Patrick Mahomes couldn’t have done more for the Chiefs on Monday night. And yet, his many costly turnovers may have lost them the game.
The NFL can go ahead and cancel the rest of its 2018 season.
On Monday night, the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs played the wildest, craziest, most thrilling game of the year — maybe even of all time. And if these two teams meet again in Super Bowl LIII in a couple of months, it will have a hard time even coming close to living up to what we witnessed the first time.
The final score? Rams 54, Chiefs 51. It was the first game in NFL history in which both teams scored over 50 points.
The strangest thing about this game, however, was that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes played the best game of his career while simultaneously playing the worst game of his career. Does that make any sense?
In his first year as a starter in the NFL, Mahomes has completely taken the league by storm. Coming into Monday night’s game, he led the league with 31 touchdown passes. Against the Rams, Mahomes tacked on another six touchdowns. Yeah, that’s correct … SIX.
But at the same time, Mahomes also turned the ball over five times. Yeah, that’s correct … FIVE. Two of those turnovers came in the form of interceptions on Kansas City’s final two possessions, when the Chiefs had two chances to drive down the field and score a game-winning touchdown, or at the very least, a game-tying field goal.
And yet, even though Mahomes’ turnovers may have been the biggest reason the Chiefs lost the game, you can’t even hold anything against him. Throughout the night, he connected for touchdown passes with four different receivers — Tyreek Hill (2), Travis Kelce, Chris Conley (2) and Kareem Hunt. Mahomes converted 33 of 46 pass attempts and threw for nearly 500 yards.
It was the best game of Mahomes’ very young career against the league’s best competition, in what may have been a preview of the Super Bowl. Behind the 23-year-old, the Chiefs put up an incredible 51 points.
And yet, 51 points wasn’t enough to beat this otherworldly Rams team. Aaron Donald roughed Mahomes up, sacking him twice and forcing two of his fumbles. Samson Ebukam scooped up one of his fumbles and returned it for a touchdown. Then later in the game, Ebukam gave Mahomes the first pick-six of his career.
On the offensive side, Rams quarterback Jared Goff delivered the final blow to the Chiefs with a 40-yard touchdown strike to Gerald Everett with a little under two minutes remaining in the game. That came less than a minute after Mahomes hit Conley with his sixth touchdown pass of the night to give the Chiefs what would be their final lead of the game.
It’s unreal that Mahomes could throw six touchdown passes and score 51 points, but the Chiefs still lost the game because he had five very costly turnovers. Mahomes might never play this great a game again — though considering his youth and talent, he just might — and yet it’s not a night that he will look back upon with fond memories.
Those are the harsh realities of sports. Mahomes should hold his head up high after that incredible effort, even though he might not want to right now.
One thing is for sure, though: It will be the crime of the century if we don’t get a rematch between the Rams and the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIII.