Sunday’s NFL: Mahomes throws six TDs in Chiefs victory

Associated Press

Pittsburgh — Patrick Mahomes tied a franchise record with six touchdown passes and the Kansas City Chiefs held off the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 42-37 victory Sunday that showcased why Kansas City traded veteran Alex Smith in the spring and put the team in the hands of a 22-year-old with one career start under his belt.

“He had a couple good plays you know,” coach Andy Reid said after Mahomes led Kansas City to its first win in Pittsburgh in 32 years.

Mahomes, who turns 23 today, finished 23 of 28 for 326 yards. His 10 touchdown passes through two weeks are the most ever by a quarterback through two games in NFL history. Heady stuff for a player who spent almost all of last season on the bench watching Smith guide the Chiefs to a fourth playoff spot in five years.

“You never expect to have 10 touchdowns at this point in the season,” Mahomes said. “But I knew with this offense and the weapons that we have and the scheme coach Reid has drawn up that we had a chance to be really, really good and the possibilities are endless.”

It sure looked that way while Mahomes spread the ball to seven teammates, five of whom reached the end zone. Travis Kelce caught seven passes for 109 yards and two scores. Tyreek Hill, Chris Conley, Kareem Hunt and Demarcus Robinson also hauled in touchdown passes as the Chiefs (2-0) recovered in the second half after blowing a 21-pont lead.

“I see Pat doing this all season long,” Kelce said. “He’s got the confidence. As long as we give him time and get open as wide outs and tight ends and running backs, he’s going to be able to get the best out of everyone.”

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger shook off an achy right elbow that limited him in practice during the week, completing 39 of 60 passes for 452 yards and three touchdowns. The 36-year-old also leapt into the end zone for a 3-yard score with 1:59 to go that got the Steelers (0-1-1) within five.

Rather than attempt an onside kick, Pittsburgh sent it deep. Two runs by Hunt gave Kansas City a big first down and Tyler Matakevich was flagged for roughing the punter, allowing the Chiefs to run out the clock.

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(At) Dallas 20, N.Y Giants 13: Dak Prescott threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin on the third play of the game and the Cowboys sacked Eli Manning six times. The Dallas defense was strong again, just as in an opening loss at Carolina, as the Cowboys (1-1) avoided the first 0-2 start in seven seasons under coach Jason Garrett. Manning and the Giants have started 0-2 for the fifth time in the past six seasons.

Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott outgained Saquon Barkley in the first meeting in the pros between the former college rivals and high NFL draft picks. Elliott, who starred at Ohio State, rushed for 78 yards with a touchdown. Barkley, from Penn State, had just 28.

Even Prescott outrushed Barkley, finishing with a career-high 45 yards on the ground while throwing for 160.

Miami 20, (at) N.Y. Jets 12: Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes, Kenyan Drake ran for a score and the Dolphins took advantage of several mistakes by Sam Darnold and the Jets.

T.J. McDonald and Xavien Howard each intercepted the Jets’ rookie quarterback, helping the Dolphins to their first 2-0 start to a season since 2013.

Tannehill finished 17-of-23 for 168 yards and also ran for 44 yards on eight carries for the Dolphins, coming off a win in the longest NFL game since 1970 merger by outlasting Tennessee in 7 hours, 8 minutes last Sunday.

With the Jets (1-1) holding on to hopes for a late comeback, Frank Gore — who passed Curtis Martin for fourth on the NFL’s career rushing list – took a short pass and gained 19 yards on third-and-19 to effectively seal the win.

Darnold was 25-of-41 for 334 yards and a touchdown with the two INTs in his second NFL start, but struggled to get the offense moving throughout the day.

(At) Tampa Bay 27, Philadelphia 21: Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for more than 400 yards and four touchdowns for the second straight week, leading the Buccaneers over the reigning Super Bowl champion.

Filling in for suspended quarterback Jameis Winston, 35-year-old Fitzpatrick completed 27 of 32 passes for 402 yards and has the suddenly explosive Bucs off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2010. Nick Foles threw for 338 yards for the Eagles (1-1), who rallied from a 20-point, third-quarter deficit.

