Players on both sides made an extra effort to make big-time plays on the field. These plays highlight the physicality we love in football, but not in a way that leaves players injured (other than, maybe, wounded pride). Here are the ones that stood out the most in the Chiefs’ 27-23 win — including a play by Patrick Mahomes people are going to be talking about for years.
Mahomes threw a ball with his left hand for a first down
This was the play of the game. With the Chiefs trailing by three points with three minutes left, Mahomes did something incredibly reckless and dangerous.
But it worked.
To continue the Chiefs’ comeback attempt, Mahomes channeled his inner Michael Vick and threw a pass with his left hand on the run. He found Tyreek Hill wide open near the sideline and he got just enough yards for the first down. Completing a throw with your off hand while Von Miller is bringing you down takes a ton of moxie. Mahomes was close to a disastrous sack and came out looking like a god.
Patrick Mahomes throws LEFT HANDED to get away from a Von Miller sack!! pic.twitter.com/oAHMSVLt48— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) October 2, 2018
Mahomes has been the story of the NFL this year and he was relentless late in the game for the Chiefs. He showed why he was worth the hype with his unreal left-handed throw.
Kareem Hunt runs over Justin Simmons
Before Kareem Hunt scored his first of two touchdowns, he had a physical run after the catch in the first quarter of the game. Hunt rammed into Broncos safety Justin Simmons before he tumbled to the ground. Hunt was able to keep his balance after evading two Broncos defenders before bringing the boom to Simmons.
All the traits that make Hunt great were put on display here.
The referees didn’t call a penalty on Hunt for leading with his head, but perhaps they should have under the new rule. Hunt had a similar run early in the fourth quarter when he ran over Broncos cornerback Chris Harris.
The Chiefs weren’t able to score a touchdown on this drive, but they did kick a field goal to make the game 3-3.
Eric Murray rips the ball away from Jeff Heuerman
It’s rare to see an interception like this.
At first, it looked like Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman had an easy reception for a big chunk of yards and a first down. Eric Murray appeared to be toast on the play, but he recovered and snatched the ball out of Heuerman’s hands for the interception.
Eric Murray with one of the plays of the season.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) October 2, 2018
Gets his hand in there and just takes it away pic.twitter.com/8Ox3mtRgZ4
The Kansas City defense has been largely terrible this season, so it was nice to see someone make a big play on the national spotlight. This was only the secondary’s second interception of the season. The Chiefs weren’t able to capitalize — they ended up punting soon after that. Still, it prevented the Broncos from scoring on the drive in what was then a tie game.
Royce Freeman bowls through the Chiefs defense for a touchdown
Royce Freeman has brought some juice to the Broncos’ running game along with fellow rookie Phillip Lindsay. On this powerful 14-yard run, he carried Anthony Hitchens into the end zone after making a few Chiefs defenders miss in the backfield.
Royce Freeman is sick.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) October 2, 2018
This angle doesn't do it justice, but that toss was bottled up. Freeman found the cut to make it work pic.twitter.com/Zpfuc0Elts
Freeman only had eight carries on the night, but he made the most of them rushing for 67 yards.