DETROIT -- Patrick Mahomes failed to throw a touchdown pass on Sunday for just the fourth time in his career. His streak of throwing at least two TD passes is over at 14 games, one short of the NFL record.
That sounds like a recipe for failure for the Kansas City Chiefs, who in the absence of three injured offensive starters have been asking for even more from the NFL's reigning MVP. But it worked out for them on Sunday, as they came back to beat the Detroit Lions 34-30 on Darrel Williams' 1-yard touchdown run with 20 seconds left.
They drove 79 yards for the score. Mahomes was 6-of-9 on the drive for 55 yards, but his most important play was his 15-yard scramble on fourth down to keep the Chiefs alive.
"On the final drive, he made every play we needed him to,'' Chiefs tackle Mitchell Schwartz said. "He won't play a game where he's not the most important player on the field. It doesn't matter what the stats show.''
The Chiefs appeared headed to defeat after the Lions scored with 2:26 remaining to take the lead. But they left too much time for Mahomes.
"As a leader on this team, [Mahomes] kept us collected and kept us with one goal in mind, and that's to get the ball in the end zone no matter how long it takes us to get it there and whether it takes us one play or 16 plays, 20 plays,'' tight end Travis Kelce said. "It doesn't matter. We're going north and we're getting the ball in that end zone. I think Pat does an unbelievable job of rallying the troops when we need it the most.''
Mahomes threw for 315 yards while completing 24 of 42 passes. Only three previous times in his career had he gone without a TD throw -- twice in the regular season and once in last season's playoff game against Indianapolis.
Peyton Manning's record of 15 consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes is also safe, at least for now.
However, Mahomes, 24, did become the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to lead his team to multiple 4-0 starts before his 25th birthday.
"Just finding ways to win a football game,'' Mahomes said. "That's how you roll in this league. It's not always the touchdowns and the yards. It's about just finding a way to win.
"If you want to be great as a team and as a player, it's how you win the game. I'm just going to go out there every single week and do what it takes to win.''