If there were any Patrick Mahomes doubters left after his 4 touchdown performance against the Chargers, they were silenced this week. Patrick Mahomes put on a historic showing at Heinz Field, throwing 6 touchdowns against the Steelers. Mahomes is the first quarterback to throw 10 touchdowns in the first two games of a season. This incredible game fell on the eve of Mahomes’ 23rd birthday, yet he was the one giving gifts to his receivers.
Mahomes threw touchdowns to 5 different receivers, with two to Travis Kelce and one to Chris Conley, Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Demarcus Robinson. The Texas Tech product completed 23 passes out of 28 attempts for 326 yards, meaning that he threw more touchdowns than incompletions. Thanks to his efforts, the Chiefs won at Heinz Field for the first time in 34 years.
The Chiefs’ big weapons all showed up as well. Travis Kelce caught 7 passes for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns. Despite not getting a touchdown, Sammy Watkins was still incredibly impressive with 6 catches for his first 100 yard game as a Chief, also adding a 31 yard rush for good measure. And Tyreek Hill continued his dominant performance with 5 catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. Kareem Hunt has been relatively quiet, but he also hauled in a touchdown pass while rushing 18 times for 75 yards.
Yet with these great performances, the game was still a nail biter. The Chiefs had jumped to a 21-0 lead in the 1st quarter, which would have been a 28-0 lead if a Chris Jones fumble return for a touchdown hadn’t been called back due to a Orlando Scandrick hold (which CBS surprisingly didn’t have a replay of). The Steelers would storm back and tie the game at 21-21 at halftime, with another controversial call where Ben Roethlisberger threw a touchdown despite the ball seemingly crossing the line of scrimmage, which would have deemed the play an illegal forward pass. After a review, Jerome Bogers’ crew ruled it a touchdown nonetheless. There would end up being 24 penalties called, with 12 to both teams. At least they kept it even.
The Chiefs would wind up winning the game, despite hiccups along the way, such as Kareem Hunt being tackled in the end zone for a safety, and Chris Conley fumbling while the Chiefs tried to take time off the clock.
Now to address the elephant in the room. With the wave of praise for Patrick Mahomes and the dynamic Chiefs offense, the Chiefs’ defense deserves about the same amount of criticism. For the second week in a row, the opposing quarterback has thrown for over 400 yards against the Chiefs. At many times, the Chiefs would rush 3 and generate no pressure, allowing Roethlisberger to sit in the pocket and write 4 novels before passing. This left the secondary out to dry, as they ended up committing numerous holding penalties. The offensive performances have been amazing, but they could not afford to be less than amazing due to the weak defensive play. There were still standouts, such as Allen Bailey, who made a critical 4th quarter sack, and Kendall Fuller, who did a decent job locking down Antonio Brown.
The Chiefs share the division lead with the Broncos, who pulled out a late comeback to defeat the Raiders 20-19. The Chargers got their first win against the Bills and take sole possession of 3rd place, with the Raiders in last. Next week, the Chiefs will play their home opener against Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers.