By Matt McMullen – Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs dropped a tough one on Sunday night, falling to the Baltimore Ravens – 36-35 – at M&T Bank Stadium. Kansas City led for the majority of the game, but the Ravens rallied to score 12 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to take a late lead and ultimately secure the victory.
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The Chiefs had a chance at the end, marching to the Ravens’ 32-yard line with just over one minute remaining in the contest, but linebacker Odafe Oweh punched the ball free from tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the Ravens pounced on the loose ball. Quarterback Lamar Jackson then moved the chains on fourth down with a 2-yard scramble four snaps later, sealing the win for Baltimore.
It was a rough way to end a wild, back-and-forth game that featured 886 yards of total offense between the two teams, but Head Coach Andy Reid emphasized the importance of learning from Sunday’s result despite the loss.
“Turnovers will kill you in this league, and we had two of them down the stretch. We have to do better and learn from it,” Reid said. “We have to tackle better on the defensive side, and we’ll work on that and get better. The guys played hard. [Baltimore] took advantage of the turnovers…[Our guys] are real about this, they know [what happened] and they will get it fixed.”
It was the fumble at the end that will be most remembered as the turning point of the game, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes shared his message to Edwards-Helaire – which centered around learning from the result and turning the page – following the game.
“We’ll need him the whole entire season. Don’t let one play define you. It’s a long season,” Mahomes said. “Obviously, we lost to a good football team, and we played at their place. It’s a long season, and if we want to be great and have a chance at another run at this thing, he’s going to be an important part of it.”
Mahomes completed 24-of-31 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns in the game, but it was safety Tyrann Mathieu who tallied the first points of the contest. Mathieu – who made his season debut on Sunday night – picked off Jackson on the third play of the game and returned it for a 34-yard touchdown to put Kansas City in front.
The Ravens answered with a score of their own a possession later to knot the game at seven points apiece, but Mahomes found wide receiver Demarcus Robinson for a 33-yard touchdown on the Chiefs’ ensuing series to push Kansas City ahead once again.
Mathieu then thwarted Baltimore’s attempt to continue the scoring volley on the Ravens’ next drive, intercepting Jackson at the goal line. It marked the third multi-interception game of Mathieu’s career and his 12th pick over the last three seasons, which leads all safeties.
Baltimore did manage to even the score a bit later, however, as tailback Latavius Murray powered ahead for a 5-yard score to complete a 72-yard scoring drive, but the tie didn’t last long. Kansas City immediately answered with a 67-yard series that ended with a 2-yard touchdown plunge by tailback Darrel Williams, and while the Ravens tallied a field goal in the closing seconds of the first half, the Chiefs carried a four-point lead into the break.
The back-and-forth continued in the third quarter, as Mahomes found wide receiver Byron Pringle for a 40-yard touchdown to extend the Chiefs’ lead before Baltimore clawed right back with a 42-yard strike from Jackson to wide receiver Marquise Brown.
Mahomes proceeded to hit tight end Travis Kelce for a 46-yard scoring strike a possession later, which featured the All-Pro tight end making numerous defenders miss in his successful pursuit of the end zone. The play was part of a big night for Kelce, who tallied a team-leading seven grabs for 109 yards while becoming the fastest tight end in NFL history to eclipse 8,000 career receiving yards.
The score put Kansas City ahead by 11 points, but the Ravens picked off Mahomes on the Chiefs’ next possession and turned the takeaway into points as Jackson scrambled for a 2-yard score. Jackson was then back in the end zone a series later, which put Baltimore in front for the first time all night.
Kansas City had an opportunity at the end, but the Ravens forced the takeaway on the Chiefs’ ensuing possession and ended a truly wild contest with the win.
It certainly wasn’t the result the Chiefs wanted, but Mathieu reiterated how a game like this one – as disappointing as it was for the red and gold – can be a teaching moment for even the best teams.
“I think our team responds best when we get punched in the mouth,” Mathieu said. “We have great coaches and great leadership. I just look forward to seeing us turn the page against a divisional opponent [next week] – another must-win game against a good football team – and I look forward to seeing our group respond.”
In terms of injuries, Reid mentioned that there was nothing to report following the game. Kansas City will now look to turn the page with a matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on deck.