Patrick Mahomes sets NFL record with 13 TD passes in first three games, as Chiefs hold off Niners
Patrick Mahomes tossed three more touchdowns — to three different receivers — and the Kansas City Chiefs held off the San Francisco 49ers, 38-27, to improve to 3-0.
Mahomes now owns the NFL record for most TD passes in the first three games of a season with 13, after surpassing Peyton Manning, who tallied 12 for the 2013 Denver Broncos en route to winning the MVP award but losing Super Bowl XLVIII.
Mahomes completed 24-of-38 passes for 314 yards and the three scores on a 49ers ‘D’ whose most resistance early on was against itself amid a comical array of penalties, missed tackles and just bad football.
Mahomes’ record-breaking start is becoming almost comical, too. After entering Week 3 with an NFL record 10 touchdowns, he found Chris Conley with a four-yard score in the second quarter, following two Kareem Hunt TD plunges, to give Kansas City a 21-7 lead. On his next possession, Mahomes made one of his best plays of the season, breaking the pocket to his left before reversing field with a defender in pursuit and firing a 13-yard laser to TE Demetrius Harris in the back right corner of the end zone.
Mahomes’ final TD throw of the first half went to new Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins on a red-zone slant route for 12 yards to give the Chiefs a 35-10 halftime advantage.
Mahomes has now found nine different Chiefs pass catchers for touchdowns. The NFL record is 13, set by Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan in 2016. That feat was one of many that contributed to Matt Ryan winning MVP honors and then-Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan being named Assistant Coach of the Year.
There’s a long way to go this season, but would anyone argue if we said Mahomes is the (too) early favorite for the MVP award, with head coach Andy Reid looking like the frontrunner for Coach of the Year? Mahomes has has yet to turn the ball over in his first season as an NFL starter, completing 62-of-93 passes for 896 yards. Andy Reid’s scheme has masterfully accentuated Mahomes’ strengths, with the Chiefs totaling a franchise-record 118 points in the first three games — a marked improvement over last year’s No. 6 scoring offense that exploded out of the gate with 93 points during a 3-0 start.
If you think we’re getting too carried away with the Mahomes love, he did miss two touchdowns in the first half Sunday — a would-be 49-yarder that was underthrown to Tyreek Hill and a would-be 61-yarder on which he overshot Harris. Mahomes was also held out of the end zone after intermission and fumbled for the second time this season (though he recovered it himself once again).
Of course, the Chiefs still found the end one on all five of their first-half possessions, and Mahomes leads the league in passing touchdowns. The Chiefs also visit the Denver Broncos in Week 4 on “Monday Night Football,” where Mahomes mania surely will be the biggest story.