By: Brandon Liguori
Brian Flores’ Miami Dolphins (8-5) gave Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (12-1) an early scare. Having thrown just two interceptions in 12 games, Mahomes was picked off twice in the opening quarter, resulting in an early 10-0 Miami lead.
A late second-quarter touchdown from Mahomes to Travis Kelce, which put the Chiefs out in front, 14-10, were a key seven points. Out-scoring the Dolphins, 16-0, in the third quarter, Tua Tagovailoa and company were unable to secure a come-from-behind victory Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium, 33-27.
“I think we have a resilient team, don’t quit, but I think that we didn’t make enough plays to win the game. They know that. We prepared the right way, and we just didn’t make enough plays. It’s a good team. They made a lot of plays,” Flores said, whose team lost despite producing four Kansas City turnovers, but fell behind as much as 20 points in the third quarter, due in large part to a Tyreek Hill touchdown and a score from the Chiefs’ special teams, too.
Tagovailoa, who passed for over 300 yards for the first time in his professional career, tossed two touchdowns to Mike Gesicki, who left in the fourth quarter after sustaining a shoulder injury. Gesicki was one of four main offensive pieces Miami missed Sunday, including Myles Gaskin, placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant, who dealt with leg injuries.
“I’m very confident with whatever guys that I’m playing with. I get to get a good amount of reps with a lot of the guys because starters, they go one hard rep, and sometimes they’re nicked up,” Tagovailoa said, who suffered his second defeat as a professional.
Mahomes, throwing three interceptions, worked a critical 10-play fourth-quarter drive that stretched their lead to nine, giving Tagovailoa’s unit practically no chance to pull off a miracle. “I’m glad to get the win and get out of here. Good football team. Brian has done a nice job with it and players played hard and so on,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said.
Mahomes shook off a shaky first half to complete 24 of his 34 throws for 393 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, with one coming at the hands of Xavien Howard, who pulled down his league-best ninth interception early in the fourth quarter.
“They’re a well-coached football team. They have a lot of guys that love to compete and they’re going to fight until the very end. You’ve seen that on film week after week. It’s a good football team that will probably be in the playoffs and a team that will be a hard team to take out in the playoffs,” Mahomes said.