DENVER -- Patrick Mahomes made a number of unconventional throws on Monday night that in most instances his coaches wouldn't like to see.
"They never encourage that,'' Mahomes said. "But at the same time, as long as you complete it and you get the first down, they're fine with that.''
In this case, Andy Reid and his assistants won't complain. Mahomes' unusual plays, including a left-handed pass to Tyreek Hill for a first down on the game-winning drive, helped the Kansas City Chiefs overcome a 10-point deficit in the fourth-quarter and beat the Denver Broncos 27-23.
The victory was Mahomes' first career fourth-quarter comeback, though he led the Chiefs to the game-winning field goal in his only start last season as a rookie, also in Denver. But that situation last year wasn't do-or-die; the game was tied when the Chiefs' winning drive began.
The Chiefs needed every one of Mahomes' heroics on Monday night, and he delivered. In the fourth quarter, he was 13-of-16 passing for 151 yards and a 2-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce.
"It tells everybody that when you're within striking distance, you have that opportunity [to come back] with a guy that can make plays,'' Reid said.
In the third quarter, Mahomes threw a 29-yard pass across his body to Kelce in the middle of the field when moving to his left. His six-yard left-handed pass to Hill on third-and-5 ignited the winning drive. Later on that drive, he made more conventional throws of 23 yards to Demarcus Robinson and 35 yards to Demetrius Harris. (The snap on the play to Harris came after the play clock expired, but the Chiefs weren't penalized for delay of game.)
"It's all situational,'' Mahomes said of his unconventional throws. "There are times you can extend the play and give your receivers the chance to make plays, and there are times you need to stay within the pocket and just take what's there.''
The Chiefs have seen such plays from Mahomes before. In last week's home outing against the San Francisco 49ers, he reversed direction twice while scrambling to throw a touchdown pass to Chris Conley.
"Most guys are told not to do that,'' Kansas City fullback Anthony Sherman said. "Then he goes out there and executes it and it's, 'OK, I guess you can do that.'
"At this point, we should just trust him and know that he won't put us in a bad situation. He'll just find a way to get the ball to an open receiver.''
Of Mahomes' left-handed pass on Monday, Hill said, "I've never seen a quarterback who is right-handed throw the ball left-handed. Pat actually throws [left-handed] better than me, and I'm left-handed.''
The 4-0 Chiefs have a two-game lead in the AFC West race over the Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Chiefs extended their winning streak to six games against the Broncos. Kansas City has won 18 of its past 19 divisional games.