KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Inside the Kansas City Chiefs' locker room, players have been looking for a nickname for their record-breaking young quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. Tight end Travis Kelce may have settled the issue in the moments after the Chiefs' 38-27 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
The nickname may or may not stick, but it seems appropriate for the way Mahomes and the Chiefs are scoring points. They rolled to a 35-10 halftime lead by scoring a touchdown on each of their five first-half possessions.
Mahomes threw three touchdown passes, giving him 13 this season for the 3-0 Chiefs. He set the NFL record for touchdown throws in the first three games of a season. Peyton Manning previously held the record with 12 in 2013 while playing with the Denver Broncos.
The Chiefs enjoyed some high-scoring games under former quarterback Alex Smith but not with the consistency they've shown the past three weeks. They're loving every minute of their new life.
"He keeps surprising everybody every single week, even his teammates, and it gets us going, playing with confidence, and that stuff is contagious, and we just keep it rolling from there," Kelce said.
"Man, it's a blast, I'm not gonna lie," Kelce said. "Every single time we come off to the sidelines, everybody's excited about what just happened on the field. We've all never been a part of something like this. ... It's a fun ride right now."
Just about every eligible Chiefs receiver is getting in on the party. Nine players have at least one touchdown catch through three games and, according to Elias, only the 1997 New England Patriots have been that equitable this early in the season. The Chiefs had seven different players catch a touchdown all of last season.
"These guys I have at the receiver position can really get open," Mahomes said. "It's hard for teams to have to play every single one of them. I know if I get through my reads, there will be someone open. The offensive line is blocking so well, I can kind of sit in the pocket, get through my whole entire read and find the open guy."
Mahomes rarely has to squeeze the ball into a tight window. He frequently has receivers plenty open. On some plays, he gets to choose from multiple open receivers.
As a result, the Chiefs scored a touchdown on each of their first five trips inside the San Francisco 20. That made them 11-for-11 in the red zone this season. They finally settled for a field goal on their final trip inside the 20, one on which they advanced no deeper than the Niners' 19-yard line.
The Chiefs scored a touchdown on 42 percent of their red zone trips last season, which was the fourth-lowest percentage in the league. Many of the touchdowns they've scored this season were field goal tries in 2017.
"He's seeing it down there," coach Andy Reid said of Mahomes. "Those are small windows in there, and he's able to see it and throw it."
The Chiefs afterward were buzzing about one Mahomes touchdown pass in particular, a 4-yard throw to Conley in the second quarter. It was a busted play, with Mahomes initially being flushed to his left before being chased back the other way.
While sprinting to his right with defenders in pursuit, Mahomes still threw a dart to Conley in the back right corner of the end zone.
"You can't teach that," Reid said.
The Chiefs have seen that kind of play from Mahomes before. Conley called it "the magic of Pat."
"He's not necessarily looking to run," Conley said. "He can throw those fastballs."