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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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Chiefs Defeat Panthers, 33-31, in Thriller at Arrowhead on Sunday

The Kansas City Chiefs overcame an early deficit to defeat the Carolina Panthers, 33-31, at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon, securing an 8-1 record on the year heading into the bye week.

Carolina pulled within two points early in the fourth quarter, as Panthers’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater scrambled for a 4-yard touchdown to keep their hopes live, but a failed surprise onside kick provided Kansas City with excellent field position and set up a 2-yard scoring strike from quarterback Patrick Mahomes to wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

That put the Chiefs up by nine points, but Carolina kept fighting, as a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Panthers’ tailback Christian McCaffrey again brought the margin within just two points in the closing minutes of the game.

The Chiefs couldn’t pick up a first down on their ensuing possession, and with just 1:33 left in the game, Bridgewater drove the Panthers to midfield to set up a potential game-winning, 67-yard field goal by Joey Slye. The kick sailed wide right as time expired, however, and that was the game.

The result was a hard-fought victory for Kansas City, who trailed for much of the contest as Carolina took quick 14-3 lead behind an aggressive approach that included a fourth-down conversion and a fake punt. The Chiefs worked away at that deficit over the first three quarters, however, outscoring the Panthers by 13 points following Carolina’s early advantage.

That included a 55-yard field goal by kicker Harrison Butker, who connected on a pair of attempts in the contest and tallied his third kick of 55+ yards this season. Entering Sunday’s slate of games, no other kicker had more than two such kicks.

Mahomes was also right in the middle of that comeback, completing 30-of-45 passes for 372 yards and four scores. That scoring barrage began with a 1-yard strike to wide receiver Demarcus Robinson – which narrowed the Panthers’ lead to just one point in the closing minutes of the first half – and continued with a 4-yard pass to tailback Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter.

The reigning Super Bowl MVP then built on Kansas City’s lead when he found Hill for a 28-yard score on the Chiefs’ next possession, marking his 100th career touchdown pass. With just 40 games under his belt as a professional, Mahomes is the fastest player in NFL history to reach the milestone.

Mahomes and Hill later connected for yet another score following the Panthers’ failed onside kick attempt, putting an exclamation point on an impressive performance and marking Hill’s second-straight multi-touchdown game.

Tight end Travis Kelce also put together a monster game, hauling in 10 catches for 159 yards. It marked the third-best statistical performance of Kelce’s storied career, and his best outing in terms of receiving yards since 2018.

The Chiefs will now head into their bye week before taking on the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football on Nov. 22.

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