Courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs
It wasn’t always pretty, but the Kansas City Chiefs came back to defeat the New York Giants, 20-17, and tally their fourth victory of the season on Monday night at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Kansas City recorded field goals on each of its final two possessions to tie and later take the lead while the defense held New York scoreless for nearly the entire fourth quarter, ultimately combining to secure the comeback victory.
“Listen, everything’s not beautiful right now, but we’re fighting through that,” said Head Coach Andy Reid. “Our guys battled. They didn’t give up on each other. They kept working through what could’ve been a time when you just throw your hands up and go things are working the way they’re supposed to work. Guys didn’t do that, so we’ll build on that. Let’s keep going.”
The late heroics were necessary after New York took its first lead of the game when quarterback Daniel Jones found tight end Evan Engram for a 5-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Engram’s grab gave the Giants a three-point advantage, but the Chiefs answered with a 14-play, 57-yard series that ended in a game-tying, 36-yard kick by Harrison Butker with just under nine minutes left in regulation.
New York’s ensuing drive then stalled at midfield – setting up what ended up being the game-winning possession for Kansas City – although it certainly didn’t seem like it was heading that way at first. A holding penalty set the Chiefs back deep in their own territory, but facing a second down and needing 15 yards to convert, tight end Travis Kelce hauled in a 14-yard pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes and fought for additional yardage before drawing a facemask penalty that furthered the drive.
The Chiefs proceeded to march down the field following Kelce’s efforts while draining clock in the process, eventually setting up another field goal attempt for Butker – a 34-yarder – that sailed through the uprights and reclaimed the lead for Kansas City with one minute and seven seconds left in the game.
That set the stage for the Giants’ final drive, but the Chiefs’ defense sacked Jones twice and New York never moved the chains. Defensive linemen Chris Jones and Frank Clark each brought down the Giants’ signal caller on the series, with Clark’s sack sealing the victory on fourth down.
It was a fitting exclamation point on an impressive defensive effort that tallied four three-and-outs and an interception on the night. The pick – which linebacker Willie Gay Jr. secured on the Giants’ second play of the game – provided the Chiefs’ offense with a do-over of sorts after Mahomes tossed an interception in the end zone on Kansas City’s opening series. Mahomes then made sure to make the most of the takeaway, finding wide receiver Tyreek Hill for a 6-yard touchdown just a few snaps later.
Mahomes completed 29-of-48 passes for 275 yards and a touchdown in the contest, finding Hill on 12 occasions for a team-most 94 yards. Hill’s score provided the Chiefs with an early lead, but New York answered with a nine-play, 85-yard drive two possessions later that knotted the score at seven points apiece when Jones found tight end Kyle Rudolph for a 1-yard touchdown on what turned out to be a wise fourth-down attempt deep in Chiefs’ territory.
Kansas City was then back in front a bit later when tailback Derrick Gore – playing in just his third-career game – found the end zone for the first time in his young career on a 3-yard touchdown run. The score finished off a dominant possession that featured rushing attempts on each of the Chiefs’ final five plays and an impressive overall showing by Gore, who finished the game with 48 yards on 11 carries.
“He’s been doing it since training camp and he finally got his opportunity,” Mahomes said of Gore. “He went out there and executed and played well for us. I think that whole running back room has stepped up in different roles this entire season, and as the season goes on with the offensive line continuing to get better and better at run blocking and doing that type of stuff, I think he’ll be a big part of our offense.”
New York added a field goal before halftime to pull within four points, but that would complete the scoring until Engram’s touchdown grab early in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs then recorded their late-game heroics on both sides of the ball as the final minutes of action unfolded, helping Kansas City move to 4-4 on the season and remain undefeated against NFC opponents this year.
Rookie linebacker Nick Bolton – who racked up 15 tackles last week against Tennessee – once again led Kansas City with 11 tackles while Jones recorded two quarterback hits. Offensively, wide receiver Mecole Hardman turned in a solid night with five receptions for 63 yards, including a 24-yard catch and run that set up Butker’s game-winning field goal.
In terms of injuries, Reid said that there was nothing to mention following the game. The only one of note was wide receiver Marcus Kemp, who the entered concussion protocol during the game but was cleared.
The Chiefs will now look to build on Monday’s victory with a tilt against the Green Bay Packers on deck.