(At) Tennessee 20, Houston 17: Ryan Succop kicked a 31-yard field goal with one minute left, and the battered Titans gave Mike Vrabel his first victory as an NFL head coach.

Succop also kicked a tying 42-yarder in the fourth quarter as Tennessee (1-1) pulled out the win with quarterback Marcus Mariota watching from the sideline. The Titans also were missing their top three offensive tackles.

Tennessee allowed only one sack to Houston (0-2), which was missing a couple defensive starters in linebacker Jadeveon Clowney and end Christian Covington.

The Titans came up with four sacks and an interception.

Indianapolis 21, (at) Washington 9: Andrew Luck threw for two touchdown passes, shook off two interceptions and engineered a sealing drive.

He was 7-of-8 for 62 yards on a methodical 13-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a Luck-to-T.Y. Hilton score that put Indianapolis (1-1) up 21-9 early in the fourth quarter.

After putting up a Week 1-best 182 rushing yards, Washington (1-1) put up just 65 yards on 22 carries. Adrian Peterson was limited to 20 yards on 11 carries, and receiver Jamison Crowder was actually Washington’s leading rusher with 29 yards on two sweep plays.

New Orleans 21, (at) Cleveland 18: Wil Lutz kicked a 44-yard field goal with 21 seconds left, Cleveland kicker Zane Gonzalez pushed the second of his two missed field goals wide right in the final seconds, and the Saints extended the Browns’ winless streak to 19.

Cleveland (0-1-1) carried a two-score lead into the final nine minutes before its latest collapse.

Receiver Michael Thomas had two fourth-quarter touchdowns for the Saints (1-1), who scored 40 points in a Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay, but didn’t find the end zone against Cleveland until 8:41 remained.

(At) Atlanta 31, Carolina 24: Ryan gets it done running, throwing

Matt Ryan had more rushing touchdowns than Cam Newton. Even more important, the Atlanta quarterback got a whole lot of players involved in the offense.

After scoring on a 1-yard sneak that pushed Atlanta (1-1) to a 24-10 lead early in the third quarter, Ryan delivered the biggest blow with a brilliant scamper midway through the fourth quarter. On third-and-5 from the Carolina 8, he looked around for an open receiver, spotted a running lane to the left and took off for the end zone.

There were three Carolina players waiting for him at the goal line — including 346-pound former teammate Dontari Poe — but Ryan leaped in the air and bowled them all over, falling across the goal line for the TD that gave Atlanta a two-touchdown lead over the Panthers (1-1).

L.A. Chargers 31, (at) Buffalo 20: Melvin Gordon matched a career high by scoring three touchdowns during rookie quarterback Josh Allen’s debut as a starter.

Philip Rivers finished 23 of 27 for 256 and three touchdowns as the Chargers (1-1) rebounded from a 38-28 season-opening loss to Kansas City.

The Bills (0-2) have a concern at running back after LeSean McCoy missed the entire fourth quarter with what the team called a rib injury.

(At) L.A. Rams 34, Arizona 0: Todd Gurley ran for three touchdowns, Jared Goff threw for 354 yards and a touchdown for the Rams.

The Rams have won their first two games for the first time since 2001, when they started 6-0 en route to the third Super Bowl appearance in team history.

The Cardinals didn’t cross midfield until the final minute and managed only five first downs as they fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2005.

(At) Denver 20, Oakland 19: Brandon McManus kicked a 36-yard field goal just inside the right upright with 6 seconds left, denying Jon Gruden his first win as a head coach since 2008.

With no timeouts and 18 seconds left, Case Keenum hit Tim Patrick for a 26-yard gain to the Oakland 18. Cornerbacks Gareon Conley and Leon Hall couldn’t tackle him inbounds and McManus came on to give the Broncos (2-0) their first lead.

The Raiders (0-2) lost despite a stellar outing by Derek Carr, who completed 29 of 32 passes for 288 yards and a score.