physical running between the tackles and a go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter. The 26-year-old didn't have a single carry in his career entering tonight but was an integral part of Kansas City seizing the early lead.
Even with the early success from Gore, the Chiefs struggled to get anything going downfield and committed 12 penalties for 103 yards. Mahomes' only real success came on underneath routes and checkdowns to Hill and Darrel Williams, and Travis Kelce lost a fumble to end a promising drive.
New York took a fourth-quarter lead after Kelce's turnover, placing even more pressure on the home team's stagnant offense.
To Mahomes' credit, he put the team in a position to score on Kansas City's ensuing two drives, and Butker delivered. The Chiefs also benefited from a questionable facemask and offsides that nullified an interception on the final scoring drive, but they at least walked away with a win.
Giants Fail to Take Advantage of Winnable Game
Kansas City was the primary focus for Monday's contest, but the Giants had the chance to move just one game back of the Carolina Panthers for the final playoff spot in the NFC with a win. They also beat that same Panthers team in convincing fashion the last time out, so this was an opportunity to build sustained momentum for the first time all year.
Any lingering momentum quickly disappeared when Jones threw a pick to Willie Gay on his first throw of the game.
That led to a Chiefs touchdown, although Jones at least found the end zone once in the first half when he connected with Kyle Rudolph on fourth down. Rudolph's score came after a 50-yard deep ball to John Ross in the best sequence in an otherwise lackluster first half for the New York offense.
The visitors stalled from there, including when they had to kick a field goal from Kansas City's 5-yard line, but were still within striking distance down 14-10 at intermission thanks to a solid showing from their defense.
The bad news continued when Sterling Shepard was ruled out with a quad injury, and the offense punted twice to start the second half, one of which came on 4th-and-1. However, the defense continued to do the job on the other side and gave Jones a chance to take the lead.
He finally did in the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass to Evan Engram, although the Chiefs answered with a field goal and put the third-year signal-caller back under the spotlight.
That lead was gone by the time Jones took the field again, and his final two possessions ended in a punt when the game was tied and a turnover on downs when the Giants were trailing. New York's defense played well enough to win, especially against a team that is loaded with playmakers. The offense just didn't do its job in a winnable contest.
Both teams are home in Week 9 when the Chiefs host the Green Bay Packers and the Giants face the Las Vegas Raiders.