Courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the New Orleans Saints, 32-29, to tally their 13th victory of the season on Sunday afternoon, holding off a late Saints’ rally to secure a perfect record on the road and their ninth-consecutive win overall.
Kansas City built multiple double-digit leads throughout the contest, but in a matchup between two of the top teams in the NFL, the game came down to the wire before the Chiefs sealed it. Leading by three points following a Saints’ score with just under two minutes left, tailback Le’Veon Bell bounced outside for five yards to move the chains and effectively end the game.
It completed a wild game that saw momentum swing both directions, but it certainly didn’t start that way. In fact, in a matchup that was billed as a meeting between two of the top offenses in football, it was a defensive battle through the first several possessions of the game.
The two teams combined for three punts through the first three total drives of the contest, and on the Saints’ second possession, Chiefs’ cornerback L’Jarius Sneed picked off New Orleans’ quarterback Drew Brees for his third interception of the year.
Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes made sure to cash in on the takeaway a bit later, finding wide receiver Tyreek Hill for a 5-yard touchdown to put Kansas City on the board first. It marked Hill’s fifteenth receiving touchdown of the season, matching Dwayne Bowe for the most receiving scores in a single season in franchise history.
Kansas City was then back in the end zone on their next drive, as Mahomes found tight end Travis Kelce on a 1-yard score to put the Chiefs up by double-digits. The score punctuated an impressive series that included conversions on two long third downs, and as the second quarter got underway, Kansas City’s point total exceeded what the Saints had in terms of passing yards.
New Orleans managed to narrow the deficit soon after, however, when Brees connected with wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a gain of 51 yards before quarterback Taysom Hill plunged ahead for a 1-yard score to cut the Chiefs’ advantage in half. That was it for the Saints’ offense in the first half though, as Kansas City held New Orleans to just 123 total yards through seven possessions while limiting the Saints to just 1-of-7 on third down.
The Saints did tally two points on special teams just before the break when return man Demarcus Robinson fumbled a New Orleans’ punt out the back of the end zone – moving New Orleans within five – and they completed the comeback to begin the second half as Brees found tailback Latavius Murray for a 24-yard touchdown to put the Saints in front.
Mahomes then answered with a nine-play, 75-yard drive to re-claim the lead on the Chiefs’ first drive of the third quarter, firing a perfectly placed dart to wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who made an equally impressive catch for a 5-yard touchdown to put the Chiefs back ahead.
The Chiefs later added to that advantage when Bell took an option pitch from Mahomes and scampered for a 13-yard score – restoring the 14-point advantage for Kansas City – but the Saints cut into that lead midway through the fourth quarter when Brees found tailback Alvin Kamara for a 14-yard touchdown to bring the margin within a single score once again.
Kansas City made it a two-score game on their next possession when Harrison Butker connected on a 22-yard field goal, but New Orleans again inched closer when Brees hit wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey for a 17-yard touchdown on the Saints’ next drive.
That made it a three-point lead for Kansas City with two minutes left, setting the stage for Bell’s run at the end that sealed it.
Mahomes finished the game with 254 yards and three touchdowns through the air in addition to 37 yards on the ground. Kelce led all receivers with 68 yards to go along with his score. Defensively, the Chiefs held New Orleans to just 1-of-11 on third down.
The win represented Kansas City’s eighth victory on the road this season, marking the Chiefs’ first perfect record away from Arrowhead Stadium in the Super Bowl Era. It’s just Kansas City’s second perfect season on the road in franchise history and the first since 1966.
The Chiefs will return to Arrowhead for the final two games of the regular season, beginning with a matchup against the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday.