In the Chiefs’ home opener against the San Francisco 49ers, Patrick Mahomes continued his historic start to the season. Mahomes threw 3 touchdowns, breaking the record for most touchdowns in the first three games of a season which was previously held by Peyton Manning in his record setting 2013 season. Mahomes threw 24 completions out of 38 attempts for 314 yards.
In the first half, the Chiefs rocketed out to a 35-7 lead, scoring five touchdowns on their first five possessions of the game. Kareem Hunt scored a pair of 1 yard touchdowns, before Patrick Mahomes tossed 3 touchdowns to Sammy Watkins, Demetrius Harris and Chris Conley. The touchdown to Conley was easily the play of the game. Mahomes was chased out of the pocket to his left, then stumbled as he turned to run the other way before outrunning 49ers’ DE Cassius Marsh and slinging it to Conley for the touchdown. Fox play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman said it best, “Are you kidding me?”
Patrick Mahomes has been making the vast majority of fans watching him exclaim something similar. Mahomes’ favorite target on Sunday was Travis Kelce, who hauled in 8 catches for 114 yards. Sammy Watkins had 5 catches for 55 yards, along with his first touchdown as a Chief. Tyreek Hill had two catches for 52 yards. Kareem Hunt has remained quiet, in terms of yardage, as he rushed 18 times for only 44 yards, but he scored two touchdowns.
The Chiefs’ defense played solidly in the 1st half, only allowing 10 points. With a 35-10 halftime lead, there’s no way they could somehow still give the fans any anxiety over a potential comeback, right? Well this is the Chiefs we’re talking about. The 49ers dominated the 3rd quarter, and before you knew it, it was an 11 point game with an entire quarter to go. The Chiefs would hold on, and the pass rush came alive in the fourth quarter with Justin Houston and Allen Bailey sacking Garoppolo in crucial moments.
On the San Francisco’s side, this was a putrid game. They lost two key players to injuries. Richard Sherman left in the 2nd quarter and is expected to be out for a few weeks with a calf strain. And Jimmy Garoppolo went down in the 4th quarter after making a cut and taking a hit from Steven Nelson. Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL on the play. CJ Beathard would enter the game in relief of Garoppolo, and would throw what was thought to be a touchdown to George Kittle, but was called back due to a controversial offensive pass interference call on Kyle Juszczyk. The 49ers played undisciplined for the majority of the game, committing 14 penalties for 147 yards, but were still in a position to make Chiefs’ fans just a little bit nervous.
The Chiefs’ offense looked great as usual, before stalling in the second half. And the defense looked better overall, albeit against a less offensively talented team than the Chargers or Steelers. They should be happy that they didn’t give up 400 passing yards this week, only 251.
Elsewhere in the AFC West, everybody else lost. The Broncos were beaten by the Ravens 27-14. The Chargers lost the battle of Los Angeles to the Rams 35-23. And the Raiders remain winless, squandering another 4th quarter lead to the Dolphins, losing 28-20. Next week, the Chiefs travel to Denver for a divisional Monday Night Football showdown against the Broncos, where Patrick Mahomes will be tested against Von Miller and the stout Broncos’ defense.