Will QB Patrick Mahomes Able To Sustain The Pressure As Chiefs Rely Heavily On Him?

Have the Chiefs ever relied more on Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes entered a new dimension of his pro career in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans. Mahomes threw his 55th pass of the game, a career high. He would throw 13 more, including 10 in overtime, giving him a total of 68, which was third most in NFL history. The Chiefs needed every one of those to pull out a 20-17 victory in overtime. “Now we know if we need him to throw [68] passes we can get it done,’’ said tight end Travis Kelce, who caught 10 of Mahomes’ throws. Mahomes also led the Chiefs in rushing yards, which is not a first for him. But his 63 yards were a career high for the regular season. He had 69 in last year’s playoff win over the Buffalo Bills. Mahomes scored the Chiefs’ final touchdown with 2:56 remaining in the fourth quarter and then tied the game by running for the two-point conversion. The Chiefs have rarely relied on Mahomes more to win a game, but weren’t surprised he delivered. “He’s Pat, and Pat’s going to be Pat,’’ said wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who caught Mahomes’ only touchdown pass of the game in the first quarter. “We can definitely count on him in those situations.’’

Mahomes didn’t set a personal record with 68 pass attempts. He threw 88 passes at Texas Tech in a 2016 game against Oklahoma, which is why Chiefs coach Andy Reid had no problem putting such a burden on him against the Titans. “I’ve seen him do that in college a few times,’’ Reid said. Reid didn’t have much choice. The Chiefs’ running game — outside of Mahomes — was dismal, with their four backs totaling 13 carries for 14 yards, with a long of 3 yards. “We want to try to get the run game going as the season goes on and kind of stay more balanced, but that’s a good defensive line and they were doing a good job of stopping that,’’ Mahomes said. “Coach Reid kind of put it in my hands to go out there and try to make some stuff happen, and it looked bad there for about two and half quarters, three quarters, but we were able to make it happen there at the end.” Mahomes made no single play bigger than his 20-yard scramble on third-and-17 on the fourth-quarter touchdown drive. The Chiefs were behind 17-9 and in desperation mode with time running out. When Mahomes couldn’t find an open receiver, he found another way to get the job done.

“I definitely saw a lane to get it close enough that I thought we’d be able to go for it,’’ Mahomes said. “When you’re in that situation you know that if you can get it to a fourth-and-5, fourth-and-4, Coach Reid’s probably going to give you a chance there … “We just battled at the end of the day. It wasn’t like we were designing it up. We were just going out there and trying to make some stuff happen.” For that reason, Reid seemed more satisfied after the Titans victory than any other this season. The list of wins for the 6-2 Chiefs includes three road games in which they scored more than 40 points. What the Tennessee win lacked in flash, it made up for in a will to win. Much of that was supplied by Mahomes, who was sacked four times but wouldn’t let the Chiefs lose. “Everything wasn’t smooth,’’ Reid said. “It was up and down. So you’ve got to persevere through that, the lows. And then somebody’s got to step up and make a play. That’s what has to happen.”

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